Are you a team player?

by | 14.10.21

Getting along with your work colleagues is key to enjoying your job, fitting in with the office crowd is important. While you don’t want to be an outsider, you may feel you are not reaching your potential in your job and wonder what the real issue is. Being a better team player may be the answer you are looking for as your ability to work well with other people in the office can not only improve your relationship with them but also help you perform better in your role. Here are some areas that you need to develop in order to be identified as a good team player.

Let others help you

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they need to have all the answers. Helping others is great. However allowing others to help you is just as important. By being honest with your colleagues you come across as more authentic, more approachable and you can benefit from their wisdom.

Identify shared interests with colleagues.

We rely heavily on relationships in life to get things done. Focusing on shared interest in the interests in the workplace rather than your individual role will help you develop real team player skills. Most jobs have a cross over and by supporting work mates where possible you will make amends and influence people.

Listen well

Sometimes we focus too much on what action we should take rather than how we make people feel. One of the most powerful gifts we can give to others is to truly see them and the best way of doing this is to listen to them. Listening and the patience to do it well is an art. If you listen well the path to becoming a better team player will reveal itself.

 Cultivate the genius in others

Most of us have been trained to focus on our success rather than help others succeed. Yet this stuff of mindset is a skill that most great leaders have developed at some time. If you spend your time cultivating the genius in others rather than needing to be a genius in others rather than needing to be a genius yourself people will naturally gravitate toward you because you will inspire and empower them to reach their potential.

Make yourself a pleasure to know

We all have positive emotions and negative emotions. Positive emotions make us happy and negative emotions warn us to stay away from situations. Make yourself a pleasure to know by treating your colleagues fairly and respectfully, relate to them, ask them for ideas on how to do your job better and offer them advice when needed.

Use your ‘follower’ skills

The skills needed to work in a team don’t include everyone wanting to be the leader of the pack. Not everyone can drive the train. Teams that are made up off all ‘alpha’ types don’t function well. Always assess situations in the workplace and consider whether it is time for you to use your ‘follower’ skills rather than your ‘leadership’ skills.

Lead with best intentions

Regardless of your role in the workplace one thing that helps to enhance camaraderie, communication and collaboration is doing everything with the best intentions. This means looking at what you can bring to the team. Always having the best intention strengthens relationships and creates excellent team results.

Share your skills

If you have strengths and skills that come naturally share these with others. What will take you five minutes to complete may save other team members a whole day’s worth of work and frustration. Nothing builds a good team more than individuals helping others in challenging situations, especially when it is done freely and without being asked.

Don’t avoid dirty jobs

A good team player will always volunteer to do the dirty jobs that are around. This could mean talking to a client who is always rude, washing the tea cups at the end of the day or helping with cleaning the office. You will find if you are prepared to do anything and everything you will go up in your colleague’s estimation and encourage them to do the same thereby creating a unified team.

Spread positivity

Positivity allows for creativity innovation. Give energy rather than drain other people’s energy. See opportunities rather than problems. Look for what’s right – not what’s wrong. Talk to your work mates rather than gossip. Stay away from judging things as good or as bad, right or wrong – simply acknowledge situations and move forward. Smile and watch other people smile.

Be flexible

Don’t assume that others work and interact the way you do. Rather start looking at your colleagues and the way that they work. Do them prefer to email clients rather call them? Do they want to have a chat before meetings? Do they need to discuss things with others before making decisions? If you work differently consider being flexible and adapting to their work style. You will get more done and people will enjoy with you.

Get feedback from colleagues

Most people will ask their boss for feedback on how they are doing and how they could improve. Why not ask your work mates. Naturally if you have this conversation with colleagues it will be in a private setting, maybe over a glass of wine, but sometimes a colleagues critique will help you improve your performance and make you a solid team mate.

Be human

Pay attention to what your colleagues tell you about their lives, these details are important to them and give you an insight into the person behind the job. You can build conversations out of these snippets which builds a rapport and even maybe a friendship. Colleagues who like each other help and support each other and this makes a strong functioning team.

Never play the blame game

Games are fun but the blame game never has a winner. If you aren’t able to change a situation that has happened maybe it’s best not to comment rather than throw a work mate under the bus. In a team environment some people fail to function as well as others. We all have strengths and weaknesses some of which can’t be changed or even improved. Being a contributing and positive member of a team means finding ways to support your colleagues weak areas.

Focus on collaboration – not just co-operation

Getting into the habit of asking colleagues “how can I help you” at every opportunity. This single question builds goodwill and shows you care. Collaboration is really important. You should be fully invested in the team. You will be a great team player if you show others that you believe in the group, the process and the goals. This sort of positivity can radically improve morale and productivity.

So there you go – are you a good team player? If you are unsure about what areas you need to improve ask a trusted friend for honest feedback. Learning how to be a positive force for your team is vital. When you aim to be a great team player, others will follow. In doing so you can improve your workplace, grow personally and advance your career.

Good luck

Angela Burton