Being a team player doesn’t always come naturally, especially when faced with competition or doubt. In fact, being a team player can sometimes feel impossible when dealing with diverse personalities in a close team. However, by figuring out how to be a true team player, you’ll actually improve your productivity levels and leadership skills simultaneously, giving yourself an edge in the workplace.
You may ask yourself, “How can I be expected to be a team player when I don’t feel like an equal, or my skills are not respected by my peers?”
Well, once you begin working as a team player, you’ll start to build trusting relationships with your fellow colleagues and establish your expertise. Doing so will contribute to your professional purpose, which is an instant recipe for satisfaction and productivity at work.
By following these 10 steps you’ll find yourself on the right path to leadership and productivity in the near future!
1. You need to care about what’s happening around you
Sometimes work can be cut and dry, and truthfully downright boring. But, to have a clear indication of what’s actually going on in the workplace, you need to care about what’s going on around you first. Focus on yourself, your own skills, and your own progression. That means soaking up as much knowledgeable as possible by truly listening and communicating with others.
2. You need to develop support systems at work
Developing support systems in your workplace provides a secondary family to lean on in a time of need. Having a support system means that a struggle is a team challenge, not an individual one, and that you’ll always have others to both help and be helped by. If you become the first responder to another person’s struggle, you’ll showcase your natural leadership skills.
3. You need to learn how others think
Being open to new thought processes can really elevate any great idea into genius. If you remain open-minded to collaboration, and choose to avoid linear thinking, the chances of ever hitting a dead end are slim to none. Gain different perspectives by being the one in the office that listens and has every department and every individual’s best interests in mind. You’ll not only impress them with your consideration, you’ll simply be more effective as a professional.
4. You need to gain trust of those around you
Trust is difficult to gain or give, but when you are working closely with others, it’s critical to efficiency and satisfaction. It’s important to refrain from withholding information, hiding secrets, or making people feel left out. To keep productivity levels high, you must keep everyone around you informed, encouraged, and enthused. This will have everyone seeing you as a future leader, and wanting to work for you when you get there.
5. You need to take one for the team, sometimes
As a team player, you should know how to take one for the team. Whether it's a mistake by a newcomer or a friend missed a fine detail that slipped through the cracks, sometimes it’s best to just take the bull by the horns and fix things yourself rather than blame those around you or force them to struggle through a problem. Trust that one day your team will pay it forward.
6. You need to admit when you’re dead wrong
Admitting that you were wrong about something can actually save a company a lot of time and money. As a team player, understand how important it is to admit a mistake and rush to a solution rather than cover it up. This increases the chance for a turnaround and makes you look like a discerning, focused professional.
- You need to shine light on the strengths of others
If someone has helped you in one way or another, let it be known. Positive feedback can boost productivity a whole lot more than any criticism. Giving others the credit they deserve will show your appreciation for them, and with that kind of insurance, they and others will want to continue to help you in the future.
8. You need to join in on the fun
Just because you are en route to climb your way to the top doesn’t mean that you can’t let you hair down from time-to-time. It’s important to make sure that your team can relate to you, and that you make them feel comfortable. It’s not about getting smashed at some party. It’s about socializing, interacting, and being present. Leaders don’t stand on the sidelines, they stand with their team, remembering names, and including everyone in all occasions.
9. You need to communicate your concerns
As a team player, it’s your responsibility to voice your concerns. Whether it’s about results, work related, safety, social, productivity, or legal issue, if you feel uncomfortable with something, it’s up to you to voice it. Chances are, you’re not the only one who has had these thoughts or feelings, thus saying something can really change the world to those too timid to speak up. Voicing your concerns also helps you to showcase your sense of judgment for when you step into that leadership role and displays how direct you can be when you need something addressed.
10. You need to listen to the concerns of others
It takes bravery to voice a concern; you should know that. So, if someone feels comfortable enough to voice a concern to you, specifically, feel honored. They believe that you can make things happen! This is no time for you to brush off their feeling with laughter or jokes, take them seriously. You hold their trust and shouldn’t don’t let that fade away.