Every employer today is looking for a great team player. We live in an era where so much gets done in a day. It’s virtually impossible to achieve all those milestones working solo.
Teamwork is the name of the game and learning to play it like a pro is the only way to keep success coming your way.
Bosses will swear by the wonders of great teamwork – increased creativity and enhanced collaboration leading to greater productivity.
Our work today has become increasingly challenging and complex and as Amy Edmondson, Harvard Business School professor summed up succinctly- “For modern employees, innovation is a fundamental part of the job description: We need to do something, reflect, analyse quickly and then learn. Those are today’s critical skills.” Working alone has its limitations while a great team can help you beat the competition and win accolades.
But a team is only as strong as its weakest link. So here are a few tips to become a great team player and transform your team:
Create ground rules: A team is made up of all kinds of personalities. To get the job done efficiently one must establish ground rules. Even the most creative and chaotic teams have boundaries. Once the rules are in place it gives a greater sense of security to your team members. Winning as a team is a great motivator and winning teams are the backbone of successful companies.
Play to your strengths – A team is a combination of many styles. A good mix always works well. Know and understand your strengths. People take on different roles in a team- implementer, coordinator, shaper, negotiator, the idea-guy, specialist, finisher and so on. Pick the role that fits you best and play it to perfection. Have a healthy appreciation for the other role-players as well. Remember, you can’t play a double or triple role.
Be reliable – Accountemps conducted a survey of senior executives to understand what were the most important qualities of a team player. Not surprisingly the top pick was- ‘Meets his deadlines’. A great team player is reliable, consistent and exhibits a high quality of work. He/She completes her work in time and does not hold up the team.
Good communication – Good team members are those who express their views and ideas and also believe in listening to others. They share openly and willingly. Honesty is valued. It is better to share what you know rather than assume that others know it. Teams that communicate well reach solutions faster simply because they share information better.
Participate actively – A great team player not only participates willingly and enthusiastically, she also makes sure that every one else in the team gets a chance to contribute. Problems at work require the team to be adaptive, creative and flexible. Create an atmosphere of trust so the members feel comfortable and can pitch in with zeal. Ensure that not just the loud voices are heard.
Right attitude – It is vital to have the right attitude especially when working as a team. Be a driver of positive change. Don’t just be content with finishing your part, step out of your comfort zone and help others. A great team member does more than what is expected of him.
Exhibit flexibility – Bosses love employees who can roll with the punches. Our world today does not play by the book. We often deal with complex and unique problems. Great team players display great flexibility in thought and deed. They can handle different points of view and are open to others’ ideas.
Show commitment – A good team player puts the needs of the team before her personal goals. This is important to build trust and solid working relationships within the team. The focus is on the task/assignment that need to be completed and not personal progress. Show a healthy respect for your teammates and be supportive to them. A team where everyone is committed can only win.
Handle failure well – Good teammates view failure as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. It’s widely known that bosses appreciate those who don’t blame others. They value team players that take initiative and responsibility. A good team player is a good problem solver who does not avoid, blame or dwell on the problem but focuses on solving it.
Avoid politics – And last but not the least,don’t get distracted by issues that aren’t crucial to your team’s mission. Playing sneaky games or manipulating others will not get you very far. And neither will back biting and gossiping. Be professional and focus on the job at hand. Respect the strengths of your teammates and turn a blind eye to small flaws. Remember, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”