Learn to be a Valued Team Player and Reap the Benefits

teamplayer1Have you ever struggled to “click” with your co-workers? Whether you see the differences as a matter of age, stage in life, or philosophy, those gaps surely make it more of a challenge to work together to achieve a common goal.
Of course, it’s important to be recognized for your individual achievements. However, wouldn’t it be nice to also receive kudos for your great teamwork skills, despite your differences?
The good news is you have the power to become that valued team player! And even better, your career will benefit immensely from your team skills.
Apply these ideas and you’ll be a star on your team:
1. Be friendly to every co-worker. Even if you have completely different interests than a co-worker, you never know what can happen if you show sincere interest in them.
2. Ask work-related questions. When you’re unsure of factors related to a work project, approach a co-worker working on the same job and to try to clarify your questions.

  • Reaching out to others shows your willingness to accept information from co-workers in order to do your best work.
  • Plus, this behavior demonstrates your respect for your co-workers and their input.

3. Celebrate even the smallest successes. When a co-worker completes part of a project or resolves a minor issue, make it a point to comment on it. Show you notice the contributions of your co-workers through your words.
4. Show openness about your work plan. Prior to proceeding with your work on a project, tell involved co-workers what you plan to do.

  • When you speak to your co-workers about the direction you’re heading in the work you’re doing, it promotes open communication and shows you’re using a team approach.

5. Use “we” when talking with co-workers. When you use “we,” it pulls all of you together to work for a common cause.

  • When you and your co-workers feel a part of something greater than yourselves, you’ll be amazed at the things you can achieve together.

6. Notice behaviors of your co-workers. Do they offer to help you once in a while? Are some of them willing to put in extra effort when it’s needed? When they do, let them know you notice.
7. Reciprocate. When a co-worker chips in to help or finishes a task to assist you in completing a project, remember to return the favor. Help them out when they need a boost with their big project.
8. Avoid pointing out the errors of your co-workers. Calling attention to the mistakes of others is rarely the way to go. It certainly won’t earn you any brownie points with anyone.

  • It may sound cliché, but everyone makes mistakes and you likely won’t want someone bringing up your faux pas to the group, so don’t do it to others.
  • Take the attitude that you’ll instead try to learn from the mistakes of others.

8. Be generous. Of course, it would be nice if you received special recognition for whatever you contributed to someone else’s project, but it may not happen all the time.

  • If you approach a job with the idea that, above all, you want to be an effective team player, you’ll be recognized for your stellar individual skills at some point.

Being a team player will help you achieve the successful life you desire. Plus, you’ll probably make some friends and learn something of great value in the process. When you can demonstrate you fully understand the importance of contributing to the team, you’ll eventually win the game.

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