Learning how to be an effective team player is highly essential in the world we find ourselves in now. No dream or vision that we might possess would ever really come to fruition based on our own efforts alone. Whether we like it or not, we need other people in this journey of life.
The cliche, Two heads are better than one, was coined for a reason, because undoubtedly collaborations lead to greater productivity. In every sphere of life, collaboration is a thing which cannot be escaped be it in high school, university, an organization or your future job. It can be found everywhere.
However, just like any other practice. Being an effective team player is a skillset which needs to be learned. It’s not all about being desirous to be one, it’s also about acquiring the knowledge and displaying the attitude it takes to be what you desire. So let’s start the journey.
Here are a few ways you can become a great team player
1. Have Good Communication Skills
You can have a lot of experience and understanding about a particular thing but if you cannot break it down to make other people understand it in the simplest way possible then your expertise and all might as well just be in vain.
Learn how to communicate your idea or plan with clarity and precision, with the right pace, pitch and tone so that it could be implemented effectively.
2. Have Good Social Skills
This is where I get sorry for introverts sometimes. Every introvert who wants to make an impact in one way or the other would need to come out of their shell to socialize with other members of the team. If you don’t you might come off as proud.
Although it’s good to not care about what other people think about you, it is equally important to take note and know that a balance should be maintained.
In order to do this, you don’t need to become super interactive or go overboard. Taking little baby steps like saying good morning with a smile when you walk into a room, for example, will be fine for starters.
3. Just Listen
It doesn’t matter, just be yourself. This is one statement that I don’t agree with at all even though it’s hyped so much. What if an individual is rude, sassy, arrogant, etc. should they still be themselves? No, I don’t think so.
What I do believe in is being the best version of yourself. As an individual self-awareness is a key to self- development. As such, analyze your personality and divide your weaknesses into two categories, the changeable and the unchangeable.
The former can be worked on, so if you are someone who perhaps isn’t a very good listener, learn to actively listen to other people. It shouldn’t always be about you tooting your horn. Sometimes you’ve got to make room for what other people have to say as well.
4. Speak Up
On one hand, being only a listener wouldn’t be very helpful either. It’s all about creating the right balance. If you are the passive type of person, there is room for improvement. Don’t just sit down and be a nodding yes man to everything someone else says. This can be fine sometimes but if the individual’s opinion is too ambitious or unrealistic, speak up and let your co-workers hear what you’ve also got to put on the table.
How do you speak up? If you do not agree with what some else is saying, it’s simple, just respectfully disagree.
It is very possible for you to make your point confidently without arrogance. In the midst of it all, keep this in mind. Your opinion might be dismissed for one reason or another. When such a thing happens, do not get angry or stressed out, don’t flare up or take it personally. Learn to regulate your emotions.
Being part of a team is all about negotiation, so if your idea is cut off during discussions that’s just fine. It’s life. At least, you would be satisfied knowing that what you thought could help is off your chest.
On the other hand, speaking up doesn’t just exist in the context of disagreements. Giving a compliment to someone’s idea or validating a team member’s suggestion is also an act of speaking up which might just boost a colleagues confidence. It’s a two-way street.
5. Be Reliable
There is nothing more attractive than finding a young man or a young woman who stick to what they say. Meaning the words that come out of your mouth is a highly appreciated quality which stands out instantly.
Personally, I’ve come across people who promise to fulfil a task but then don’t live up it, for no good reason. The worst scenario is being assured of an individual’s presence only for them to show up two hours later or not show up at all. I don’t know about you but this is just plain annoying.
If I was offered such people on a silver platter to work with again in the future, seriously I will flee.
In this world, you are not representing just yourself. You are representing someone much greater, so be a person of integrity. If you already are. I’m glad. Keep being one.
Once more, I hope these tips have been helpful. Being part of a team effectively is beautiful. It adds value and brings a sense of fulfilment. When you work together with other people to achieve a goal or see a dream actualized, it’s rewarding. But you don’t need to keep fantasizing about the future. You can be that team player right now.
Going forward, I hope this helps you become a better team player.
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