Keys to Becoming a Great Team Player

In my last post, I wrote about 5 Productive Ways to Become a Great Team Player. Learning how to be an effective team player is highly essential in the world we now live in. No dream or vision we possess would ever come to fruition based on our own efforts alone.

Whether we like it or not, the undeniable truth is that we all need one another in this journey of life, just as you equally needed everybody’s hand on deck for a very good grade from that group project you once had at school.

The cliche saying, Two heads are better than one was coined for a reason. Undoubtedly, collaborations lead to greater productivity. In every sphere of life, it is something which cannot be escaped, be it in high school, university, an organization or your in your future job/Career.

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 that which you desire.

So, without further ado let’s begin the journey:

1. The Right Communication Skills are Needed

Two Man and Two Woman Standing on Green Grass Field

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 as to see it implemented effectively.

2. Good Social skills are just way too important

gossip, talk

This is where I get sorry for introverted people sometimes. Every introvert who wants to make 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 or stuck up. Although it’s good to not care about what other people think, 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 over 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 quite fine for starters.

However, it doesn’t stop at being outgoing. It also involves paying attention to other team members temperaments and understanding the principles on how to deal with each personality type when a conflict erupts.

3. Just Listen

listen, coffee, date, girl, boy

It doesn’t matter, just be yourself

This is one statement that I don’t agree with at all, even though its 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 key to self-development. So, you could do this homework quite easily. Analyze your type of personality and divide your weaknesses into two categories, the changeables and the unchangeables. 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.

{Read: On Becoming a Better Listener}

{Read: How to Be a Better Listener}

4. Speak up

team, speak, teamwork, office, success, laptop

On the other hand, being only a listener wouldn’t be very helpful either. Creating the right balance is the solution. 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 know 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’s very possible for one to make make a point confidently without being arrogant.

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 of 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 flip side, 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 colleague’s confidence. It’s a two-way street.

At the end of the day, make sure your motive for speaking up springs from the right fountain. Don’t just do it to gain recognition, do it because you want to truly add value.

5. Being Reliable shouldn’t be that Hard

There is nothing more attractive than finding a young man or a young woman who is capable of sticking to what they say. Meaning the words that come out of your mouth is a highly appreciable quality which stands out instantly.

Personally I’ve come across people who promise to fulfill a task but then, don’t live up it, for no good reason. The worst scenario is being assured by an individual’s presence at a gathering only for them to show up two hours later or not show up at all.

I don’t know about you, but for me, 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 the same light, it important to know that reliability cannot be overemphasized. There are so many opportunities it could bring and there are equally dozens of opportunities it could seize when it’s not present.

In this world, you are not representing your self, you are representing someone much greater, so be a person of integrity. If you already are, I’m glad, Keep being one.

{Read: 9 Steps to Develop Personal Integrity}


Being a team player is looking at the bigger picture and telling yourself that you want to play a part in its outcome. I hope you have been inspired to be one.

Related: 11 Ways to Become an Effective Team Player


In what way do you ensure you become better at being an effective team player? Do leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post.

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