If you had to build a new team from the people in your workplace, how many of your co-workers would you consider good team players?
The answer most people give is ‘not many’. This isn’t just a negative outlook at others. It’s largely because it’s hard to find really good team players.
There isn’t a lot of support and training to help people be better team players. There are various team building exercises that some companies use. But overall, if you want to be a better team player a lot of it lies on your own head.
With that being said. If you want to be someone who others would point to as a team player, good on you. Here is some of my best advice on how to be a better team player in the workplace.
Show That You Are Reliable
Being reliable is absolutely imperative. If you cannot rely on someone, you will always overlook them in times of importance. Being a good team player means stepping up and delivering when asked.
Seriously, you can’t jump to the front of the queue any quicker than being known to be reliable. Especially when it’s your work ethic in question. So next time you’re feeling ill or under-delivering on work, don’t just think of yourself. Think about the team.
Have Excellent Communication Skills
Teams need to be able to communicate and, and communicate well. With a less than stella line of communication, a message can easily get confused when traveling through different people in a team.
If you’re found to be the one who confused the message it will never be forgotten. If communication is a skill you need to work on then do so. There is no compromise here, good team players are always good communicators.
Know When to Listen and Listen Well
There is a skill in knowing when it’s time to listen, and when it’s time to talk. Being part of a team almost certainly means you need to know how to mediate this well.
We all know someone who interrupts all the time. Talks over other people, or forces their point across. I shouldn’t have to tell you what everyone thinks of such behaviour. Don’t be that person.
Willingly and Unselfishly Share with the Team
The mark of a good team player is the ability to share with others. Glory hunters and people looking to take all the credit are selfish individuals. They operate better alone, not in teams. Help others understand how to be a better team player in the workplace too, it can be a group process.
Some people have a natural ability to look out for information to share that will help others. Are always willing to help and never expect anything back in return. This is more often than not a natural attribute, but it can certainly be worked on.
Being part of a team means managing different personalities, people, situations, and everything else that will get thrown at you. If you are not flexible and willing to bend to meet the needs of others, you will hold the whole team back.
This might mean not complaining and just knuckling down. It may mean standing aside and letting someone else take lead. Whatever is best for the team, be flexible and make it happen if it’s for the best.
Always Treat Others with Respect and Manners
This is a point I am not willing to compromise on personally. Even in the most stressful situations, I always treat everyone with respect and am completely polite to them. I am able to disassociate myself from the work, and remember they are my colleagues.
Always be polite and respectful and treat others how you wish to be treated. The moment you start snapping at people in your team is the moment you start getting pushed out.
Be an Active and Willing Participant
Great team players are always willing to participate. Whether it’s in their wheelhouse or not, they will put themselves forward and get stuck in. Hiding in the background is the antithesis of being a good team player.
If everyone pulls their weight a team operates very well. If everyone goes above and beyond just pulling their weight, a team operates at an even higher level. Be part of something special, participate and give 100% to every task.
Show a Never Give up Attitude and Commitment
Good team players genuinely care about what they do, and what their teammates do. If you fall into this category you will show a commitment and never give up attitude to the others in your team.
You won’t need to announce it, it will shine through. This will almost certainly help the others in your team raise their game too. The true meaning of team spirit.
Be Willing to Go That Extra Mile
Giving 100% is one thing, and a lot of people can claim to do that. But how many people are willing to go that extra mile beyond this? Because to me, 100% means you give it you all as is expected. Which is fine.
But when you are part of a team, if you want to show everyone what a valuable member you are there is another gear you can take it up. Think about what you can do the next day when you have some down time at home. Put in some prep work before the others arrive, think outside the box.
Hopefully from this article you have picked up some tips and information on what makes a good team player. Or more so, an exceptional team player.
You don’t need to be a brash, loud, and aggressive person. The qualities lie in how you treat others and approach your work. Some of the best team players are hardly noticed in person, yet their contribution is massive.
In a nutshell, team players need to be selfless, hard-working, and have that genuine caring streak that possible can’t be taught. At least not overnight. Great team players aren’t common, this is what makes them special.
Put in the work, do your best, and you can be a great team player. Show others how to be a better team player in the workplace too and you’ll see the success of a team rapidly improve.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.