5 Top tips for becoming a better team player

5 Top tips for becoming a better team player

What can make you feel like you’re winning at work? Is it all about career progression or is there something more?

When people talk about careers it is usually in the context of progression and opportunities for moving up the proverbial corporate ladder rather than becoming a good team player. While it’s good to have these aspirations and goals for sure, there is one aspect of leadership that is often overlooked when people are thinking about career progression. This is that before you can become an effective leader, you need to learn how to become a good member of the team.

You see leadership isn’t just about being in charge or making important decisions – although that’s part of it. Effective leadership is about developing others to their full potential, and to do that you have to get to know people, work with them and know what’s important to them. Some would even go as far as to say that people skills are more important that decision making skills. In reality you need both, and learning people skills and becoming a good team player is something worth developing whether or not you do want to move into management role one day.

What does being a good team player involve?

  • Smile and put on a friendly face – people are far more likely to strike up a conversation with someone they perceive as being friendly. Now we’re not suggesting you should be wasting hours in the tea room chatting, but a friendly “Hello, how are you doing?” when you see a colleague won’t go amiss.
  • Be willing to help colleagues and make time to answer their questions. Collaboration starts with a willingness to work together, share information and expertise. Research shows that collaborative teams are more productive and enjoy their working environment much more than companies that operate in silos.
  • Make a point of learning more about other divisions in the business, who the people are that work there and what their roles and responsibilities are. Offer to help in your capacity when needed and it can help build bridges across divisions and start encouraging better teamwork and collaboration.
  • Join in with company events, fundraisers and functions with enthusiasm. These are often a great opportunity to get to know work colleagues outside of the office and can help build better working relationships.
  • Take responsibility and give credit where credit is due. A good team player is one that applauds the achievements of others and encourages them. On the other end of the scale, when things go wrong, take responsibility for your mistakes rather than trying to shift blame. People will respect that and be far more willing to work with someone who they know won’t throw them under the bus.

You’ll find all types of personalities in a work environment and while you can choose your job, you can’t always choose your work colleagues. If you want to get the most out of your job, it pays to become a team player. More importantly, when you get on well with your work colleagues and work well with them, it makes for a much happier and productive work environment.

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