Different people have different ways of thinking and different experiences. When team members bring their personal wisdom to their team, they discover many innovative ideas. Learning to be an effective team player in the workplace will bring you a lot of benefits.
But, first thing first. Let's make sure we are on the same page. What is a team player?
Definition of a Team Player
A team player is someone who puts aside his personal goals and works well with others, doing what he needs to do to strive for a common goal.
- An example of a team player is someone who plays basketball but who doesn't hog the ball; he instead passes it when it makes sense to do so.
- An example of a team player is someone working on a team project for school or work who does his fair share without complaining.
Read more what is a team player
How to be an effective team player in the workplace?
“The power of many brains is what teamwork is all about,” says Kathy Reed, president of TeamWorks Training & Consulting in Dallas. “The best team players recognize that the team makes on a life of its own and they help nurture that life.”
What's more, according to Reed, there are just fulfilling their roles on the team. They're also helping team members communicate with each other, reach consensus, come up with solutions to team problems and work through conflicts.
“They truly share leadership,” says Reed. “Speaking up assertively and listening actively are the two most important skills for team members.”
SPEAKING UP ASSERTIVELY
If you're timid about presenting your ideas and opinions, being part of a team is a good place to practice overcoming your shyness.
“Good team members need the courage to bring up their ideas. They have to fight the inner voice that says, `My idea isn't good enough.' Otherwise, they really cheat the team of the power of many brains,” says Reed.
“Teamwork requires greater interpersonal skills than traditional work. Good team members need active listening skills,” says Reed. “The best way to show respect and build trust in a team is to:
- listen to each other.
- understand each other's point of view
- prove you understand it by paraphrasing it back to the person.”
To paraphrase what you've heard, start your sentence with something like, “I want to make sure I understand what you said. Your point of view is…” If you're on target, your teammate might say, “Yes, that's exactly what I meant.” If not, the person will have a chance to clarify the idea.
In addition to learning effective communication skills, here are some other skills that will make you a more valuable team player.
Teams go through various phases. It's important to understand that if things aren't going well, it may be a necessary part of a certain phase. Reed says different stages of a team are:
- Forming – the team tries to figure out its goals, roles and processes.
- Storming – the normal and predictable stage of team conflict. When the team members have decided on the goals, roles and processes, they want to negotiate them. Egos emerge and turf wars develop. The team needs to bring the issues to the table and work through them. Trust and respect are cemented in the storming stage by the way people handle the issues that develop. A team can get stuck in this stage if members try to ignore the conflict.
- Norming – Once the issues are resolved, team members work well together. But in the norming stage, they just have to be careful not to develop “group think” because they're tired from working through the storming stage.
- Performing. Finally, a team progresses to the ultimate stage. In performing, true synergy happens and the greatest benefit of teamwork is achieved.
When there's any change, however, the team must move back to the forming stage to regroup and move back up through the stages. It's trust and respect that give a team the ability to quickly return to the forming stage when there's a change in goal or roles and scoot back up to performing.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Sреаkіng up аѕѕеrtіvеlу, listening асtіvеlу аnd working through the ѕtаgеѕ of team dеvеlорmеnt саn help уоu bе аn еffесtіvе team рlауеr in your workplace.
REAPING THE REWARDS
As a result of being on a team, you'll learn more effective communication skills and develop an understanding of team dynamics.
The highlight of being a team player, however, is the sense of accomplishment and pride you will feel in having contributed your special part to the success of your team's mission, says Reed.
To conclude, here are 5 team player quotes for Work you might enjoy as much as I do. They were curated from 111 Motivational Team Quotes.
- “If you can laugh together, you can work together” Robert Orben, American professional comedy writer.
- “A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle” a Japanese proverb.
- “Teamwork divides the task and double the success.” Anonymous
- “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much” Helen Keller, Author and political activist
- “To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important than competing with one another” John C. Maxwell, evangelical Christian author, speaker, and pastor
Over to you
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To your future success!