How to be a team player
Many projects require that we work as a team in order to meet the required goals. However, working with people is not always easy and requires a number of soft skills. Below are some things you can do in order to be a good team player;
- Understand that you are part of the team for a reason; the team needs your skill-set.
- Communicate: Every successful team is built on proper communication. People need to communicate in order to share ideas, news, progress updates, instructions, and other important information. Communication happens in two parts;
- Listening: when others have something to say, hear them out. If you have any objections or contributions, it is only polite to wait for the speaker to finish or reach a break rather than interrupt them. It is also important to take notes.
- Talking: do not hesitate to share any ideas you have that may be relevant to the project and do not get dismayed even if they are turned down. Recognize when to use formal or informal communication; the manner in which you express a thought goes a long way in determining how it is received and interpreted by your audience, and consequently, how they react to it.
- Participate — do your part: be an active contributor in team activities; attend meetings, share your ideas and suggestions, complete every task assigned to you in a timely manner. If for any reason you are not able to complete a task on time, communicate with other team members so that they can make any necessary adjustments. This portrays you as someone who is serious, reliable, and devoted.
- Respect and support other team members.
- Be responsible and flexible: when there is work to be done, take the initiative to claim a task or at the very least, show some interest. At times, changes happen in a project and every team member is required to adapt.
- Let others work too: it is good to be a hard worker, but it is not okay to do all the team’s work by yourself. Not only could this cause problems to you but it also rips others of the opportunity to learn and achieve. If a teammate is slacking off or facing trouble, a better option will be to help, guide, and encourage them rather than completely take over their tasks.
- Make others feel comfortable: a simple act like telling someone “hello” or asking about their day could go a long way to make them feel comfortable working and sharing with you.
- Don’t be shy.
- Learn to overcome the impostor syndrome. I found that this article by Valerie Young covered the topic pretty well