Are you a team player, or do you tend to do your best work flying solo? In many instances in life, you’ll be required to work collectively with others rather than by yourself. Working as a team can be challenging for some folks, especially since you must put your needs and wants aside and consider the thoughts and feelings of others.
How often have you been a part of a team in school, work, or a social event where one party wasn’t pulling their fair share? The slacker is annoying to handle, especially when they take credit for everyone else’s hard work. Some folks let others carry the load and cover them because they would rather use their time in other ways.
Sadly, the workforce is full of people who do very little. They are there for no other reason than to bring home a paycheck. They aren’t going to give any extra effort or go out of their way, as they do only what’s required of them.
Since each personality is different, it’s hard bringing all these different characters together to work as one unit. Some want to excel as a perfectionist, but others are happy to accomplish the status quo. Think of teamwork as an older home you’re remodeling.
Most older homes have rooms or individualized spaces that are very closed off from one another. However, most newer homes have an open concept. Teamwork is like redoing a house that’s a closed concept, and you’re opening it up to make it light and airy.
Once you tear down the existing proverbial walls that cause a hindrance, you change the atmosphere. Teamwork is very much like this, as you must tear down the walls between the workers so that you can get the job done.
Thirteen Things Team Players Do Naturally
Can you perform effectively with a group? Some will emerge as a leader, while some sit back and let other folks do the grunt work. Where do you see yourself falling in the mix of teamwork?
It’s challenging to work as a team. But this skill set is vital for your personal and professional life. How do team players do things differently, and how can they bridge the gap to work effectively?
1. Engage in Friendly Competition
A little competition can be healthy, especially if it helps you to get the job done faster. Someone good at team playing will know that competition can be very motivating, and it can help increase the team’s momentum.
According to Monnica T Williams, Ph.D. from Psychology Today, she writes that men and women can be equally competitive in their work. While competition can be unfriendly at times, it can be a great motivator when done right.
2. Embrace the Team Mentality
Remember the old saying that there’s no “I” in team? Well, you must realize that you cannot be about personal gain. When working on a team, everything you do is not for your glory, but the collective unit gets the praise.
Plus, in most instances, it’s not about recognition but more about doing a good job. Embracing the team mentality means you forgo personal accolades, and you must be willing to give credit to all who worked. If someone compliments this person on their efforts, they will quickly state that it wasn’t just them but the whole team who should be commended.
3. Commit Their All
Within a team, there’s a dynamic of who gives what. For instance, you will always have the slacker that may provide 10 percent, while you have the overachiever who takes control and offers 75 percent. Strive to give 100 percent, but never step over others to take the lead role.
Sure, a leader will naturally emerge in any team, but you need to give your all and work with others for the greater good regardless of your position.
4. Team Players Respect the Ideas of Others
You may have great ideas and opinions, but you must consider what others have to say. A team player always listens to the entire group and helps to find a good resolve without offending anyone. Two minds are better than one, and everyone has a say when you’re working with a team.
5. Be Willing To Do Whatever It Takes
Being a part of a team isn’t always easy, but you must be willing to do whatever it takes. There may be times that you have to give up your free time to get the job done, but going the extra mile is often required. A team player doesn’t mind going out of their way to ensure the task is accomplished.
6. A Team Player Will Be Transparent
Anyone working in a team knows that you must be 100 percent transparent with the other members. If you have any secret agendas or try to push for your personal gain, it can be a recipe for disaster. Always let others know what you’re doing so that there is never any confusion on your objectives.
7. Meet Important Deadlines
Someone who works well with a team knows that deadlines are essential and must be met. They know that they might have to push themselves a bit to get it done, but they ensure that the team makes the goals set forth by the powers that be.
8. Stay Late or Go to Work Early
Sometimes, being in a team means that you must work early or stay a bit later. The person who is all about teamwork will have no problem giving more to get a better return. Some folks thrive off the team spirit, and they have no issue doing whatever it takes to help them get ahead.
9. A Team Player Knows How to Remain Flexible
In a perfect world, things would always go like clockwork, but the world isn’t perfect. Additionally, someone who plays on a team must be flexible. Deadlines may change, and things can alter in the blink of an eye.
Someone who is all about the team will not fall to pieces when things don’t go their way. Rather, they’re going to stay in the game until they bring in the victory.
10. Keep Good Lines of Communication
You must communicate with one another to work in a team. Sure, it can be challenging when stress and tensions are at an all-time high. However, a good sport about teamwork knows that you must talk about your feelings, status on parts of the job, and other aspects to keep things going smoothly.
Think of a marriage. How well would your relationship be if you never communicated? The stronger your communication, the better your marriage. Now, keep this in mind when you’re working with a group, as it can make or break the unit’s success.
11. Synchronize With the Rest of the Team
Have you ever watched synchronized swimmers perform? This hybrid form of dancing requires that everyone is working together. If one person is doing their own thing, then the entire routine will be off.
When you’re working on a team, you must work together as a whole unit. If one person gets off the schedule, then it can make the entire group look bad. Someone who is all about the team knows the importance of synchronicity.
12. Honor the Individual Skills Within the Team
If someone can type 90 words per minute on the computer, they should do all the typing for the group. If another person is great at customer service, they should handle all the client interactions.
Within a team, you will find people with many skills, and each of these individual skills should be put to good use. Someone who’s all about being a team player knows that you put your best foot forward to get the job done.
13. Motivate One Another
Everyone has bad days, and sometimes, you may not even feel like doing anything. However, the team players know that you must motivate one another. If you’re feeling down one day, then you can count on your team to lift your spirits.
The best part about being with a team has that camaraderie to help you when things get too stressful. According to Sterling, a highly engaged workforce can increase productivity by over seventeen percent. Workplace camaraderie only makes the team unit stronger.
Final Thoughts on Things Team Players Do
Do you see yourself as a team player, or do you tend to be someone who works best alone? If you were given a task as a team, would you emerge as the leader, or do you prefer to take a back seat?
Teamwork isn’t for everyone, and some downright hate working with a large group of other people. However, there are times in life where you have no choice but to work with others. Whether the task is for monetary gain, to help someone in need, or to organize a family gathering, it’s always best to do your best job.