Have you ever felt that you could’ve given more for your team at work?
Was there a time that there was a problem but you were too shy to present your idea?
This happens to almost every employee – the feeling of not giving a hundred percent for the team.
I know this cause I’ve been there.
When I was new at work, I wanted to help out more in team projects or in day to day meetings, but I was too afraid of being rejected or making a fool of myself…
So I thought of ways on how to be a team player at work.
I wanted to be a better team member and be a more efficient employee because one, it helps with my self-development and second, it won’t hurt my performance review at the end of the year 🙂
And you know what I realized? That the feeling of being rejected was all in my mind! It’s always better to speak up and contribute than being silent and passive. No matter how much work you’re doing, but if no one notices it and you’re not contributing your ideas, you won’t be noticed.
Good team players and leaders appreciate a member more if they share their ideas and help out with problems. I know this cause I was a manager on my previous corporate job and I always enjoy discussing more with active junior members. I wouldn’t bat an eye to recommend them to anyone – comparing to a more passive junior.
So anyway, in this post, I’ll be sharing 7 effective ways on how to be a team player at work! Let’s go!
7 Effective Ways On How To Be A Team Player At Work
1. Communication Is Key
It’s no secret that communication is a key driver to successful outcomes. Whether that’s in a relationship, team sports, project management, or even learning.
Whenever you’re having some type of difficulty in a project or something isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to communicate with other team members.
Don’t you just sometimes wish people would ask you more to clarify certain situations instead of just assuming what you’re thinking..
Communication is important in the workplace because it increases camaraderie, it shows transparency, and more importantly, it builds trust.
Trust will then result in confidence, increased productivity, and morale.
If you don’t ask for help and you’re forcing yourself to finish a task with little knowledge, it just gives out a mediocre work and it even might add a problem to the team.
So ask a team member or a leader if he/she could clarify the tasks you need to do. A great team player and leader would have no problem when another member asks for clarification!
Why? Because if they don’t give out a clear instruction, it would just cost them time and effort to redo the whole task again.
In my work, I was lucky to be exposed to many great team leaders! They have always been open with us and emphasized not to hesitate to ask questions if something’s not clear.
And when I became a manager from my last job, I always made sure that I created an environment where my colleagues or juniors are free to ask me any questions, no matter how ridiculous the questions are.
If you’re a leader, it’s your responsibility to create this environment for your team members!
2. Be A Problem Solver
No matter how positive and a great a workplace can be, problems will always be there.
It’s just part of life. But problems allow us to gain experience, learn some things, and help us become wiser and stronger!
One can argue that a leader should be solving the problems, and the members should focus on their tasks. But an excellent team player would have a different perspective:
one problem of a member is the problem of the whole team.
That perspective gives out a whole ‘nother level of support to each team member.
Being a problem-solver means that you should give out educated suggestions for solving a problem. This is important because some people unconsciously focus ONLY ON the problem – they spend a long time just dwelling on it.
Instead, a great team player should initiate a problem-solving environment. Focus on how to solve the problem and how to prevent it in the future.
An effective way to solve a problem is to get to the source of it. In the video below, the creator teaches the concept of the 5 Whys to solving a problem.
Although it doesn’t need to stop at 5, all you need to do is to keep asking why until you reach the root cause of the problem.
Knowing the root cause can lead to a solution to problems and can help in preventing the same problem in the future! Another thing when it comes to solving a problem at work, you gotta be resourceful. Something I learned during my internship.
You gotta have connections and find creative ways to find a solution. It goes back to previous point which is communication. Don’t only ask your team members, go out and ask other departments as well – you never know what you’ll find 🙂
3. Lend A Helping Hand
We all have our different strengths, that’s why we landed a certain position in the company.
You can be good at writing, excellent in video editing, or great at coding. Whatever it is, we excel in some fields at work.
So be proactive! Don’t wait for someone to approach you and ask for your help. Instead, offer your service to others! But of course, don’t forget your task as well.
Whenever you see a colleague who’s struggling, ask them what you can help them with. Your simple gesture of helping might save her a day’s work of struggle and confusion. And with that gesture, it will cause a chain reaction of helping within the team.
When I was in college and had to create some graphic designs for our school body, I thought that Adobe Photoshop was the only way to do it (if not Paint)..
And when I tried it, it was probably obvious that I was struggling because my friend approached me and asked what the hell was I trying to do.
I mentioned that I only had a surface level of knowledge when it comes to Photoshop. So my friend explained some tools that I can use for this task AND the lifesaver tip she gave me was to use Canva.. a tool that I’m still using until now!
Canva is probably the EASIEST platform to create a professional design or layout. Plus, you can also edit images there as well! They have different templates for different social media posts and other professional templates that are often used!
Even up to this day, I still use Canva for my blogs. And because of my friend, I was introduced to Canva earlier in my life which has helped me tremendously in a LOT of my tasks.
So don’t be afraid and lend a hand. You’ll never know you might be the answer to someone’s struggle 🙂
4. Show Commitment To Your Work
Show your commitment to your work by finishing all tasks that can be done within the day.
You can also show it by doing the things mentioned above. Helping out, contributing to solutions, and communicating are some of the ways to show that you want the team to succeed!
It’s always nice to help somebody out but don’t let yourself be all over the place. Remember, you have some tasks to do too.
Being an efficient team player is a balance between contributing to the team and doing your part effectively.
In the workplace, there’s a lot of distractions that may stop you from completing your tasks for the day. In my article, 10 tips on how to improve productivity at work, the very first one on that list is to write down your task.
That’s such an important tip because it will help you see the bigger picture of what your day would look like.
By looking at that list, you also get to divide your time for every task. You will allot a certain amount of time on each task for you to efficiently finish what you can for the day.
Here are some apps to help you with your everyday to-do list:
This goes without saying but, always give out your best effort when working on projects. That project is delegated to you because the company or the team leader knows that your skillset and talent are fit for the job.
So do your best!
5. Exercise Flexibility At Work
A clash of ideas and perspective is bound to happen when team players are always engaged. One might see an idea necessary, while others see it as pointless.
Been there, done that.
This type of conflict is always present when it’s time to brainstorm for a project. A healthy argument is fine. There’s no need to raise voices and have unnecessary conflict within the team.
I have personally always felt that raising voices in office unnecessarily will always make you look like a toxic person. So don’t be that person.
A great team player at work practices having strong beliefs while still willing to hear out other ideas and concepts. A person who does this has a great skill of flexibility. They are firm with their thoughts and yet still willing to accept what others have to say.
With the clash of different ideas, the team gets to see and hear out different perspectives and can choose which one makes the most sense.
Flexibility can also be used to the constant change that happens in a project. An excellent team player is flexible on whatever challenges are thrown at him. They are quick to adapt to situations without complaint and stress!
6. Learn And Move On
Although we might feel that we’ve given our all in that project, our boss or leader will sometimes call us in to discuss what we could’ve done better – and that’s okay!
There can even be situations that we’re completely wrong. And again, that’s okay.
The best thing we can do is to learn from our mistakes and move on immediately. There’s no reason for us to waste time and be dwell over it.
What’s important is we use what we’ve learned and apply it to the next tasks or projects.
When I was still working and got called by our team leader regarding my projects, I try not to take any criticisms personally. Instead, I took those criticisms and used them as motivation! No ill will towards my boss and leaders because I know for a fact that they just want the best out of me 🙂
Don’t get me wrong – I’m still a human being and still felt bad whenever my boss asked me to do better. It’s natural to feel sad.
But don’t dwell on it!
Take the time and think through the reasons they are asking more of you and find ways on how you can perform better next time 🙂
Remember: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I know it’s cliche but I always hold on to this Kelly Clarkson’s song title k.
7. Bring Positive Vibes Only
If challenges are constant in the workplace, another one that’s always common would be stress.
Bringing positivity in your team will help lessen the stress that other team members may be feeling. Plus, positivity is a good way to show support and confidence to your team!
Choosing to see the positive side of things will create a better atmosphere at work. Choose to see the opportunity to learn in every challenge, spread good traits rather than gossip, and support rather than bringing down.
Bring positivity in the workplace might sound cheesy and all but trust me, it’s a great way to combat stress. And if stress is minimized, productivity increases! ?
Thinking of what other ways can you reduce stress at work? Check out my 10 Hacks On How To Reduce Stress From Work!
Is Working In A Team Necessary?
In the words of the no. 1 New York Times bestselling author, John C Maxwell, one is too small a number to achieve greatness. And the thing is, teamwork is at the heart of every great achievement!
If you look at every great achievement done in this world, no one person has done it alone. He/she was backed up by a team that’s passionate and hardworking.
So to be an effective team player at work, which one of those ways is the most important to you? 🙂