“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Michael Jordan, considered one of the best basketball players.
Playing for your team isn’t just something you do on the basketball court or on the soccer field.
Being successful at work also means being a really good team player.
Companies expect their employees to collaborate to execute tasks effectively and reach the goal. Because teams unify the power of diverse skill sets, approaches, and perspectives to solve business problems or challenges. Teams drive momentum, increase motivation and responsibility, and help build an environment in which people can learn from each other. In this way, they can take advantage of that learning for the benefit of the company.
Doing your homework as part of a team shows that you are capable of contributing to the organization as a whole when you bring your knowledge or strengths to the collective and cooperative effort.
So what do you need to use your capabilities to the benefit of your team?
5 tips to be a good team player
Know the score
Good team players understand what the team should do and why. And they know how their skills and attributes contribute to the collective effort. Obeying the orders of others is the fast track to resentment and distancing. When you play for the team, you know where you are, why you are there, and how to support and improve the work of others.
Your priority should be to acknowledge teammates’ work when it is going well and to encourage them. If there is a challenge, ask the teammates if you can help.
Offer constructive criticism
Since you understand the collective goals and how you and your teammates contribute to achieving them, you can advise and help when they encounter obstacles. But be careful. People respond well when they know you are sincere and that criticism is constructive, helpful, and oriented toward a common goal. Therefore, be frank and honest. True team players don’t overrule their colleagues to score points.
Deal with conflicts
It is almost impossible to avoid conflict in the workplace. In one way or another, people will struggle, particularly if everyone works to meet tight deadlines or under a certain degree of stress. Remember that one of the great virtues of a good team is that it brings together different skills and different personalities. When disputes arise, team players come on the scene and propose solutions and ideas, and are able to accept the same constructive criticism that they give to others. Conflict management is a truly key skill and basic leadership ability, regardless of what stage of your career you are in or your aspirations.
Be clear about limits
Part of being assertive, whether it’s dealing with conflict or addressing the expectations of others, is knowing where your own limitations lie and, consequently, your limits. Committing to a team project also means being realistic about that commitment. Overcommitting or being too eager to please can lead to stress, resentment, and the kinds of obstacles that can derail a collective project. Knowing when to say no or how to negotiate with a team leader or colleague to get the job done right and on realistic deadlines is key.
Acquiring team spirit is not always easy and may require time and experience.
But do not back down and be honest with what you feel, keep your commitments, respect others and you will be part of the winning team in the end.