In order to become a better team player, there are several attributes we can focus on developing.
Be committed to your teamAlthough some roles might require you to work autonomously for some of the time, undoubtedly you will also need to interact and work alongside colleagues. By being committed to your team, you should learn to listen to what others have to say, respect their opinions and be helpful whenever possible.
Take accountabilityWe are only human and, from time to time, we make mistakes. By shifting the blame onto someone else and denying our part in any kind of oversight or error, we’re likely to create negative feelings in the workplace. When we take accountability for our actions and take complete responsibility in our individual roles, we can avoid these kinds of negative situations and are likely to gain more respect from our colleagues. More importantly, we can learn from our mistakes and move forward with better judgement in the future.
Communicate effectivelyCommunication is one of the greatest parts of becoming a great team player. By sharing our ideas and taking on board the ideas of others, we open the communication gateways and create a more powerful rapport with our co-workers. By contributing ideas and actively taking part in meetings, we can inspire others by displaying a positive, can-do attitude. Try to refrain from monopolising discussions and be mindful of your body language. Making eye contact, keeping an upright posture and speaking clearly will make you appear more confident and colleagues are more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Be adaptableTo work collaboratively, we must learn to be flexible and adaptable. Some situations may arise that require us to take a different approach in our day-to-day roles and if we are able to adapt accordingly, we can encourage others to do the same - overcoming obstacles and achieving greater success.
Be reliableWe all know how frustrating it can be when someone lets the team down by not turning up, being late or not completing a task on time. One of the most important attributes of being a good team player is reliability. When our team members know that they can depend on us, we create a level of trust that is integral to becoming a successful team player.
John J. Murphy, a business specialist and author of books such as The i in Team and Pulling Together: The power of Teamwork offers some great insights into the power of teamwork as well as useful tools and techniques that can improve collaboration in the workplace.