How to be a great team player
Updated: Feb 25
What makes a good team player? Here are some great examples of things you can do every day to be the be: loved by your team, fit into your work environment and add value, every day.
Be A Good Listener
It sounds obvious but really listening and hearing what other people have to say is super important for being a good team player. If there’s something that’s causing friction, or that you don’t really understand what (or why) it’s being asked, make sure you reframe and repeat the person’s statement back to them as part of a question so there is no room for misunderstanding.
Also, remember that sometimes people just need to be able to vent to someone they trust on the team. If you can allow people to share what’s on their minds without being reactionary then you build trust and improve your co-worker rapport.
The only bad question is the one not asked. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at work. If you’re not sure about what your responsibilities are or how your boss or coworkers would like a task done (or by when) always just ask. If you get it wrong then it will most likely impact them directly so the time taken in answering the question is a lot less than it would take to rectify the problem.
The flip side to this is that Google is your friend. If there’s something more general you need to know (like the time difference between New York and London or what the airport in Athens is called) then have a go looking it up first and don’t waste people’s time.
Be The Change You’d Like To See
We all know what it’s like to come into work after a crazy commute where your head was seriously lodged into some stranger’s sweaty armpit only to discover a full inbox and a last-minute meeting we weren’t expecting. How nice is it to arrive at work to a friendly smile and an ask about your weekend? Be that person whenever you can be - a simple smile goes a long way. We all have days where we’re just not feeling it, but if you cultivate an atmosphere of kindness it will come back to you when you need it most.
Being part of a team naturally means you need to collaborate, but make sure you’re helping to build a culture of collaboration. This means ensuring that you give credit where credit is due. If you get praised directly for a team project by a higher-up then make sure you acknowledge the other team members who worked on it too. It’s one thing forwarding a positive email from your boss to the team, it’s another thing making sure your boss knows how your team members helped you knock it out of the park.