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Career Monday: A Foolproof Formula For Becoming A Team Player

Unless you want to work in a lighthouse, being a team player will probably be part of your job description. It’s a question that comes up at most interviews, and it’s essential for job satisfaction and career advancement.

It’s also something that you usually have to learn on the job. Over time, you’ll find an approach that matches your personality and workplace.

Still, there are some ingredients that go into any successful formula for being a team player. Focus on mastering these basics that you can adapt for any stage of your career.

Competency

Successful teams depend on individual members who understand their roles and responsibilities. Aim to meet and exceed expectations.

Use these techniques to help your team excel:

1. Follow through. Establish a reputation for reliability. Deliver what you promise. Meet deadlines or let others know promptly if you expect any unavoidable delays. Keep striving to increase the quality of your work.

2. Leverage your strengths. Top performers know what they like to do and what they do well. Structure your tasks so that you take advantage of your individual talents.

3. Continue learning. Make an ongoing commitment to expanding your knowledge and skills. Take certification courses online. Sign up for training sessions at work and talk with others about their areas of expertise.

4. Radiate confidence. Appearances count too. Dress professionally even when you’re making video calls from home. Smile and speak with certainty.

Collaboration

Working with others towards a common goal sounds simple. However, it can be challenging to deal with different work styles and balance your personal wellbeing with the goals of the group.

Follow these strategies for productive collaboration:

1. Build consensus. Clarify expectations and discuss different points of view. Create ground rules for making and implementing decisions. Employees will feel more invested in the team if they see that they’re being treated fairly.

2. Take responsibility. Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Acknowledge mistakes promptly and explain what you’re doing to resolve the situation.

3. Share credit. Praise others for their contribution to the team. Thank them for their input and support, especially if you’re the team leader.

4. Cultivate emotional intelligence. How well do you manage your emotions and socialize with others? Work at treating others with kindness and respect. Show compassion for yourself as well.

Communication

In any industry, it’s important to be able to connect with others and discuss ideas and information. Strong communication skills enable you to add more value to your team.

Keep these important tips in mind to enhance your communication:

1. Listen closely. Give your team members your full attention when they are talking. Let them know that you care about what they have to say. Make eye contact and ask pertinent questions.

2. Exchange feedback. Ask others for candid input about your performance. Show your gratitude by being open minded and using their suggestions to make positive changes. Be thoughtful and generous about sharing your thoughts too.

3. Speak constructively. Think about your purpose before speaking. Ask yourself if what you have to say is necessary and helpful. Use a positive tone and focus on creating solutions.

4. Have fun. Your team members are more likely to want to spend time with you if you’re friendly and look for ways to make your work more pleasant. Share some personal information and take an interest in your coworkers’ lives. Tell a joke or pass along an interesting news story.

Developing a team orientation will help you to build rewarding relationships and reach your career goals. The more you collaborate, the more enjoyable and fulfilling your work will be.

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