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How to be a good team player?

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On May 15, 2018

A team-player attitude is essential when operating in a matrix organization with members from varied disciplines. Performance evaluations often measure a workers ability to show the team player mentality.  Being a team player includes the following:



1) Understanding that the main goal is the success of the team. Most projects in this industry are far too costly and complex to be achieved by a single person; they need the efforts of many people operating together. As a team player, it is vital to realize that you are a part of something much bigger than yourself. Your co-workers should be able to rely on you to deliver high-quality output that supports the success of the entire program.



2) Focus on Goals and results. Strong teams focus on goals and results, more than weaker teams do.  First, they agree on and install team goals based on outcomes and results, rather than just on the number of work done. It is not the goal to work longer but rather to be efficient. Then, they need to agree on how they are going to accomplish these objectives, for each individually, but also as a team. This provides a clear route and gives a joint purpose.



3) Interacting with colleagues. What you say and do influence other people’s spirits and productivity. Being a team player involves being honest and respectful when you interact with colleagues, being able to negotiate and settle, and being able to accept and take accountability for complex problems.



4) Willingness to share information. It is essential not only to be productive but also to share your knowledge. For the overall advantage of the team and the project, you may need to be willing to let go of your own passion for praise and reputation.

There are many ways on how to share information. How you communicate is one thing. But be sure to do it regularly enough to keep everyone connected and engaged.



5) Taking initiative. For the overall interest of the team, you may be required to take the lead and delve into hard obstacles even if they are not your immediate responsibility.



6) Active cooperation in meetings. Valued team members are active participants in gatherings. They listen, understand, ask questions, and participate in conversations. They tend to follow what the team is doing and how its output fits into larger projects, and they understand other people’s participation.



7) Understanding the dynamics of team growth. Every team experiences a series of defined steps which eventually lead to a functioning group. It is necessary to be aware that these dynamics take place and to realize that a certain amount of disagreement is indispensable for the growth of a high performing team.

There are many theories about what these stages are, Leah Ryder gives an overview of the Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing framework. Whatever Framework you believe works for you, just realize that your team is going to grow and will not be the outperformer from the start.



Hope you this gives you some guidelines towards becoming a team player. Succes!

Last modified: March 11, 2019

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