How To Be a Better Team Player at Work

By George P. Linke, Jr., and Shlomo Z. Satt

In the work environment, collaborating with others is highly important. Questions about teamwork are almost always included in the interview process, and honing teamwork skills can even lead to a promotion, according to Glassdoor.com. If you’re looking to for a promotion or to boost overall productivity, consider applying these strategies for becoming a better team player. 

Before tackling the necessary skills for working with others, make sure that you are not lagging behind in your own responsibilities. Missing deadlines not only affects your standing within a company, it can delay others from completing projects. For this reason, Monster.com lists meeting your deadlines as the best way to earn the trust of your team members. When they observe that you are efficient with your tasks, they will entrust you to help them as well. 

Another way to improve cooperation and to earn the trust of team members is to practice active listening. Not everyone shares the same viewpoints on issues and teamwork is most effective when all sides are able to share their perspective. A common blockage in communication is when both sides are interjecting their own opinions without giving each other a chance to state their case. Take the time to listen and digest what your co-worker is sharing, and politely state your personal perspective after they are done. Being open to other viewpoints will strengthen your decision-making and will showcase that you are a true team player.

A real trooper at work is someone willing to tackle difficult tasks. Whether it’s a complicated project or a tough client, there is always a responsibility that team members shy away from. Volunteering for difficult responsibilities is a fail-proof way to improve your teamwork skills, says John M. O’Connor, of Career Pro Inc. He detailed a scenario of a particularly tough manager who required him to get his hands dirty while working at McDonald’s earlier in his career. Although John didn’t appreciate it at the time, he learned that stepping up to do the “dirty work” was a surefire way to lead by example.

Another tool to maximize your team contributions is to capitalize on your strengths. Whether it is an advanced proficiency at data evaluation or excellent people skills, understand your area of expertise. In team assignments, make sure to find a role that utilizes your talents and contribute, per MindTools.com. Not only will you have a large impact, you may also impress co-workers and managers.

What has your experiences been with teamwork? Do you feel that you maximize your contributions? Is there any room for improvement? Continue the conversation by commenting here.

George Linke is the Founder and President for Linke Resources, LLC. Linke Resources has a demonstrated track record of placing well qualified professionals that advance the clinical and programmatic needs critical to an organization’s mission and financial health. Linke Resources has extensive experience serving organizations that provide service to people with behavioral health needs, intellectual disabilities, autism and various types of developmental disabilities. To learn more about how Linke Resources can make the hiring process efficient, successful and stress-free, call 610-873-4813.