So, here are five efforts you can make to be a good team player, and in the process help your team deliver results:
1. Amp up your knowledge.
The more you know about your industry and the projects you’re working on, the more you can potentially help your coworkers. Being a team player means sharing what you know. So if you discover a new tip or trick that’s made your workflow more efficient and you think it might help your coworkers, tell ‘em about it. If it ends up saving them time, your whole team will be more productive, and your teammates will probably be super appreciative. And if you find interesting articles or new research related to your line of work, share that, too. It’s a conversation starter and beefs up your team’s collective smarts.
Knowledge here also means knowing more about yourself and your teammates. As Theodotou says, “If we don’t know ourselves, then we don’t know what superpower we’re bringing to the table.”
2. Don’t leave anyone behind.
Take note of who’s giving input during meetings and who’s not. If you notice some of your coworkers are consistently get interrupted or are hesitant to give input, don’t be afraid to speak up and say “I’d like to hear what [insert coworker’s name] thinks about this.” Keep everyone involved in conversations and you’ll not only have richer discussions, you’ll make your teammates feel more involved, which is like hitting a home run.
3. Listen and ask questions.
Theodotou recommends asking coworkers “How are things?” every once in a while. After listening carefully, ask “What else?” Make a point to go out for coffee or a walk with a teammate who might just need someone to listen. Team players can sometimes act as coaches, so it’s OK to offer guidance if a teammate seems to want it. But Theodotuou stresses to make sure you’re helping them, not micromanaging them.
4. Go the extra mile.
Going the extra mile typically means one of two things: delivering earlier or delivering more than what was asked. Give your team energy by going above and beyond sometimes—get that report on your teammate’s desk early, stay at work later than you normally do if that’s the only way to meet a deadline. Let your passion shine through the work you produce, and you might just inspire your teammates to do the same. It will also probably make their lives easier if you’re getting your work done earlier than expected. “The extra mile always brings dividends,” Theodotou says.
5. Solve problems with professionalism.
Theodotou says that when there’s a workplace dispute, it’s important to focus on the issue at hand, not the person. Take a deep breath, count to 10, think clearly, and concentrate on facts as much as possible when in the midst of a heated discussion. Gossiping makes for a rough workplace environment, so try to avoid toxic conversations that put other teammates down. Your team will probably grow to respect you for it.