Whether you’re the new kid on the block or you’re the one welcoming new members in the team, being a great team player is not as easy as it sounds.
It should be, because you are all in it together, right?
But it’s not.
Because we are humans and we tend to create our own bubbles to live in.
We imagine ourselves to be the best there is, we think we are the only ones who are right and see things as they should be.
We fight for our point of view with everybody, even when it does not make sense to fight anymore.
With this kind of thinking you fall into one of the most dangerous traps for your career: Your ego.
When you’re ego drives your actions, it affects your career big time.
You may not see it, because, you think you’re doing the right thing, but it is happening.
So, what can be done?
How should you avoid falling into this trap?
I’m glad you asked!
Let’s look at what you need to do to make sure you are always a great team player.
How to Become a Great Team Player
You took that job because it’s in line with how you think, because you’re excited to join the cause and help out.
As the days go by and there is more and more work, remind yourself of how excited you were when you started out.
A great team player will always put the cause and the team before themselves.
Give your best every single time.
Continuous learning is the trait that makes the difference between a good team player and a great one.
No matter how much you know and how extensive your experience is, you always learn something new.
And you do so from the people around you: Your boss, your colleagues.
Be an active learner, have an open mind, and learn from everyone around you.
Whether they are new on the team or younger than you, different perspectives are a gold mine for the forever student.
Make it a habit to listen to the ones around you, put yourself in their shoes, understand their point of view, and be flexible.
To the point above, allowing yourself to be flexible, and not stuck in the ways you always used to do things, gives you freedom.
Freedom to explore new ways of thinking and doing things.
It enhances your creativity and makes you a great team player.
I know, this is a hard one.
We think we listen to the ones around us, but if we are honest with ourselves, most of times we listen to respond, rather than to understand.
We want to get our opinion out there fast, we interrupt our colleagues because we know the answer and are excited to share it.
Listening and respecting others’ point of view makes you a great team player.
Plus, it makes you a better person.
You’ll learn how each of your colleagues think, sees things, and why.
It gives you the insight you need to come up with a better solution than you initially thought.
And you’ll get the respect of your boss and colleagues. Isn’t that cool?
You are busy, I get that.
You have a long to-do list that doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. Moreover, each day it keeps adding up.
When you’re thinking of helping a colleague, you feel like screaming. You are overwhelmed and not in the mood to do someone else’s work.
Let me tell you, you are dead wrong on this.
If you feel overwhelmed, it’s only your fault. You even need to better organize your day or you need to ask for help from your colleagues. Been there, done that.
You need to learn how to delegate.
When you free your daily-agenda, you free your brain.
You can focus on the people around you, rather than only on yourself.
Let me say this one more time: Been there, done that.
Here is the most important, selfish reason why helping others helps you: You learn!
Did I mention learning is a must?
You learn what projects they are working on, how they do things and why.
When you offer to help out, you learn new things you wouldn’t otherwise.
AND, it makes you a great team player.
All because you switched to a learning mindset.
That’s the hardest one to do: Compromise your point of view.
Because we live in our own bubble, we believe our idea is the best thing ever.
There is always room for improvement.
Through active listening, commitment, a growth mindset, and offering to help out your colleagues, you’ll find it’s not that hard to compromise.
It actually opens the door to new possibilities and experiences for you.
These are some of the things I believe to be crucial if you want to become a great team player.
No one does anything great in this life without the help of others.
Think about that next time you find yourself stuck.
Now I want to hear from you: What makes someone a great team player?