How To Be A Better Team Player

There is no “I” in “team.” We have all heard that old saying, and let’s be honest, we have all rolled our eyes at it, but there is a reason that it has stood the test of time and is still used today, because it is true. When it comes to your professional, academic, and even social life one of the essential skills that you need to have is being a team player. In this post I will try to give you some tips on how to build a better team and be a better team player.

The first thing you need to come to terms with when becoming part of a new team is that you will not always be able to be in charge. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and for different situations different people will be suitable to take charge. Also, even if you have a great idea sometimes they will not be able to be used and you need to be able to brush that off and roll with the next idea. Getting stuck on one idea even though in the end you know it’s not going to work can be a great hindrance to a team. On the opposite side of the coin, when you are a part of a team you need to always try to be a productive member. It is good to be able to go with the flow when a decision is made but its not good if you don’t have any input in the decision making process. Every team member should be able to be a team leader.

Another thing that you need to analyze before becoming a part of a new is your strengths and weaknesses. As mentioned before the strengths and weaknesses of each team member can help determine who is best suited to take charge in each situation, so knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is very important.

Now that we have gone through things you need to do before you get into your new team here are things to do once your new team is established. Firstly, you need to establish a good line of communication. Whether it be a GroupMe, FaceBook page, email chain, or a text message group, communication within a team is key. Failure to have proper communication is the downfall of a lot of teams. So once your new team is put together, figure out the best way for you all to communicate and stick to it.

The last tip I can give you in regards to working in a team is to be flexible. Everyone in the group needs to be able to meet in the middle when it comes to things. Not everyone’s schedules or ideas will line up. A lot of time is wasted when you are going back and forth about where to meet instead of just picking a place and going with it. Just as much time can be wasted when you are stuck on an idea and don’t move past it. A good rule to go by when in situations like this is to go with the majority. If the majority agrees on something then the team as a whole should go with that thing whether it be a meeting place, an idea, or any other thing of that sort.

All in all being a good team player is something that will help you excel in the world. No matter what career you go into in the future the ability to work well with other people is looked on highly. So remember these tips and hopefully your teamwork skills will grow.

-Kenya Lipplett

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