Leadership, Teams, Tips
Everyone likes a team player at work. They are helpful, selfless, and generally make life easier for everyone around them. Are you this person? If these characteristics describe you, your coworkers may be singing your praises already:
- You get to know people. Good collaborators are good networkers. This is especially true in large companies, where knowing the right people can mean greater ability to “get things done”. Take time to introduce yourself, make connections, and keep these working relationships alive.
- You share information. If it will be helpful to others on your team, share it! Anything involving plans, strategies, resources, vendors, methods, best practices, and wisdom from experience is helpful. The main exception, of course, is anything confidential or personal.
- You focus on the group goals over your own interests. This may seem like an obvious definition of “team”, but it can be tough at times. Good collaborators look after the best interest of the group while balancing personal responsibilities. Great collaborators find a way to merge their own objectives with the broader team goals creating a win-win situation.
- You are a true partner. Taking time to get to know the interests and objectives of others is an important step in identifying solutions that are valuable to all individuals. This will also strengthen the bonds within the group, as other members will feel that they are respected and their needs are being met.
- You get people together. Take initiative! If you have an idea, bounce it off others around you. If you're starting a project, invite a variety of people who have different perspectives and experiences. Show others that you're interested in what they can contribute. Don't wait for others to start a discussion or set up a meeting. Take action to bring people together and get dialogue flowing.
- You are a good facilitator. You understand that different viewpoints are the strength of the group, and you can open up a discussion. People skilled in this area respect the views of everyone yet steer the discussion toward consensus. They show good listening skills and make every member feel that they are being heard and considered.
- You ask for help and offer your own help. Great collaborators do both of these with equal ease. Don't be afraid to ask others for assistance when it is needed. More importantly, offer your help to others when they need it. By providing your own help and assistance, others are more likely to reciprocate. Avoid being a martyr or a mooch and keep the flow of help moving in both directions.
By working effectively as a team, a group can achieve greater successes and produce value for the organization that is "greater than the sum of its parts." Great team players are often appreciated by coworkers and supervisors for their selfless contributions. More importantly, good collaborators often emerge as leaders due to their strong relationships, trust, and team-based successes.