6 Secrets of Valuable Team Members

October 29, 2014 by  

Most businesses today use the team approach as they have discovered that 3, 4, 5 or more heads are definitely better than just one. Working with a group of colleagues can be fun! Teams become infused with camaraderie and a shared sense of mission, the resultant collaborative outcomes can prove very rewarding. However, being a group participant can also be challenging, so here are 6 tips to help you be more successful.

1. Check your ego at the door. No one wants to be on a team with someone who considers himself the smartest person in the room. Teams are brought together to leverage the skills set and expertise of the selected members, not to be demeaned by an big ego.

2. Be flexible. You’ve probably heard the saying, “There’s no “I” in team.” As part of a team, you must remember that we are all working toward shared goals, and although the outcomes are the combination of individual efforts, when we work together we can achieve more. So we need to temporarily set aside some of our preferred modes of operating and adopt the rules, protocols and work practices of the team.
If, for instance, you do your best work at the last minute, you may have to begin to work in advance so others on the team can weigh in before a deliverable is due.

3. Be a good listener. The best team members don’t always need to be heard; in fact they realize that they actually learn more when listening. Consequently they have the best relationships with their teammates and contribute most to the team’s accomplishments. Although there are times when you should speak up, listening more than you talk is hardly ever a negative. The most valuable team members are those who listen the most!

4. Be able to accept constructive criticism. Rather than becoming defensive, successful team members understand that useful critiques are an opportunity to learn and improve their abilities and outcomes. They accept evaluations and feedback with an open mind and are willing to explore alternative solutions. Respectful offering of suggestions to others may also be required, again, when done constructively, everyone benefits.

5. Be accountable. We must be willing to take responsibility for the areas assigned to them and fulfill them in a timely and appropriate manner. They are not passive a participant, rather they attend meetings, report on their progress and respectively support their teammates. Through their actions, they demonstrate their commitment to the collaborative aspects of the project and its successful completion.

6. Go with the flow. Working with a group of people means that not everything will proceed smoothly. Setbacks will occur, goals will be altered, and the team may have to change directions. Rather than letting these hiccups discourage you and using them as an excuse to lessen your commitment, accept that things can change quickly. Stay focused on what the team, and you, need to do to get back on track and address the challenge at hand.

The next time you’re asked to join a project team, keep in mind that although a team achieves its goals as a group, its strength is derived from its individual members. Do your part to observe these practices, and you’ll quickly develop a reputation as an indispensable team member.

Remember TEAM means: Together Everyone Achieves More!

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