Learning with CareerSense

How to be a great team player

1. Be reliable

We've all worked with people who have made promises they didn't keep. It's frustrating when someone says one thing and does another, and it can slow a group's progress. You can be an asset to your team by delivering what you said you would do – on time.

Being reliable also applies to the work you do for the group. If you have high standards, people will depend on you to produce quality work. If your output is excellent one day, but only average the next, the team may regard you as being unreliable.

2. Be a good communicator

Be involved and active within the group. If you are concerned about an idea, speak up, if you don't you could damage the team's chances of achieving its outcomes. If you've got an alternative suggestion that might be more effective, then share it with the group. The opposite applies as well. If people discuss a plan that you think is great, then speak up. Tell them what an inspiring idea you think it is.

3. Stay flexible

If you've ever worked with a team, you know that things can change. People may join or leave the group, budgets may be reduced, or goals may be redefined.

The best team players know how to be flexible. They don't fight change – instead, they see it as a new opportunity for growth.

4. Don't cherry-pick

It can be tempting to choose only those projects that sound exciting, seem easier, or ones that offer more benefits. If you choose more difficult projects and accept what's offered, you'll earn a reputation for being a hard worker. Your boss will notice your willingness to take on a challenge, and it will pay off in the long-term.

5. Share information and resources

Remember, you're all there for one purpose – and by keeping everyone informed, you contribute to that goal. If you have past experiences or knowledge that can help others, then offer it. They'll appreciate the help.

6. Support other people 

Offer positive feedback and provide help if they need it. Your willingness to help others will make a good impression on the group and the group lead.

What do you think?

Some points to reflect on:

  • When did you last work in a team?
  • Was the team successful at achieving the goal? If not, do you think any of these top tips might have helped?
  • If you were successful, why do you think that was?
  • What was your contribution? Could you do more next time to make sure you’re adding value?

Want to learn more?

Check out the other resources on the Learning with CareerSense pages.