4 Tips for Leveling Up As a Team Player
In a modern business environment, everyone is expected to be a great team player in addition to having deep subject-matter expertise.
It is true that working in a team can be challenging at times but it is also incredibly rewarding. Becoming a better team player is something we can always get better at so here are 5 tips on how you can level up your teamwork skills.
1. Identify your strengths
Ask yourself the following:
When do you feel in your element (= feel comfortable and confident)?
What activities and tasks do you find easy and effortless, even when others struggle with (=have difficulties with) them?
When faced with (= presented with) a challenge or problem, what approach do you tend to take (=usually take), and how has that approach helped you succeed?
What types of activities do you find challenging and why do you struggle with them?
What tasks or activities do you tend to avoid or procrastinate on, and why?
Finding answers to these questions will help you learn how to play to your strengths (= use your abilities and talents) and improve your weaknesses at the same time. Once you’ve identified your strengths, you’ll know where to focus your efforts and which tasks you should rather delegate to others.
2. Meet people where they are
Let’s say you’re working on a team project with a colleague who is new to the company and may not be familiar with (=know about) some of the processes or procedures that your team uses. Instead of assuming that they should know everything or expecting them to adapt to the team’s way of working immediately, you could “meet them where they are” by taking the time to explain the processes and answer any questions they may have. This could involve providing them with additional resources or even setting up (=scheduling) a one-on-one meeting to discuss any concerns they have.
Meeting people where they are requires you to be flexible and accommodating (=attentive/understanding) to your teammates’ specific needs and abilities. This is a very useful quality that can help you contribute to a positive work environment in your team.
3. Give feedback
Feedback is key to growth. That’s why as a great team player you need to give feedback to your coworkers in a continuous and constructive manner.
Here are a few tips on how you can improve the way you give feedback:
1. Don’t wait until later
If you have feedback to share, don’t wait until the “right moment”. If you hold back on (=delay) giving feedback, chances are (=it is very likely) you will either forget about it completely or it won’t be as impactful and effective by the time you finally deliver it.
2. Give feedback in good faith
To give feedback “in good faith” means to provide feedback with genuine (=sincere) intentions, based on honest observations and insights, and with the aim of helping your coworker improve. Feedback given in good faith is provided with a positive, constructive, and respectful approach, and is free from any personal bias or hidden agenda (=hidden motive).
Think of it this way — your goal for giving feedback should never be to criticize someone but to give them useful information and help them grow.
3. Use “I” statements
Using “I” statements to give feedback helps you stress the fact that you’re just sharing your personal opinion and are open to discussion.
This looks terrible. It should all be redone from scratch. (biased, judgemental, imperative)
I don’t think this is what we’re looking for. We might need to go back to the drawing board (=start over) and rethink our approach. (it is clear that you’re just describing your personal opinion)
There are many more things you need to take into account (=consider) while giving feedback such as being specific, being proactive, etc.
4. Be open to feedback
In addition to giving feedback, you also need to seek out (=look for / try to get) feedback from your teammates. Just be sure to say the following:
1. What are your thoughts on…?
2. I’d love to hear your views on…
3. How would you improve…?
4. I’d appreciate your feedback on…
5. What is/was your overall impression of…?
6. Do you have any suggestions on how we can make (the product) better?
You can always improve your teamwork skills by upgrading your overall communication skills.