Being a team player is considered an asset by almost every employer on earth. And although most people will say that they love working as part of a team, the reality is that very few people know what it means to be a great team player.
Paul Spicer is an experienced football coach based in Tampa, Florida. After 18 years working in the NFL, Spicer can say with confidence that he knows exactly what being a great team player entails. He shares his top five tips for being a fantastic team player.
Support Your Teammates
Being supportive is an important trait when it comes to being a top-notch team player, shares Paul Spicer. The type of support you can offer ranges. It could be as simple as giving a teammate positive feedback or it could involve pitching in and offering to help when you see that a team member is overworked.
Another way to support your team is by proving yourself to be a reliable team member. It is extremely frustrating when you are dependent on another team member completing a task and they end up dropping the ball. Impress your team by repeatedly finishing your work on time and to a high standard. This will show that you are supportive and a valuable asset to the team. Ultimately, what matters is that you convey to your team members that they can rely on you. Showing a willingness to collaborate will not only bring you closer to your teammates, but may impress management.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Second, maintaining a positive attitude is key to being a great team player. Everyone gets frustrated in the workplace or has a bad day once in a while, but the attitude you have most days is something that your team members will take note of.
Paul Spicer claims that when someone is constantly complaining or always giving negative feedback, it can make the team less happy and productive as a whole. In addition, your colleagues may start avoiding you or not including you in meetings. Conversely, having a positive attitude in the workplace is something that will motivate others around you and will help you stay focused on by the task at hand.
As anyone who has worked on a team knows, things can change quickly. Thus, it’s vital to be flexible and adaptable if you want to be a great team player, shares Paul Spicer. Plans change — maybe a team member quits, a budget gets slashed, or goals get redefined. Whatever the situation is, try your best not to let it bother you. Instead, take it as an opportunity to regroup with your teammates and come up with a new plan of action.
The best team players don’t fight change, they embrace it. You never know, perhaps the project or task is changing for the better and will now be more suited to your team’s skill set. Further, being able to remain calm, comfortable, and in control even when a major change is thrown at you is a fantastic skill to possess, both in your personal life and in the workplace.
According to Paul Spicer, one of the most important aspects of being a team player involves communication. Prioritizing communication is key if you wish to have success as a team. This includes making sure that everyone has the most up-to-date information about the goings-on within the organization, as well as being involved and active in group discussions. Whether the content of what you’re communicating would be considered constructive criticism or positive feedback, it’s important to make your voice heard among the team. Doing the opposite, that is, sitting silent during a meeting, could only hurt your team in the long run.
Lastly, Paul Spicer reminds all team members to remain respectful, no matter what it is you are communicating. Even when you disagree with another team member’s opinion, it’s important to fairly and objectively make your voice heard. Avoid getting upset or angry, as that could hinder the team’s ability to work together.
Paul Spicer on Playing to Your Strengths
Lastly, Paul Spicer asserts that to be a great team player you need to play to your strengths. The beautiful thing about a team is that everyone involved has a different skill set and brings something unique to the table. That is why when a team works together and combines their various skills, they can accomplish their goals. But in order to do that, each team member needs to be aware of what their strengths are and then play to them. For example, someone might be a great leader, another person might be extremely organized or a fantastic planner. Meanwhile, another person might have a positive attitude and have the power to motivate people. Whatever you’re best at, make it known to your teammates and take on that role within the team. When everyone plays to their strengths, you are more likely to perform well.