Understanding the collaborative nature of teamwork is the first step to becoming a sought-after team player. With attention to these strategies, anyone can improve his/her team player prowess.
First off, the “Do’s”:
- Engage active listening mode
Effective communication only happens if active listening takes place first. Only after a person has put effort into absorbing, understanding, and weighing thoughts and ideas can said person effectively (and intelligently) discuss or debate those thoughts and ideas. Teamwork relies heavily on the art of listening. And it is an art. One that too often gets pushed aside as secondary to speaking up. But then we’re reminded we have two ears to one mouth, and we should use them proportionally.
- Activate critical thinking skills
There’s no place for a nod-nod-sounds-good-to-me model if effective teamwork is the goal. There is enormous value in “mulling it over,” considering all the angles. To thinking out loud, hashing and re-hashing ideas and theories and what-ifs. To borrow a directive from your second-grade teacher: Put your thinking caps on and think.
- Demonstrate a commitment to the team
Ask yourself which best describes your dedication to the team: “all in” or along for the ride? Remember Bill from last week’s blog? He’ll remain on the team as long as he chooses to get on board, willingly get actively involved, and align himself with the team’s goals and objectives. Bill has a choice, and so do you.
And now for the “Don’ts”
If your mindset is personal achievement for personal gain, don’t count on winning the “team player of the month” award. Being a dedicated team participant will positively impact your reputation and in turn, net you personal gain. BUT a “me first” attitude will seriously hamper teamwork efforts.
“Hey, he wants to do most of the work, so why shouldn’t I let him?” Okay, some folks are naturally over-zealous, go-getters. That doesn’t mean you should fade out of the picture and let Mr. Over-Achiever carry the load. You are on the team for a reason, and that reason is most definitely not to be a wallflower. Roll up your sleeves and dig in.
- Don’t bash people or ideas
Honesty. Check. Candid discussions. Check. Belittling comments. Not cool.
By all means, speak up. Share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns, but do it respectfully. Make a point to look for and communicate the positive along with the negative. Be constructive in your comments, offering adjustments or alternative options. And never resort to name calling or derogatory commentary that targets the person.
MPS Technical is always in need of team players. Contact our team to see how our connections within the precision manufacturing arena can find the perfect position for you.