“Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.”
– Pat Riley

In today’s workplace, we are all expected to be contributing team players, usually on several teams at once. We have teams that are comprised entirely of individuals within our work group, cross functional and project teams that consist of colleagues from across the organization, and teams that include people from other organizations, such as consultants, vendors, and clients. Our ability to be seen as contributing, valuable members of these teams can have a significant impact on achieving our career goals. Gaining a reputation as a valuable team member impacts our current work goals, our relationships at work, our opportunities for team leadership, and the degree of satisfaction and motivation we feel in our jobs.

Do you want to be viewed as a contributing member of your team? Focus on demonstrating these 5 traits:

Focused listening skills

For the whole team to operate efficiently, each member needs to focus on the input of others, integrate the message, and act on it without having to be reminded.

Cooperative and supportive attitude toward other individuals on the team

For any team to achieve its full potential, individual team members need to set aside their own personal agendas and support the other members of the team. Nothing slows down the forward progress of a team more than individuals who have uncooperative attitudes. We may not always be in total alignment with the direction of our team, but we need to support our colleagues and leaders, and cooperate with them to achieve the desired team outcomes.

Consistency in preparation and performance

All work teams function by individuals doing their part and then handing it off to others on the team. A team member who is poorly prepared or performs their tasks inconsistently slows down the entire team effort. Teams live and die by the amount of trust they have in each other, and consistency is the most important element in gaining trust.

Skilled in planning, organizing, and time management

Because of the intricate way that workloads are shared and sequenced in a team, each team member must be skilled in planning their role, organizing their individual workload, and completing their function in a way that enables everyone else to complete their work on time.

Knowledgeable and/or experienced in team role

An ideal team member has the training, knowledge, and experience to perform effectively in their role. If their role is new to them and they lack the desired experience, they have the responsibility to make up that deficit through study, mentoring, or additional training.
The most effective way of being perceived as a professional team player is to consistently follow through on every commitment. No matter how small the commitment might be, like sending e-mail, looking up a number, or calling back at a certain time, every time we follow through we establish the perception that we are professional, organized, and a contributing member of the team. At the same time, we cause our entire team to be perceived in the same positive way.
To learn how we can help you and your organization improve performance, contact Elissa Ruckle at 307.277.4782 or Elissa.Ruckle@dalecarnegie.com.

Elissa Ruckle