Sometimes teams are dysfunctional, sometimes they’re productive, and sometimes you’re there by force or by choice. But in either case, effective team work is truly an art to achieve successful and enjoyable group work. Anyone is able to work within a team, and it comes naturally to a lot of people, but it can also be challenging to so many more.
To avoid feeling like the last person picked for the sporting team who doesn’t contribute much, or the bossy boots who others feel like they can’t communicate with, these few tips on working effectively in a team will be sure to help you be a team player!
Clarify all responsibilities, and share the load.
This idea refers back to the old “there’s no I in team”. It is important that when a group first gets together there is a team brainstorm and decision making to clarify roles and responsibilities to avoid any later arguments.
Teams are often put together with people from different backgrounds, different skill sets, and different interest but everyone is there for the same sole purpose. It is important to utilize each individual’s skills and divide up tasks or responsibilities according to who would be the best person for the job. This is your time to shine in being a team player, as maybe there is a task you really want to, but there’s someone else who might be able to bring something to the table as well. This would be an opportunity to work together equally on the task, and it will more than likely turn out better… two minds are better than one!
If you’re having trouble keeping up to date with team tasks and don’t want to fall behind, maybe try a calendar or reminder app such as Tempo that will keep you on top of your to do list.
One of the most vital parts of group work, and one of the best tips on how to be a team player is communication. Each team member needs to feel comfortable enough to contribute ideas and more importantly be heard. If someone seems as though they’re being out spoken, maybe ask them what they think or if they have any suggestions.
If you’re the one feeling like you can’t speak up, approaching your team leader is always a great idea as they can help your voice be heard. Communication is not only the best way for team members to be creative and innovative, and achieve their goals, it’s also a great way to create solid friendships.
Make time to have fun!
Fun might not be the first factor that comes to mind when thinking about working within a team, but being a team player should involve enjoying yourself. When people are working together and smiling whilst doing so, it often inspires trust and confidence. Team activities can often be great building blocks to improving self-confidence, and the more groups you work within the easier it all becomes.
Many components of MTC Youth Frontiers mentoring program involve team work to build self-confidence skills, and prepare students for future workplace team activities to encourage how to be a positive team player and contribute ideas. Students who have undertaken the program have come out the other side with a vast knowledge in how to both tackle and enjoy group tasks, and make friends along the way.