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    How to Be a Better Team Player

    on 20 March 2018


    Posted by Sam Abrahams

    It is common knowledge in the working world that organisations cannot succeed in meeting goals unless the entire team works together for the good of the team. However, defining what makes a team player is quite another discussion. What is a team player and even better, how can you learn how to be a better team player? Software for team collaboration can help us improve our team-first approach to work, but there are some things we can change personally for the good of the team.

    What Makes a Team Player?

    Universally accepted words like selfless, collaborative, and open-minded immediately come to mind when we define a team player. The willingness to follow and the ability to put ego on the back burner to reach a compromise also defines a professional who works well within a team. Think of the ultimate (if deeply frowned upon) team attribute of a footballer who is willing to concede a red card in order to stop an attack on goal. The player sacrifices themselves for the good of the team. At the office, someone who loves to create catchy tweets to promote products and services might have to play second fiddle to a professional peer who does a better job of reaching customers.

    If it’s all the good of the team, then how do we become better team players? And is self-sacrifice really necessary?

    Everyone Participates

    You cannot be a better team player unless you participate in team collaboration. Software makes it easy to work together digitally, but for many projects, face-to-face interaction is required. You probably have participated in a workplace team effort that just a few people dominated by monopolising the conversations. Anyone who wants to be a better team player must present ideas and offer insight on how to solve difficult problems. The leader of a team should ensure everyone has a say in the collaborative process. 

    Establish Ground Rules

    Sitting around a conference room table and brainstorming ideas has its place for some collaborations. Yet, successful team collaboration typically involves an organised agenda created by a set of ground rules. Software for team collaboration maintains a structured collaborative environment. With face-to-face team collaborations, it is up to the group to work out the kinks that establish structure.

    Assumptions Cause Confusion

    There is a fine line between talking down to your peers and assuming your peers know the same things you know. One of the most effective ways to ensure healthy team collaborations is making sure every member of the team receives the same information. Hoarding information is an instinctive method for preserving professional power. It is also the number one reason teams fail to collaborate successfully.

    After Sharing Information, Make a Group Decision

    Your team can involve the sharing of information among every team member. Yet, information sharing means nothing until everyone participates in the decision-making process. This step to be a better team player takes time to develop, as some of your peers either want to delegate decision making authority to other peers or demand that everyone agree with their decisions. This is the step where compromise plays an integral role in helping you be a better team player.

    If You Do Not Succeed…

    …try again. The thought of failure represents the most prevalent characteristic that holds back otherwise positive-thinking professionals. In a team setting, failure should not only be expected, it should also be embraced. Look at failure with a sense of humour and the admittance that we all make mistakes. The ultimate team player accepts failure by working hard to fix what went wrong.

    Software for Team Collaboration

    Team collaboration software represents groupware programs that help professionals work effectively on same projects no matter where or when they are. The primary advantage of using software is every team member has more flexibility to participate. The Glasscubes solution to communication and teamwork creates an environment that drives innovation by harnessing the potential of the team. By embracing such a solution, the individuals on your team can become better team players, too.