One of the most common words you find on resumes is team player. The impression is that the individual can effectively work with others in a team. If you are in the corporate world, at one point you may find yourself working together in a team. Where I work in order to drill a well, you need input from a geologist, engineer, geophysicist and a Landman. These four professionals depend on each other for a success well to be drilled, completed and put into production. The team must function properly for the company to be successful. It is not enough to be part of a team, there must be synergy for the team to be productive. Companies spend millions each on professional training to improve team dynamics and the smooth functioning of teams. The desire is to get good functioning teams and eventually highly productive employees.
You can make a difference in your company, by being an efficient, dynamic and functional member of the team you belong in. This is how you do it
1) Listen more than you talk. Many people will rather talk than listen to others. They cannot wait for the next person to stop talking for them to take the floor; as a result they barely listen to what others have to say. It is difficult to listen, but it is a skill that with practice will do you a lot of good when you master it. Finally, when your turn comes to speak, be considerate and make it as short as possible. Some people are in the habit of going on and on and on, with little regard of time. You may be forcing your team members to tune out if you fall in this category. It will help if you get your thoughts together prior to important meetings, so that you will use less time when presenting your point of view.
2) Speak up. You are part of the team for a reason and only you can represent yourself. Therefore it is incumbent on you to participate in the discussions .The fear of making a mistake, or saying something that may not may sense, keep people from saying anything at all. They sit through team meetings and do not say a word. The most they say is yes. This is not a enough, do all to add your input for it is highly needed to make your team complete. Remember you are part of the team.
3) Respect the opinions of your team members. Do not forget that the other members of the team are part of the team and their input is equally important. A dismissive attitude both verbally and non-verbally will destroy the team spirit eventually. No matter how outrageous an idea maybe, or how far-fetched a question raised is.
It is important to understand why the question has been posed or why the suggestion is being made. This is difficult to do at times, especially when you think you are the “smartest” on the team. The words of the Paul the Apostle will be a good reminder of the type of attitude you should have. He said, “For by the grace given to me I ask every one of you not to think of yourself more highly than you should think, rather to think of yourself with sober judgment on the measure of faith that God has assigned each of you.” In order words you have to be humble and not get over inflated with yourself.
If you are a good team member you can do better by perfecting your listening, speaking ability, and increase your respect for others. If you are still to start do not be too hard on yourself and do same for others.