How to Become a Good Team Member and Collaborator

A team works towards a collective goal, and it requires the individual efforts made by the team members that eventually sum up to a team effort.

In addition to this, it is also critical that every member of the team is not only on the same page but also has an understanding of the common goal that the team wants to achieve. Are there any differences of opinion or a new idea, it should be put forth and evaluated with an open mind.

As a team member, you are the piece of the puzzle that makes it whole. Your job is as important as that of a team leader.

Communication – a key to a successful team

If problems or ideas are not properly and safely communicated, the team is bound to fail in meeting its goals and aims. So for better communication, a leader should provide a safe and comfortable environment and as for team members, they should question the things they don’t understand about the project, bring in new ideas to the table, and finally, when the project work is in process, a good team member should communicate their progress and what they have achieved so far.

Communicating your developments with the team can help boost and motivate the morale of your team as well.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.”

Knowing your team members

This is essential for successful outcomes. Understanding that where the person is coming from can help ease the process of achieving the goals. For any goal, certain skills are required and it so happens that a single person is not capable of doing all of the tasks at hand.

Every person has a distinct skill set. Every person has working environment preferences, meaning that they work best in certain environments. So providing your team members the safety of work will build trust and compassion, traits that lead a project to success.

Practicing empathy

The other aspect to knowing your team members is to recognize the personal struggles your team member is facing. Give them space and if you can, you can help them in your capacity. Here comes a very important thing to practice in teamwork and that’s empathy.

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is important to understand. If you see that one of your team members who used to be so active and cheery is now zoned out or looks visibly sad or is turning in their progress late or not working the way they used, this is the time where you pull them aside and ask them how they are doing? This will increase their trust in you and most importantly, feel safe to share.

Respecting your teammate’s work

It feels so good when your idea is what the team is going to follow and you feel so confident in yourself when that happens. But sometimes, that’s not the case and it’s okay.

Your team regarded your idea as the one that the whole team is going to follow and sometimes your idea may be discarded in favor of another idea presented by one of your team members. It is important to consider their ideas and ambitions and respectfully question if there are any confusions.

You as a leader.

‘Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It’s about one life influencing others.’ – John C Maxwell.

A leader has to be approachable to the team. As a leader, you should understand the needs of your teammates as it leads to trust and psychological safety. If your teammate is having a hard time, talk to them and respect their feelings.

As a leader, you understand handling the pressure, giving your best, it’s not just about finishing the work but efficiently reaching your goal and acting responsibly.

Be ready to help.

One of the best qualities of a good team member is that he’s always there to help his fellows. Although you could be busy with your work, always give your best when clearing the doubts of your team members. If you think about it, it is a great help when you clear someone’s doubts. One can have a great outlook and problem-solving skills when they solve others’ difficulties.

Boosting your teammate’s spirits

If your team members feel worthy and heard in the team, this will boost their spirit and confidence in themselves and the team. Acknowledging and appreciating the efforts put in by your fellow teammates will encourage them to work hard and give time to the common shared goal.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”