How to Be a Team Player in the Workplace

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The workplace sometimes puts people in the mindset of “me, myself and I.” Some people believe that, to climb the corporate ladder, you have to focus on yourself and ignore your coworkers, but that’s not quite true. By being a team player and helping your coworkers succeed, you develop leadership skills and the ability to assist others, two qualities that strengthen your chances of getting promoted.

Focus on the needs of your coworkers. By pitching in and assisting your coworkers in times of need, you can ditch the “me” mentality. For example, look for times when your coworkers are in distress, such as trying to complete a report before the deadline, and ask them if you can do anything. If you notice what exactly they need, don’t even ask, just help.

Befriend your coworkers. If you don’t know someone well, you might find it difficult to interact with him on a personal basis. By getting to know your coworkers, you’ll naturally gravitate toward that team aspect in the workplace. Ways of getting to know your coworkers include talking to them more at work, asking them to do something after work, such as going to a restaurant, and inviting them to your house for dinner.

Push your coworkers to do better and guide them when they’re unsure. By consistently helping your coworkers better themselves, you place yourself into a leadership role. Your coworkers will come to you for assistance; you’ll essentially be the team captain.

Support your coworkers when needed. If you notice a fellow employee who is angry, sad or in any other emotional state, listen to what she has to say. Offer to help her if you can, simply by talking to her if she’s mad or giving advice if she just broke up with someone.

Ask your coworkers if you can do more. Maureen Moriarity of the “Seattle Post-Intelligencer” says it can be enlightening to find out what coworkers think of you. Tell everyone to share their honest opinions. Don’t take anything personally; just work on your faults and attempt to become a better team player.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid assuming the role of manager and micromanaging. If you notice a coworker can improve on something, share tips on how you think he could do it better. Don't nitpick and criticize his work.

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