Markets

4 Ways to Be a Better Team Player at Work

Succeeding at work doesn't just come down to completing assignments in a satisfactory manner and meeting deadlines. Often, it means adding value to your team by supporting your colleagues and collaborating with them to hit the goals your manager maps out.

In fact, being a strong team player is easier said than done, because it requires you to balance your own objectives and needs against the needs of your team on a whole. But if you're invested in being a better team player, here's how to pull it off.

1. Identify your team's primary needs

Maybe your team is lacking a solid project manager, or someone to take charge of presentations. Even if that's not your natural strong suit, it pays to become the person who's willing to step up and fuel everyone's joint success. Not only will your teammates appreciate you more, but your boss is apt to feel similarly, and once that happens, the next raise or promotion could be yours.

Man and woman fist-bumping at a table where a laptop is open

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Have the patience to teach

When your team members struggle, you may be tempted to jump in and take over some tasks for them. And that's unquestionably helpful. But if you really want to add value to your team, don't just keep bailing out your colleagues. Rather, spend some time teaching them how to overcome challenges or grow the skills they seem to be lacking. In doing so, you'll better position them to help the team more.

3. Let others snag the spotlight

It's natural to want recognition when you push yourself to do a good job and contribute substantially to team initiatives. But if you hog the spotlight too much, your colleagues may come to harbor some resentment toward you. A better bet, therefore, is to make sure your peers are getting credit for their contributions as well -- even if you're the one who has to give it to them. In doing so, you're sure to gain their appreciation and respect.

4. Communicate well

Being a solid communicator isn't always such an easy thing, especially when work gets busy and there's pressure to produce. But if you manage to communicate well with your teammates, you'll create a scenario where everyone has an easier time synching up and doing their work accurately.

To this end, think about the things you're tasked with and how they might impact your teammates. Do you compile data on a weekly basis that your colleagues use for different purposes? If so, you might think about ways to present it better. Similarly, if you're in charge of a major project, you'll want to communicate updates efficiently so that everyone is on the same page.

The stronger a team player you are, the more likely you are to climb the ladder internally, and to achieve whatever career-related goals you've established for yourself. Just as importantly, becoming a better team player could be the way to build strong, mutually supportive relationships with the folks you work with on a regular basis. And that could make your job more manageable, and more pleasant, on the whole.

The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest Markets Videos

The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

Learn More