Whether you’re creating a webinar or completing a presentation to show during a meeting, odds are you have to work with other people to get the job done. The working world was not design to be a one-man or one-woman show. Teamwork is hard work, whether or not you’re the one leading the pack. Ego, differing priorities, and conflicts of interest can arise when teamwork is sub par. While differences need to be addressed, the focus during a team project should be the final result or product. Being a good team player means not letting frivolities get in the way of that. Though there may not be an “I” in team – it’s not all about you – there is a “me,” in the sense that the success of the team depends on each individual’s participation as a good team player.


Understand the goals of the project

Before setting forth on any task, be sure that you are clear what the objectives are. Ask questions if anything is a little foggy, and repeat back what was said to get any further clarification. Don’t hesitate to provide information to your teammates, too, and be a sounding board for their uncertainties.


Keep open, honest, and respectful communication

Say exactly what you mean, and say it as short and sweet as you possibly can. Thinking before you speak is especially important with group work: everyone is going to have something to say, and there’s only so much time to say it. Before you open your mouth, be sure that it’s going to contribute something positive to the group.


Make others feel welcome and encouraged

You can develop a positive rapport with your fellow group members by treating them how you would want to be treated. Listen to what they have to say and compliment them on their good ideas. Provide feedback on their contributions, and if you have to criticize, make it constructive. Don’t be quick to judge or cause conflict. If conflicts do arise, handle them professionally and make sure there are no hard feelings in the end.


Exercise your creativity and unique contributions

Part of employing the “me” in “team” is giving all you have to give on a particular team project. You are unique and have skills, knowledge and ideas that no one else does. Don’t be afraid of people passing judgments of your ideas or creative work: even if it’s not adopted by the team on the first go-around, your contributions can be used or modified for the benefit of the team. As they say: “Be yourself – everyone else is taken.”


Constantly look for ways to improve

While you want to express a positive attitude when working in a group, it doesn’t mean you have to be a Pollyanna. A dose of realistic expectations is needed to make the project the best it can be. Look closely at how your own contributions can be improved as well as those of your teammates. Though changing the game plan can take a little more work, it can be worth it in the end. When looking at how you can improve, also identify what you’re doing right. No need to fix it if it’s not broken.


Lead from the middle

Every group has a designated leader. But there are also covert leaders – not revolutionaries trying to raise a coup, but rather people who work with the leaders to get things done. Someone who “leads from the middle” in this way volunteers to do things when needed, says yes when asked to complete tasks, and generally puts forth a helpful effort toward the goals of the group. The designated leader and your teammates will all be grateful.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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