One way to impress an interviewer or your boss is to be able to work well on your own. However, this is not the only trait to win them over. You also need to be a team player. Companies see the need for strong team players as these are people who are efficient, collaborative, and reliable. Do you think you are like Michael Jordan, who work best with your team, or are you a ball hoarder? Check out the signs below.
1. You never ask for help.
Sure, being the go-to person for just about every project your team undertakes is good. However, as the saying goes, no man is an island. We all need people to guide and remind us. What’s more, your ability to influence others and your working skills in a team scenario are weighed when your boss evaluates you. Don’t be afraid to ask for support or even a second opinion from your colleagues.
2. It’s your way or the highway.
It’s great that you are proactive, always thinking one step ahead; however, are you sure that it’s just one step and not two or even three steps ahead, so that your teammates struggle to catch up or must work around you? First, do not expect for people to know and quickly understand your ideas, especially if you aren’t able to articulate these clearly. Explain to your teammates what you think you, as a group, should do, but be open to their suggestions and carefully weigh in on what might work best. Team players are flexible and reliable. They learn from other people’s input and consider it as growth for them and for the team.
3. You assume that other people will do it wrong.
Would you rather do a task yourself because of fear that anyone else will mess it up? Think about this: if you do the brunt and grunt of the work, you’ll get burnt out very quickly. Remember, everyone is entitled to their own mistakes as these help us grow. Failure translates to success in learning. Be involved in such a way that, when you are discussing ideas and you see one with a downside, speak up. Each person in the team has their own strengths, so if you can find a way to assign the tasks so that these play to those strengths, all the better..
4. It’s always about you.
You might be the smartest person in the room. This might help your self-esteem, but how does that help your team? Just as they shower you with compliments, be sure to praise people when they’ve done good work as well. Look at what they did for the team. Treat your teammates with the respect and trust you would want to get from them. Support your colleagues, most especially if you are done with your tasks, and they will eventually return the favor.
5. You complain about work a lot.
An unexpected assignment comes, and you automatically whine about it. All people can hear from you is the negativity you dish out about your work. Making a lot of excuses doesn’t help either. Remember that since you are working for a company, everyone has their own assigned tasks. Each person contributes to making your company the best that it can possibly be, and you shouldn’t be the one person who makes things work less efficiently. If you complain day after day about the work you do—about how boring and excruciating it is—then maybe you should start looking for a change attitude, if not in jobs or career.
6. You feel alienated from other people.
Is there any reason why your collegues feel awkward around you? We’re not talking about you being the smartest person in the room, you know (which, by the way, is an idea that you really should shelf). Do a self-assessment. Are you a joiner? How many times have you declined an invitation for lunch or a cocktail date? Do you even laugh when one of your teammates says something funny? Another possible reason for this is that you have friends from other departments, and you hang out with them more often than with the people in your team. Try to invite your teammates along next time, or maybe make sure to attend at least one of the lunches, dinners, and more they organize.
You don’t have to be a people person to be a team player, but you do have to learn to work with others if you are going to succeed in an office environment. Going the extra mile to establish a rapport with the people you work the closest with will likely only result in positive things.
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Ana Valenzuela graduated with a degree in AB Literature from UST. She has written for several media outlets. She is currently taking her Master's from UP.