We’ve all been stuck collaborating with that one colleague we wished would work with the rest of the team, and if you haven’t, there’s a good chance that person was you. Luckily for us, collaborating effectively in a group setting is a skill you can hone so long as you are open to feedback and self-reflection. Here are a few valuable things to keep in mind when growing as a valued member of the team in your workplace:
#1 – Express Your Weaknesses And Preferred Roles Upfront
There’s little more frustrating than waiting for a colleague to deliver on a task only for them to return and say they need experience or skills vital to completion. You can avoid stress by being upfront about your skill set and any trepidation about tackling your share of a team project. When you swallow your pride and communicate your weaknesses in advance, 9 times out of 10, your team will be excited to adjust your role or provide valuable resources to help you complete your deliverables to everyone’s satisfaction.
#2 – Encourage Your Colleagues With Honest Praise
Part of being a valuable team member is recognizing when someone else excels and uplifting them. Mentioning to others on the team about a team member’s great job helps unify and strengthen the team dynamic. It encourages a positive cycle of similar hype-ups for yourself and your colleagues, promoting increased group cohesion and morale.
#3 – Plan Ahead To Overcome Your Shortcomings
If you know you tend to scramble last-minute right before the deadline, shift your deadline date in your reminders one or two days before the actual due date, and treat that as the new deadline. That way, if something disrupts your mad dash to get everything done, you’ve planned with a buffer that keeps you on track without letting the whole team down.
If you’re aware that you’ll experience hurdles to completing your share of tasks for the team, be open and honest about them immediately. A team worth its salt will be understanding and, in many cases, willing to adapt to accommodate your needs.
#4 – It’s Okay To Be Wrong, So Long As We’re Learning
Mistakes happen, and that’s okay so long as you’re not making the same mistakes repeatedly. Try not to dwell on your slip-ups, and constantly avoid self-deprecating over them to the rest of the team because when you put yourself down in front of the group, your team will eventually see you that way, and they will no longer trust you’re capable of holding up your end of the task. Instead, own up to it and be open to valuable feedback, then implement changes to avoid making those same mistakes in the future.
#5 – Be The Part That Improves The Whole
The most important thing to remember about working within a team dynamic is that nobody expects you to shoulder the entire load. Look to others with more experience for advice and assistance without burdening them unduly, and look for opportunities to hold others up when they need a helping hand. A rising tide raises all ships, so what’s good for the group is great for everyone! Good luck on your next team task – I believe in you!