Ask yourself, how can I become more effective in the workplace? When thinking of the workplace, it is not only defined as a place where work is done, but it is an environment where individuals learn to collaborate and work together as a team. It is a place where individuals can work comfortably to perform their duties and hopefully work with others who are cooperative to accomplish the mission.
Teaming is a buzz word used within many agencies to help build workplace effectiveness to the point where morale posters are posted along walls of cafeterias or hallways. Posters display the statement, “There is no I in team.”
This statement means to not work alone, but rather together with others to achieve a common goal. Hearing the word “team,” we automatically think of sports, not the workplace. However, children and adults have been constantly reminded about being team players early in life, which should not be a new concept. But often many agencies face problems with individuals who are not on board as team players.
Here are three simple steps to become an effective team player in the workplace and keep in mind that you can use these same steps in other teaming environments:
1. Be Accountable – Accountability starts with you following through with what you said you are going to do. If you inform your co-workers that your piece of the project will be completed on a specific day, then you should keep your word. Do not procrastinate in doing the work, start your project early. When you follow through on your end of the agreement, then you model behaviors that you want demonstrated by your fellow co-workers in the future. If you hold yourself accountable to your co-workers, you will start to build trust and values with which promotes a deeper work relationship.
2. Be Supportive – It is important to be supportive towards your co-workers, especially when you are working on a team project. Author Napoleon Hill once said, “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” This quote reminds people that when you have an opportunity to help your fellow co-workers, it is notable to help them to the best of your ability. This can be encouraging by teaching them something new on the job, brainstorming ideas or providing constructive feedback to boost morale and productivity in the workplace.
3. Be a Good Listener – Being a good listener is very important to people. The video, “It’s Not About the Nail,” clearly illustrates why listening is important and builds professional interpersonal relationships. Listening also helps with team building and produces a healthy work environment. Often during meetings, individuals forcefully talk over others to get the last word out or just want to be right in their conversations. But this behavior can become very frustrating to fellow team members and hard to overcome in a teaming environment. However, you can become an effective co-worker by staying quiet while listening and learning. When good listening is demonstrated among coworkers, new ideas begin to develop, and productivity improves. Then, others begin to feel like they have been heard.
If you follow these three simple steps, you can become an effective co-worker in the workplace. If you do, you will notice how others become more cooperative, collaborative and communicative, plus you will gain trust among co-workers.
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Wanda Dandridge is a subject matter expert on financial management systems for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Her government career spans over 15 years, starting as an Army intern in financial management, then subsequently emerging as a transformational leader with DLA specializing in budget analysis, logistical support and employee development. Wanda’s greatest career accomplishment is receiving the Federal Employee of the Year Award with DLA Energy Pacific in 2012. Her philosophy is to lead by example while fostering others for their desired purpose. She is a Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) who enjoys volunteering in her local community.