If you were asked in a behavioral interview for examples of being a team player, what would you say?
This came up during a recent leadership coaching session with a department manager who would be adding eight new people to her team over the next several months. One of the key selection criteria is that the new hires must be team players.
Is It Me or Is It We?
Imagine a basketball team in which each player tries to take every shoot instead of passing the ball to an open player, setting screens for teammates or getting into position for the rebound. Obviously, the team would lose.
Yet, there are people at work who say they are a team player but in reality, they focus primarily on their own needs and ignore the needs of the team. Hopefully you’re not one of them. Here are easy, effective ways to show that you are a team player:
- Include everyone on the team in the information loop so people will feel part of the team.
- Don’t hog the limelight. When you get a compliment, acknowledge the team’s effort.
- Volunteer to take the minutes at meetings rather than sit back and let others do it.
- Be the first to chip in to move the filing cabinet or get doughnut or make the coffee.
- List things you wish others would do for you and then start doing them for others.
- Check the comments or decisions you’re about to make for their effect on others.
- Express your appreciation when someone stops and helps you with a problem.
- Listens and respond positively to other’s ideas even if you don’t agree.
- Be on the lookout to provide assistance to others when they need it.
- Attend team social events and be social.
Career Success Tip
Managers look for people they can count on, whether that means taking initiative, being accountable or collaborating with others. You want your manager to see you as both a productive employee as well as a team player.
Readers, how have you been a team player? What other examples have you seen?
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- Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.