How to Be an Effective Team Member

When you become a member of a team of any sort, you need a strategy to help you become an effective part of that team. This applies to work, sports, clubs, or other groups united to serve its purpose. Here are some steps to help you become as effective as possible.

Steps

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    Look at the team's goal. Having a clear objective is critical for any team, whether it is an athletic team, or one formed to accomplish a specific task.
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    Learn the potential of each team member. Whether you are a leader, or a bottom-tier team member, understanding the potential of each team member will help you perform your part.
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    Identify your place on the team. If you are the leader, you will need completely different skill-sets and talents than if you are a minor contributing member. Once you know where you belong, you can begin to focus on your own job as a team member.
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    Work on the skills and abilities required for you to contribute to the team. In sports, you may practice drills and workouts, in other efforts, you may need to sharpen specific skills or research to become more proficient at doing your part.
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    Encourage other members of the team. The leader should be the primary mover and shaker of your group, but each person can help another member who needs a hand, and if you are falling behind, you should expect and be willing to ask for a hand yourself.
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    Attend drills or practices if applicable, and join each team meeting and other event so you can stay on task and not hold the team back when it is time to perform.
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    Have your materials, supplies, or other essentials ready for team activities. In sports, this might apply to your uniform, helmet, glove, cleats, or other gear. In a workplace environment, it may be tools and other gear needed for the team activity.
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    Strive to increase your contribution to your team. Being a contributing team member often means increasing your level of performance, not just reaching a satisfactory place, but exceeding it.
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    Know the team rules and policies and abide by them. This includes listening to guidance from the team leader and others with authority over the team's project.

Tips

  • Avoid over-committing yourself if you are not willing to go above and beyond your desired level of participation.
  • Put the team's goals above your own. Not only will this help you effectively contribute to the team's purpose, but it will improve your team member's respect for you.

Warnings

  • Teams often fail because personalities clash or objectives become splintered. Watch for warning signs of divisiveness and lack of unified purpose.
  • Realise that team efforts are not always successful, in sports, and in other pursuits, and be prepared for failure or limited success that doesn't meet your expectations.

Article Info

Categories: Sports Leadership