5 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON A TEAM
Tomila Sahbaei | August 2nd 2021 | 5 min read
Last week we discussed 5 ways you can become a better leader, this week we are switching things up and giving you 5 tips to remember when you are working on a team!
Your Role and Value
Teams consist of multiple people for a reason, and most of the time it’s because each individual contributes something special to the team. Often when working on a team it can become easy to lose sight of your own role and underestimate your own contributions. This is a natural feeling, but one that needs to be overcome. Remember that you’re on the team for a reason. You bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the team, and you should not allow yourself to overlook this. If you’re questioning your place on the team you can go to a friend outside of the team for objective advice. Sometimes we all need a pep talk to be reminded of our own worth!
Part of understanding your role and the value you bring to the team is also empowering yourself to be able to express your thoughts and ideas. What does this mean? Well, it could be as simple as communicating a concern when you see one or feeling confident enough to express new ideas and projects you’d like to work on. If you feel like it will help, confide your ideas in a team member you trust before bringing it to your team lead. That way you can receive feedback and feel better about the overall proposal. Teams usually have HR people too! These are the folks you can go to if you feel like you need to express a concern and often they’ll have specific steps for you to do it in a safe and comfortable manner.
Encourage Other Members
A team is nothing without teamwork. Whether you’re a big team working primarily online, or a small team meeting in person, encouragement is needed. Sometimes this is as small as sending a quick message highlighting another team member’s work. Or, as we mentioned in the first section, sometimes a team member might need a little pep talk to feel motivated about their work again. Words of encouragement build up team spirit, which is at the core of any strong, effective and motivated team.
Resolve Conflicts Right Away
When working with other people, it is almost inevitable that conflict will arise at one point. This is not something you should lose sleep over but it is important to acknowledge it. The best way to deal with conflict, or even the anxiety of potential conflict, is to have an effective and efficient plan to deal with it. Again, this may just mean you should familiarize yourself with the HR folks on your team, and learn to understand their process of resolving conflicts. However, not all teams are made up of enough people to have an HR team, so the one piece of advice that is crucial to follow if your intention is to avoid large conflicts is to address issues quickly. It is well known that avoiding conflict only causes feelings of resentment and anxiety to intensify so do your best to handle disagreements quickly and with respect.
While keeping things professional while you’re at work is important for efficiency and discipline, it’s also important to build a bond with your team. Most teams will host social events, whether online or in person. Try not to miss them. Sometimes the most effective way to build team spirit is outside of the workplace. There, people can get comfortable with each other and not have to worry about the tasks they have lined up for the day. Do not be afraid of having fun with your team, it’ll end up making your work environment feel a lot more comfortable and motivating!