Want to get ahead at work? Forget about 'Me' - it's all about 'We'. Follow these 5 key steps to being a team player, and increase your career prospects in the process.
There’s no doubt that there’s a new kid on the block when it comes to workplace behaviour, particularly if you are looking to get promoted. To forge a successful path, it’s all about engaging with others and understanding that there truly is no ‘I’ team.
1. Be willing to share credit when credit is due
The temptation to take all the glory for your team’s success can be overwhelming when you have led a project. Understanding that everybody needs to be given accolades, no matter how insignificant their part in the eventual win may seem to have been is critical.
2. Be brave enough to share your weaknesses
Too often in the workplace, we see admitting a lack of knowledge or understanding as admitting to failure. It's actually a form of strength, because it shows our peers and our subordinates that we are willing to seek help and show vulnerability. This engenders trust, and encourages others in return to admit the same issues.
3. Appreciate the value of intellectual currency
Not everything is about the bottom line. Focusing inwards and seeing only your own KPIs and bonus targets means that you miss out on banking others’ knowledge. Skills are an increasingly valuable currency. Suggest to a team mate that you ‘swap’ a skill for a skill – teach each other something you previously had no knowledge of.
4. Stand up and be counted
Part of teamwork is the ability to change situations that are not acceptable. If you think that an idea could be bettered, or that your workplace has unacceptable conditions for members of your team, then don’t just sit there, start the change. Collaboration rather than isolation can be uncomfortable in the short term, but the long term rewards benefit the team.
5. Don’t be afraid to network
Yes, you may see it as a dirty word; but if you network effectively it can provide a truly collaborative workspace. Professional networks are essential to give support, encouragement and knowledge along the upwards progression path. Embrace like-minded thinkers who understand what you want to achieve and whom you want to support in kind.
Teamwork and collaboration is the only way to stabilise and stand firm in a shifting and unsteady work environment. The ‘Me’ thinking space doesn’t get you very far. Make the change to thinking ‘We’ instead, and flourish!