I’m fortunate enough to witness teamwork at its best during our annual company conferences. Most jobs require teamwork of some form, whether it’s on a routine basis or just for special projects. In any matter, when a project requires more than one person, it can be a task that is more complicated, time-sensitive, or an extreme undertaking – all of which can make things more stressful. Here are some ways to keep your cool and be a true asset when teamwork is required.
Don’t Ask Why
If you’ve been asked to do something as a team member, as long as it’s not breaking any laws or hurting the company, it’s best just to buckle down and get the job done. Maybe you don’t think moving boxes from one side of the room seems efficient, or you don’t understand why you have to clean up the conference room just because of a top client is visiting. But at this stage of the game you are there to help not to give your opinion. If you’re in the discussion phase of a project, it may be appropriate to offer your thoughts. But if you can sense that the mood of the moment is more “Roll up your sleeves and get to work,” then follow that lead and don’t waste time with “why?”
Don’t Be too Proud
Sure, your typical job assignment might be answering the phone, assembling parts, or invoicing clients, but you are part of a business that has a lot more activity. As long as there aren’t any safety concerns or job description violations, don’t be too proud to go beyond your regular duties to help out. Maybe you need to mop the entryway before a client tour, or perhaps you need to break down boxes and take them to the dumpster to give the team more room to work. Whatever it is, if you see something that needs to be done, and you can help, pitch in and help – that’s teamwork.
People notice a team working together, I’ve rarely experienced a time when a great team project wasn’t acknowledged at some point. However, when deadlines are looming there may not be time for accolades. You don’t want to be the only person on the team bragging about your effort to go above and beyond. The point of teamwork is everyone working together; it’s not about one individual contributing more or less than the others. If you try to steal the accomplishments of the team to shine more light on yourself, your opportunities to serve on the team may be less frequent.
Teamwork can be fun, and sometimes special team projects offer a break from your normal duties. Some of my best memories and accomplishments have been while serving on a team, so when someone asks for your help, see it as the opportunity it is.
Share your stories with us when you’ve experienced teamwork at best in the comments section below.