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3 Ways You Can Become A Better Team Member

by Shafiqah Samarasam. |

'How do I prove myself?’

‘How do I become better at what I do?’

‘How do I add my expertise in order to leverage my team?’

As a new team member, I wanted to progress positively within my organisation. Being able to deliver significant and compelling work definitely helped propel me to be viewed better amongst my colleagues. I knew what it needed to be a good team member, but it was hard to actually apply that to real life - especially being the junior amongst those who have known each other for years.

Sometimes, you’d think whether your opinions would be too far-fetched considering the team knows the course of action normally taken. However, I would rationalise with myself that being able to convey my views would make me a better team member - not because I wanted to go against everyone, but I simply wanted to share my “fresh” opinions.

Once I started delivering these ideas, I realised that I could play my part as a good team member. It’s not hard, but it isn’t easy to start either. With time, becoming a good team member will not only help my performance at work, but also build my morale and boost my critical thinking. Sure, it starts with small actions; but these actions would help me become better.

Here are three ways you can become a better team member:

1. Be open to express your own views

When I landed my first job, my mission was simple - grow. 23 and fresh out of college - this was the debilitating way I labelled myself early on when I started working. Though I was new, I was determined to learn everything I could as I knew that I was capable of providing new insights that could help the team view things more strategically. I worked with a small team of four to handle the social account of a FinTech company; with those who have worked and gained valuable experience in the industry.

At first, I wanted to be the “yes” person, affirming my beliefs to all that was proposed by the team. But then, I understood that being able to share my views actually allows everyone to take a step back and think thoroughly. Truth be told, not all of my views positively reaffirmed the situation, as some were opposed on. Whether or not my views would be agreed as the final decision, being able to share my views would allow everyone to run through every possible idea. This, too, cements the idea that I am able to become a better team member by voicing my thoughts and opinions rather than blindly following.

2. Always keep things in check

A to-do-list has been my lifesaver at work. While I was in college, I used to come up with the most intricate and extreme checklist to make sure all that needs to be done is written down. Now that I’m working, I’ve forgone the idea of beautifying my to-do-list and instead resorted to a normal list with every single detail needed to be reviewed - this includes tasks that aren’t technically mine.

Yes, my list involves my personal to-dos and our group list as a whole. Despite the tasks not being directly mine, keeping the whole account in check helps it to be delivered on time. My seniors are in charge of multiple accounts, which may lead them to overlooking matters but keeping a master list of to-dos helps us all keep track of things and not to mention, allows me to become a better team member as I would always be on top of things.

3. Ask relevant questions

Let’s face it, being a know-it-all makes us feel good. We’d feel exemplary with the idea that we are able to carry out a certain task without the need to ask questions. But, is there a line in terms of the amount or type of questions that can be asked? As a junior, one would think that you’d get a free pass to ask any questions possible. But, I’ve come to understand that asking questions versus asking the right questions makes a significant difference.

When I started, I had a million questions on the dos and don'ts; but then I resorted to one method - thinking through my questions before asking them. I would ask myself first - Have I exhausted all the available resources? Have I encountered this situation before?

These questions would help me understand the situation better. If it’s similar to a situation faced before, I would then know that I can’t only pose my question alone but I also need to come up with a solution for it. It would then imply that I had put thought into the situation, and tried to resolve it first before deciding that the next course of action is to approach my seniors.

It’s always a challenge when you are starting out and want to feel that you are contributing to your team. Needless to say, we all need to carry our own weight in order to bring our team to success. Being a good team member is easy, but being a better team member takes time, effort, and discipline. One needs to always learn and assess the condition of the team to propel the team to greater heights.

You can learn more about the writer on Instagram.

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