A team player is someone who works hard not for self-gain but for the success of the whole team. A team player is as every bit as important as the team leader. Whether it is at work or sports or any other activity, a team player is valued and plays an essential and sometimes even irreplaceable part for the group.
Here are things to remember to be an effective team player.
Know your strengths. Some people are better at one thing compared to others. Determine or identify the things that you are good at so that you can use them to help the team. Categorize what type of things you can do better than the others and focus on those types of tasks. If you have a team leader, tell him or her about your strengths so that he or she could place you where you could be most effective. If you have other strengths your team leader could also put you on different groups and in different levels.
Know your weaknesses. Knowing the things you are not good at and the tasks that you cannot perform is as important as knowing your strengths. This will allow you to identify certain projects and what type of tasks you have to avoid. If it is necessary to be in a task that you are not good at, seek help and guidance from your teammates who are adept in that category. Do not be afraid to admit your weaknesses at the start of any project to stay away from problems in the future.
Know your teammates. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses isn't enough to be an effective team player. It is essential that you know your teammates as well. Try to classify the things that they're good at so you would know who to ask when specific questions or problems arise. This will also give you an idea on which things to focus on, knowing that a teammate is focusing on the other tasks.
Know your goals. After identifying your own and your teammate's strengths and weaknesses, it is time to focus on your goals. Your goal means the goal of the team as a whole. Knowing the things that the team needs to achieve will give you an overview and an idea of which roles you have to take. This of course depends on your skills. Setting goals also provides you and your team a way of measuring where you're at and if your team has become successful or not in that project.
Communicate. Since more than one person will be performing the task or contributing in the project, there will be numerous times when you will have a different perspective or opinion from your team. Communicate these ideas or concerns to your teammates so that they could take it into consideration.
We all have different talents and areas of expertise. Being in a team and a team player means using those different talents to work towards a common goal. There are certain tasks that require the work of an individual and there are also tasks that require working as a team.