Be a team player

By Kendall Martin

I expect courtesy from co-workers when working in a team environment. We each hold different positions in the hierarchy of the company, but I still expect that all team members receive the same amount of respect. Whether we’re working on a product launch, a revised marketing strategy or a streamlined approach to a project, every person is contributing to the greater goal.

Communicating with respect can be the difference between a successful team project and one that leaves people feeling defeated, underappreciated and resentful. Those morale-busting emotions are easily avoided if all team members pay attention to how they communicate up and down the ladder. Follow these tips and ensure that you make everyone on your team feel appreciated:

  • Listen to team members. When in a position of power, many people unconsciously tune out the opinions or ideas of others. Always consider that other team members may have discovered alternate solutions that are worth discussing. If every team member feels their opinions are valued and there is an equal playing field, they are apt to work harder and smarter.
  • Include all relevant team members in communication. If you are depending on email to work out project details or discuss ideas, be sure you are including all team members involved in the assignment. Never assume information will naturally be relayed to the appropriate party. Open communication can save a lot of time and prevent mistakes.
  • Be polite. While each team member has tasks that are a direct function of their job, it never hurts to say “please” or “thank you.” Those words go a long way in establishing positive relationships among team members. Instead of saying, “Take care of this by Monday,” you can easily say, “Please take care of this by Monday,” and the entire tone changes.

What do you find most important when communicating on a team?

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