5 Ways You Can Be a Better Team Member

Working in Teams Certificate

Trust, cooperation, and respect are the foundations that help build the industries we see throughout the world. As you venture into your career, you’ll find that teamwork is a crucial component for success, and there will many places where your abilities to work on a team will be put to the test. Of course, everyone on the teams you work with are in the same position – everyone needs to come together so that the entire team can perform well.

With that in mind, here are five ways you can become a more effective member of your team. These are not exclusive to any field or area, of course – working on teams is something everyone will do at some point in their career.

1. Actively listen to and learn from your colleagues

Understanding and listening to one another is crucial when working in teams. Everyone will have different ideas, experiences, or viewpoints that can help the entire team learn and grow – no one should be shut down for expressing them. At the same time, especially when it comes to managing conflict, it’s critical to be able to understand the other person’s perspective in order to resolve the problem at hand.

Let everyone share their voice on the team and work to understand them, rather than hastily judge them. You are allowed to express yourself, too, but be open to changing your mind on things and reflecting on your perspective.

2. Be responsible, reliable, and accountable

Accomplishing what you set out to do and being someone others can rely on is an essential part of being an effective team member. Work hard to meet deadlines, be responsible for the work you do, and always let your team know when things change. Teams are able to thrive most when everyone does their part – this means people can trust each other to do their role, and trust is what allows teams to thrive.

3. Show respect and stay positive, even in difficult times

There will be many times where the team hits a rough spot, and overall progress worsens as people lose motivation. As such, it’s always important to be respectful to your team members, while staying positive as you work with them – they will appreciate this and try to do the same for you. At the same time, staying positive with others and being kind allows for growth to happen without restraint – people can confide in each other and learn, even if they make mistakes.

4. Be a supporter for your fellow team members

This goes along with what I said earlier – be there for your teammates, especially during tough times. Providing others with what they need to do their best will help the team grow. This could be a number of things – support, constructive criticism, things you’ve learned, or even just being there to talk to them. Always take the chance to support the people on your team, if you are able to.

Of course, don’t hesitate to ask them for help if you need it, too. By being able to confide in each other, your team will be effective and successful when it comes together to accomplish its goals.

5. Prioritize the goals of your team first

In order to do great things as a team, everyone has to put the team first. Here, it becomes necessary to understand what exactly your team wants to accomplish together. By doing so, each member can make decisions according to what will help the team achieve those goals – after all, the success of the team is also the success of each member.

When it comes to putting the team first, you may have to step up when others can’t, and sometimes you’ll need to put aside your own work for a while. While it might be tough, keep in mind that everyone is working for the same goal – this requires everyone to be resilient when things change. Through this, the team can be successful and achieve its goals.


In organizations, businesses, companies, and regular life, teamwork is essential. While you may be working with people who you don’t agree with or know much about, it’s still important to be a strong member of your team. If there is trust, respect, and understanding, then the team will be able to work together and achieve amazing things. Even when times are tough, teamwork is what will push your team to overcome those roadblocks and keep moving forward.

Published by Gerardo Lucena

Gerardo Lucena is a Junior at the University of Michigan pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He has programming experience in C++, and he has worked with Michigan Hyperloop and MRover during his first two years at the University.

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