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Keeping Your Spark as a Team Player: How You Can Do Both

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’” - It’s phrases like this that remind us to embrace our team in the quest for success. After all, a positive culture amongst the team in the workplace can lead to increased productivity, more employee satisfaction, and overall better results. However, just because you’re awesome in a group does not mean that you have to ditch your unique qualities. Here are four ways that you can keep your special spark while being an energized team player:

  1. Think from different perspectives with one goal. Conversation does not have to equal consensus, at least right away, so always offer your take on something in meetings. Part of being an effective team member is contributing what you can, point of view included.

  2. Acknowledge your accomplishments. While you do not want to come across as a braggart, do not be afraid to toot your own horn every once and awhile, as it’s rare that someone else will do it for you. When you point out one of your accomplishments, incorporate it into the team’s effort. Repeat after us: “I’m so happy that I was able to do x, which in turn helped the team’s great work on y.”

  3. This not that. Say “yes” to tasks where you could really contribute something, even if it is not directly in your department. This could be a great chance to foster dialogue throughout the organization and allow your unique talents to fill the gaps between departments. On the flip side, budget your and your team’s time to figure out where everyone can say “no.”

  4. Ride the wave! The balance between being the star of the show and being in the chorus is not simultaneous. Sometimes it is best for you to branch out from the team’s work and work on separate goals parallel to them, while other times you will need to step back and be one in the crowd. Whether organizing files with the interns or giving a presentation to the entire company, keep your chin up and push forward with purpose!

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