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The Loner’s Guide to Becoming a Team Player

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Moving to a team-centered role

If you’ve moved from an individual role to a more team-centred position, working as part of a team may at first pose a challenge.

But, there are ways to overcome this problem and learn how to work together in a team.

Hesitant about sharing responsibilities

Consider why you prefer to get work done separately. Usual justifications could be:

  1. “I’m confident that I can do the work better than others.”
  2. I’ll end up picking up the slack and doing it all myself anyway.”

Self-confidence and ambition, while good traits, shouldn’t come at the expense of a team. A great team needs different characteristics, and it takes a talented leader to create such teams. Ultimately you should trust your colleagues, share responsibilities, and discover creative solutions together.

The benefits of a team environment

Research shows that just feeling that you are part of a team makes complex tasks more enjoyable and promotes motivation. Working from home makes collaboration as a team even more critical.

Addressing issues you’re passionate about with like-minded people are vital to job satisfaction. Taking advantage of the diversity of experiences and ideas in a team setting can lead to innovative ideas.

Adjusting your work style and outlook

You may have difficulty adjusting if you’re used to doing everything yourself, but the following can help.

  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses, and be receptive to learning and teaching. If you’re an expert in an area, you can teach others. In areas you are weaker, you can learn from your coworkers.
  • Build trust with your colleagues by demonstrating your own vulnerability and openness.
  • Sharing the workload frees up your time and shows your staff that you have faith in their abilities.
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