In every Christmas film that features Santa’s elves, they are almost always represented as; hardworking, friendly, creative, resourceful and punctual. Whilst it may seem “cheesy,” the attributes that Santa’s elves possess can, in fact, be related to the characteristics that the best team players demonstrate in the workplace. So, if you want to succeed in your role and your career, remember to always think ELF: apply this thinking to your daily tasks; are you considerate of your fellow team members? Is there anything you need to improve on personally to better you and your team’s overall work experience?
- Be reliable and responsible
If someone gives you a deadline, make sure you deliver. It’s your responsibility to prioritize wisely and remove distractions, to maintain reliability. If a deadline becomes unrealistic then you must report back to your superior and explain your situation – admitting that you may not be able to reach a deadline does not make you unreliable; quite the opposite, it highlights your sense of responsibility. This also applies when working within a team – if someone asks you for your help and you agree to help them, you must ensure that you stick to your word.
- Always ready to help others and demonstrate commitment
As cliché as it is, always remember the saying “treat others how you want to be treated.” True team players treat fellow team members with courtesy and consideration; not on a part-time basis, this level of respect is a full-time contract. In terms of showing commitment to your team, you do not have to be over-the-top or brash, but you also can’t be passive as a team player. If you truly have the commitment, as a team player you must look beyond your own piece of work and invest interest in the team’s overall work.
- Work as a problem-solver
Of course, every now and then, teams are faced with problems that they must deal with accordingly. In many ways, teams are created so that they can come together and address problems as a unit. Within a team, it is essential that you do not act as “problem-avoiders” or “problem-blamers” as this gets you nowhere very quickly. You can’t put off dealing with issues, or search for those who are at fault; you come together as a team and think of quick, effective solutions.
- Be trustworthy
James Altucher, an entrepreneur, and author, once said: ‘Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.’ To be deemed “trustworthy,” you must be honest with your colleagues; this way everyone knows where they stand with one another and a relationship is made up of mutual genuineness. Once there is an element of trust apparent, team members begin to communicate more, and gradually begin to relate with one another better which contributes to greater results for the company.
- Be creative
Being creative at work can often entail taking risks; sometimes these risks pay off and other times they don’t. Whilst it’s important for individuals to adopt creative mindsets independently, most of the time it is when teams come together to brainstorm ideas collaboratively that has the most successful results. It is always helpful to have a second, third, or fourth opinion on one of your ideas; a fresh pair of eyes should never be undervalued.
- Be friendly – SMILE
It’s all well-and-good to be clever and perform well in your role; however, if you are not a friendly/approachable individual who appears to be scowling constantly, then you will not integrate very well within your team. Let’s face it, no-one in their right mind would want to sit opposite the team grinch, 5 days a week! Whilst there must be a balance between work and social life, it is essential that you communicate well with your colleagues to maintain a positive work environment. Good team players know how to have fun and have a good sense of humour, yet this doesn’t mean having fun at someone else’s expense!
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