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Many employment ads mention that the successful candidate will be a team player. Employers want employees to be comfortable working as part of a team. It's important for a new employee to fit in with and get along with the other workers in order for the organization to run smoothly in a spirit of cooperation. A team player is not necessarily liked by everyone, nor does he or she usually like everyone on the team. However, a true team player is an employee that can be counted on to do his or her part of the work and be relied on to complete tasks and work cooperatively with others.
It’s important to realize that a business team differs greatly from a social group. This can be confusing for some as friendships may occur with co-workers. We may even confide in a co-worker at times like we would with a friend. Yet we cannot lose track of the fact that we all must work together to ensure that the company’s end product or service is delivered to clients in an efficient and cost effective manner. If we experience problems in friendships we’ve formed with co-workers, we have to be sure that it doesn’t affect the business team and that’s not always an easy thing to deal with.
Another trouble spot for many in being a team player is in natural versus expected styles. Some people are natural leaders, while others are natural followers. Yet, depending on one’s position and status in the company, roles may often have to be switched. The natural leader may have to learn to become more of a follower in a subordinate role or he or she may be seen as too bossy or not respectful toward a supervisor or manager. A natural follower put in a leadership role on the other hand, may experience problems in being assertive enough to lead the team through proper delegation.
Each team player should know his or her role and how his or her job fits in with the others. No matter what office politics are occurring, each team member must do his or her part. If each person on the team makes a point to treat each member of the team with respect no matter what personal matters or matters of office politics are between them, they can still operate as team players working to get the job done.