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Unit: Communication and teams

Section: Working in teams

MSAPMSUP102A: Communicate in the workplace
MSAPMSUP106A: Work in a team

Competencies covered

MSAPMSUP102A: Communicate in the workplace
MSAPMSUP106A: Work in a team

Being a good team player

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Being a team player is like being a cog in a machine - you have to mesh well with the cogs around you so that all the parts can turn smoothly.

If you don't, then the whole machine will end up feeling the pain, even the parts you're not directly engaged with.

Below are some of the ways you can be a valuable member of your work team.

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Be cooperative

Teamwork is all about cooperation. If you support the group effort, do the work that's expected of you, and pitch in to help others when needed, you'll be held in high regard by the other team members.

Being cooperative also includes keeping your sense of humour when things go wrong or the work becomes difficult.

Remember, it's when the going gets tough that people show their real character.

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Respect the other team members

You don't have to be friends with everyone in your team, but they all deserve to be respected.

Try to be tolerant of people who are different from yourself. Even better - learn to 'celebrate their diversity'.

You might be surprised at how well you get along with them once you've come to understand how they tick.

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The same applies to the way you work alongside other tradespeople at the jobsite.

On large projects, you'll often have to cooperate with plumbers, electricians, painters, plasterers and other specialist installers so you can all do your job efficiently without slowing down or damaging each other's work.

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Share important information

Sometimes you may have an issue that other people need to know about, such as a medical problem that's affecting your work or an appointment that will require you to leave early.

Or you might be having trouble concentrating at work because you're very worried about something that's happening at home.

Always tell your boss or supervisor if there is an issue that could affect the way they plan the day, or that would help to explain your behaviour.

Don't bottle it up, because it will only make you feel more stressed while they don't know, especially if your boss ends up saying: 'Why didn't you tell me before?'

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Ask for help when you need it

Some people find it awkward to ask for help, particularly if they're a new trainee or the youngest member of the team.

But it's in everyone's interest for people to support each other, because they all want to get the job done properly and finished on time.

The link below will take you to some hints on how to ask for help when you're in a busy workplace.

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Plan your time

Most projects need to be completed in stages, with each stage having its own place in the overall sequence.

So although there's likely to be a whole range of tasks that have to be done, they still need to be tackled in order of priority for the job to run smoothly.

The first thing you should do when you start any job is to plan your time and decide on the order of priorities.

Click on the link below to see a simple procedure for planning a job and managing your time.

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Take pride in your work

You may have heard the old quotation:

The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.

Clients remember quality, because it's what they see every time they look at the job you did for them.

It's also what they'll comment on most when they talk about your work to other people.

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If you maintain high standards and pay attention to detail, you'll be able to stand back at the end of a day's work and be proud of what you've achieved.

Your boss will also take notice of your performance, and be more likely to give you new responsibilities or opportunities for promotion.

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Learning activity

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It's not just the boss who needs to practise good time management. For any team to work productively, everyone on board has to know how to manage their time effectively.

What are the three biggest time wasters in your day? Write a list, and beside each item write down how you could reduce the amount of time it gobbles up each day.

The issues you raise might include: getting equipment organised, looking for missing tools, waiting for an offsider to come and help, waiting for the boss to tell you what to do next, answering personal mobile phone calls or SMSs.

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