Are you as indispensable at work as you think you are?
The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.
– Bill Russell, Retired NBA Player
Now that’s a quote that precisely describes how a team member should be.
It applies not just to sports teams, but also to the teams in organisations.
There is at least one person in every team who is considered completely indispensable.
They happen to be
- a hard worker,
- someone who all the other team members know they can turn to
- a person with high efficiency, accuracy, and speed, and
- a team player, or
- a leader (not by position) that inspire others to be their best self.
It’s natural for everyone to want to be that person.
But how, exactly, do you become an indispensable person?
There are few things that A-players have in common. It is what makes them prominent.
So if you’re looking for the discerning qualities to focus on to become an indispensable team player, then you’re on the right article.
Ways to become an indispensable person at work
Effective communication skills
One of the most important qualities of great teamwork is good communication skills.
As a team member, you need to speak up whenever necessary and express your ideas and thoughts honestly, directly, and clearly.
Your communication should have respect for the team’s work and for other team members—that’s exactly what constructive communication means.
Also, listening to and supporting other members’ ideas is equally important.
When it comes to being indispensable, do not shy away from accentuating a point, but also make it in a respectful, confident, and positive manner.
Be a problem solver
All teams face problems.
However, indispensable team members always approach a problem in a solution-oriented way. Rather than rehashing, avoiding, or blaming others, an indispensable worker help and support each other.
To be indispensable, collaborate with others in the team to come up with a solution, and frame an action plan to solve the problem.
Even if you don’t know the solution initially, know that mobilising the entire team to work on finding a solution will result in the right outcomes.
When you take the lead to solve a problem faced by your team, you are making a positive contribution to your team.
Even if you are not being recognised outright, keep taking initiatives and you will eventually become the go-to person for whenever a solution is needed.
Expertise a specific skill
Another vital aspect of becoming an indispensable team member is being an expert in a specific skill or niche.
Of course, it is essential to be proficient in almost all aspects of your field, but what’s more important is to be the go-to person when it comes to a specific skill.
You can obtain this chance when someone in your team with a unique skill resigns or gets transferred, leaving you to step in to offer your expertise.
Or, you can also get the opportunity when something new came up. And the project requires specific skills that no one else in your team or company has.
One other way to be an expert in a particular skill is by finding a gap in your team’s collective skill set. Then, work to fill the gap with your knowledge and experience.
Your team members should be able to count on you when it comes to getting work done.
Moreover, you need to be indispensable to your boss too.
Become the person where the boss can rely on no matter what.
Always put in your fair share of hard work, and remember to meet commitments.
Be consistent and bring assignments to a successful conclusion.
Be a person who others can count on by delivering excellent performance at all times.
Be flexible, be indispensable
It is not uncommon for teams to face changing workplace conditions.
Sometimes, changes are created by the teams themselves.
Efficient team players usually adapt to these changes easily and willingly.
Be ready to accept changes and do not get stressed or complain whenever you are required to follow a new direction or try something new.
Also, analyse different perspectives and compromise whenever needed.
Do not be obstinate about a single perspective, as this can be a hurdle when your team needs to get something done.
Of course, you can be firm in your ideas, but also be flexible enough to accept what the other members in your team have to offer.
Besides developing these qualities, always remember that your job is to make your team’s job easier.
Think of ways to help your team and make the jobs of your team members easier; this will help make them believe in you more and more.
In addition to caring about your work, care for the team members’ work, and the team itself.
Finally, an indispensable team player…
is more than just forcing yourself to do what’s stated above.
It has to be done willingly and fitting for your personality.
Reason being that without the passion for it, you will not appear genuine and it will backfire.
Expand your horizons and learn new skills that interest you.
Do these for your own satisfaction, and your recognition as an indispensable team member will come automatically.
On the whole, your commitment should be for the victory of your team, to achieve the team’s goals.