Five ways youth can be good team members

Practice and hone your teamwork skills through 4-H.

4-H clubs are a team. Teamwork can be a fun for some and a scary adventure for others based on the various personality types we all possess. Using these top five skills, youth can practice being a great team member.

  1. Be reliable. Be the person others can count on. By following through on your commitments, you can prove you are a reliable team member who can complete your part of the project to the best of your ability.
  2. Communicate. Keeping other team members up-to-date on what you’re working on is always a good plan. Sometimes, even the best made plans fall apart and that is OK. It is what you chose to do when things don’t go smoothly that counts. Keeping an open and honest communication with your team builds trust and respect, which are vital keys to any team’s success.
  3. Be an active listener. Good listeners are essential to making a teamwork. It is important everyone on a team is heard. A good life lesson is to learn the art of listening first, speaking second. When listening skills are practiced, the team’s ability to effectively problem-solve increases and the team bond is strengthened.
  4. Cooperate. The old phrase “many hands make light work” is so true. Teams can accomplish more when everyone works together. The team should be working towards a common goal and each team member, like a cog, does their part to contribute to the overall goal.
  5. Commit. A good team member shows a commitment to the team. Showing up, working hard and taking care of fellow team members are different ways to show commitment. Committed team members choose to do their best for the team and expect the same amount of commitment from others.

Teamwork can be very fulfilling, but also challenging. When youth are allowed to practice the characteristics of being a good team member in a safe and nurturing environment, they are more likely to find success and be able to function as a good team member throughout their life.

To learn more about the resources Michigan 4-H life skill development has to offer, please visit Michigan State University Extension’s Life Skills page.

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