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According to John Szold, managing director of Caliper Canada, being a team player rather than a glory hound will do a lot more for your career in the long run. Here are six tips for becoming the team MVP.

Be approachable: When someone asks for help, no matter how trivial the task may seem to you, it's important to him or her. Treat them with respect. Avoid sighing, eye rolling or other negative reactions.

Be responsive: Often, we're so focused on the tasks we need to accomplish that we put off a colleague's request for help. You shouldn't be expected to drop what you're doing, but you should offer a date or time when you can accommodate the request.

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Improve your communication skills: Make sure people understand you -- and if you're not sure, ask: "I'm not sure if I said that clearly. What's your understanding?" When listening, make a conscious effort to really "hear" what's being said, rather than simply formulating your response.

Establish and maintain trust: Avoid gossiping. Nothing upsets an office dynamic like anger and distrust.

Share what you know: If you hold back because you want sole credit for an idea, you are doing yourself and the group a disservice.

Put the team first: If you find yourself thinking, "What's in it for me?" reposition your thinking by asking, "What's in it for the team?" No one person is more important than anyone else.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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