Throughout our lives, we are all members of one team or another. Your “team” could be your coworkers, friends, or spouse and kids. Much of what we accomplish in our lifetimes is done with the help of others. The key to being a good team member is learning how to work with others to achieve a common goal.

Being part of a team can be difficult, especially in a society where the goals and needs of the individual are sometimes valued more than that of the group. But, as the discoveries of physicist Albert Einstein show, working with a team can lead to even greater things. Einstein collaborated with other great minds throughout his career, and it’s believed that even his most groundbreaking findings were achieved with the input and help of others.

How can you be a good team player? The following suggestions can help.

Have a can-do attitude.

One way to be a good team player is to have a positive attitude. Historically, powerful people have recognized that being optimistic can lead to success. “The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible,” Winston Churchill famously said. Having a positive attitude can be key to seeing past obstacles to reach your goals.

But if you don’t already have an upbeat attitude, can you develop one? The answer is yes. It may take some work, but a positive attitude can be developed over time. Try these tactics to get a rosier outlook on life:

  • Live in the present. Brooding over the past can lead to depression while worrying about the future can cause anxiety, experts say. Enjoy the present, and don’t put too much on your plate by taking on everything at once.
  • Acknowledge your worth. Be mindful of your strengths, and applaud your accomplishments. This can help you rid yourself of negative thoughts.
  • Focus on others. Everyone needs a break from themselves every now and then. Taking time to focus on others’ needs can give you space from your own worries and problems.

Communicate well.

Communication can be the driving force of an effective team. For instance, a good team player may need to communicate with others in person, in texts and videos, or in video chats. Keep these pointers in mind to be an effective communicator.

  • Communicate clearly. Everyone on your team needs to know the group’s strategies and goals, and these can be conveyed with concise and clear language. Keep in mind who you are communicating with; for example, you may need simpler and gentler language when speaking with a child.
  • Listen well. Good communication isn’t just about talking; a good communicator should be a good listener, too, says Daniel Post Senning, copresident of the Emily Post Institute. “During a conversation, a lot of people focus on what to say,” he explains. “But the most important job you have in a conversation is listening.” If you don’t listen during a conversation, you can miss much of what is being said and make the discussion one-sided.

Embrace team spirit

You probably know the cliché “There’s no ‘I’ in team.” Being a good team member can be a balancing act; you must balance your needs with those of the team. For example, John Lennon recruited fellow Beatles member Paul McCartney, even though he reportedly worried that McCartney was the better musician. This move created one of the most successful partnerships in music history. Some of the balancing you’ll need to do as a team member includes:

  • Being open to others’ opinions and ideas. Everyone in your team may have something important to contribute. If you aren’t accepting of others’ input, a valuable opportunity could be overlooked.
  • Showing appreciation. Every team member needs to feel appreciated to feel like an essential member of the team. You could show this appreciation by congratulating a coworker for their successes or thanking them for a job well done.
  • Being reliable. A good team member is someone you can count on to get the job done, so pitch in when extra help is needed and provide general support for the others on your team.

It can be a dog-eat-dog world sometimes, but, thankfully, it’s often when we work together that we achieve our best.