20 Qualities That Make You A Good Team Player
A team is a group working together to achieve a common goal. Every organization relies on a good team to drive the organization towards success faster.
One will chase a thousand while two will chase ten thousand – that is the definition of synergy. More things are done when it’s a team effort. The achievement of a team is usually greater than the individual achievements of the members of a team.
From the simple teamwork with your siblings, up to bigger teamwork, the result of such cannot be overlooked.
Mind you, synergy is only applicable to a good team. Some attributes are needed to make a good team because a team is as good as its members. Do you want to be a good team player?
Below are a number of attributes associated with good team members. You should have these attributes to be one.
1. You’re self-aware
A good team player must be aware of his capabilities. This is what I mean – you must know and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. With an impartial view of your strengths and weaknesses, you will know where you fit perfectly to function optimally.
Once you know this, you can now work out ways to be better and learn how to do things you suck at. A good team comprises of individuals with different strengths coming together to reduce or eliminate each other’s weaknesses.
Hence, being aware of other team members will go a long way in helping the entire team. If you know another team member can do it better, that individual should be allowed to do the task while others support. If an individual has a weakness in the area of your strength, do help the individual. This is also an attribute of a good leader.
Players of a football team are expected to know the necessary positions on the field before the game starts. A defender might not function well as a forward. Therefore, if a player is not aware of his dexterity and agility, it might cost the team a lot.
2. You’re competent
Now that you are aware of your strengths, you must improve on them so well that you become an expert in it. Valued members of a group are usually experts in their professions. When a task is given to you, you must carry it out with as much competence as possible.
It takes time to be competent, why? Because it takes practice to be competent and consistent practice takes time. If you do the same thing repeatedly, you will gradually become competent. Continuous practice not only makes you gain new skills but also perfect your existing skills. A good team player should be capable and competent in his area of specialization.
3. You’re Committed
In order to be a good team player, you must be committed to the cause of the group. If all you do is just light participation in team activities, your commitment might be questioned. A questioned commitment is not a good thing for a team.
This might reduce the effectiveness of the team and nothing makes a team more unreliable than noncommitment. Mastery of personal growth and overall team progress are things you must be committed to.
4. You’re Self-Motivated
A great team member is a motivated person. Different things motivate different people but the best thing that helps a team is the ability of its members to be self-motivation. A self-motivated individual will perform better most often that people whose motivation are not intrinsic.
Hungry or not, incentivized or not, a self-motivated person will look forward to the end result of a task without necessarily being concerned about the process he has to undergo to get the task done.
Self-motivation lasts longer than any external motivation. The best bet of being self-motivated is to ensure you create a personal interest in the task and give little or no preference for the external forces.
The major driving force of extrinsic motivation is money. No one can deny that fact. Nothing is wrong with being motivated by money, it just shouldn’t be the only motivating factor. When all that motivates you is money, you will get demotivated easily when the condition of the motivation changes.
To improve your performance, you need not be extrinsically but intrinsically motivated to perform your tasks in a team.
5. You have great interpersonal skills
This is an important skill sought after by many teams. The skill that manages human relations. Great interpersonal skill is needed to function very well within a group and would ensure others have a good time working with you.
With such skill, you will get more people to do more effortlessly. You can build your interpersonal skills by ensuring you have great communication skills coupled with emotional intelligence. To be a really good team player, you can’t underestimate the value of interpersonal skills. You need to carry everybody along every step of the way.
6. You Possess a Good attitude
Attitude determines your altitude. Your attitude to work and others in your team matters. Attitude is the way you handle the task and the people around you. The same way you perceive work is the same way you will perceive other members of your team.
One peculiar thing about attitude is that it can be transferred. If you take a closer look, you will notice that the attitude of the members of a team is similar after a while of being together. This is because someone’s attitude has rubbed off on another and the cycle goes on and on. This effect is more glaring from a person in a higher position to a junior colleague.
7. You’re Reliable
No one can underestimate reliability. Even the so-called unreliable people always rely on the reliability of others. A team of reliable individuals will outperform a team of less reliable individuals.
There is nothing like a team member that can deliver as at the time promised. This is the same reason people prefer to have a reliable person in a team than a skilful but unreliable individual.
To be a reliable team member, you must be competent and follow through with your targets. Ensure you do not disappoint your team.
8. You’re Confident
“Cognito ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I am”. People with a positive self-image are more enjoyable to work with for a good number of reasons. The first is that you believe in your abilities.
Confident people tend to be productive and are more likely to accomplish their tasks. Confident people give sincere appreciation to others for a job well done and would not undermine anyone with limitations.
You would not see a confident team member slander another member, he would rather make provisions to help the team. However, there’s a thin line between confidence and overconfidence and you must be cautious to ensure your confidence doesn’t become arrogance.
9. You’re Positive
Positivity is a mindset – one you must have to be a very good team player. Positivity does not mean everything is right and okay but no matter the condition, you always see the bright side.
Some people have keen eyes for the silver lining in every cloud. Being positive means, you see failure as a way of not doing it and problem as an avenue for a solution.
Optimism (seeing the better part of a situation) improves productivity. Another advantage is that your fellow team members will like to work more with you because of your kind of mindset.
10. You’re Honest
Honesty these days is the best policy! I talked about unbiased and impartial awareness above which relates to being honest with one’s self. A good team player must be honest to himself and to the team.
Honest about what? Honest about your strengths, weakness, progress, achievements, and shortcomings. You should know that there is a clear line between being honest and being blatant. Be constructive about your honesty.
Honest and truthful people are easier to work with because you know your stand with them easily. When you’re honest, people do not have to double-check what you say or follow you up rigorously because they know from experience that what you said is the exact truth. When you have an honest team, you are sure to have a productive team.
11. You do not judge without facts
Don’t judge anyone until you have walked a mile in the shoe of the person in question. In fact, judge not – that’s what the religious books say. Not your fellow team members or any other person for that matter.
No one is perfect and we are all prone to mistakes so you shouldn’t be quick to condemn your team members until you have heard their side of the story. In this part of the world, traffic can make team members less punctual and you might have to live in the same area to understand what they go through.
Asides that, other factors may be affecting performance. Most importantly, you should be sensitive to a change in a team’s routine and ask what is wrong. Judging will only bring strife and disunity in the team which will affect the overall performance of the team.
12. You’re Responsible
A good team player is responsible for his actions. This unique attribute makes you loved by the team. When you take up responsibility either on the positive or the negative end, you are a step closer to being a good team player.
Be responsible for your mistakes, apologize professionally as soon as you discover it was your fault, and do not shift the blame, give excuses and tell false narratives.
13. You’re understanding
Understanding, empathy, and compassion are closely related attributes you need to be a good team player. “Treat others the way you would like to be treated” is the golden rule here.
You must be mindful of other team members’ feelings. If you want others to enjoy working with you, you must take the time to understand their views. Learn to see things from their perspective, then you will better understand them. This ensures you have a smooth relationship with other members of your team.
14. You respect others
Respect is reciprocal. As a continuation of understanding, you must respect other team members. The first thing to respect in any human is the definition of boundaries.
Man is subconsciously a territorial being with an imaginary zone we don’t want anyone to cross. A good team player knows when to stop so as not to trespass. Learn to respect others and this will help you a long way.
15. You communicate well
“Can two walk together, except they are in agreement?” A prompt answer to that question is “no”.
Without an agreement, a team cannot achieve its goal. And without effective communication, an agreement cannot be reached. Hence, it is important to be a communicator to be a good team player.
Ways of being an excellent communicator include appreciation, making constructive criticism, avoiding pushing blames, explaining details of a task to every member of the team, carrying people along and providing every resource needed to accomplish a task.
The manner of approach differs from team to team, culture to culture and individual to individual so you must be sure of your style of communication. Communication is a two-way thing. One must talk while the others listen. Talking all the time is not an intelligent attribute because there are times you need to be quiet and actively listen to others.
16. You’re Detail-oriented
If you have not been paying attention to details, you must start now. Even though you have the big picture in mind, those tiny details matter a lot. People that are detailed-oriented are more like to notice slight discrepancies in the behaviour or performance of another team member.
Detail-orientation naturally comes with a problem-solving ability which is a plus for the team. It ensures both high-quality work and great social skills.
17. You work on the common goal
A good team player plays for the greater interest of the team, keeping aside his own personal milestones. Every team has an objective and you work to ensure it is met day in day out. As a good team player, you can go any length to ensure your team wins and achieve a particular milestone without minding the fact that the praise and admiration go to everyone in the team.
You don’t care if you’re not recognized as a key player as long as the work gets done and everyone is happy. You keep your head up during trying situations and encourage your fellow teammates to keep their eyes on the goal while protecting them from oppositions when the going gets tough.
18. You’re open to ideas
You do not turn down the ideas of others or make them feel like they can never be as smart as you are. Rather, you seek out ideas and initiatives from others and appreciate them when they do. You could even mention their names as key roles to make them feel good.
There should be almost nothing you can’t share with the team as long as it adds up to the goals and mission of the company. The more they know, the better decisions they can make. You’re not afraid to be influenced by their ideas.
19. You’re open to disagreement
Good team players know that disagreements often lead to the best decision and allow members of the team to speak their minds out. Are you accessible to your team? Can they seek you out for help, suggestions and advice?
Do you support debate among team members and then reconcile conflict constructively? If your answers are positive, you are surely a great team player.
20. You share information with others
You not only get tasks from those ahead of you but also make it known to other members of your team. Delegation makes life easy and also ensure the work is as autonomous as possible without you.
Show you are part of the team by sharing your thoughts and ideas among everyone. I am sure you don’t want to wait until you fall sick before you begin to let your team members know how they can fit into the project at hand. Create backups for all tasks, including your own.
You should take note that not all these attributes are inbuilt form birth, we acquire them by learning. After you must have learned these attributes, you must always work to improve it – these attributes aren’t fixed.
Being a good team player not only affects the team’s performance, but also affects the team members’ relationship. Practise these attributes and become a good or even better team player. 😉