8 Qualities of Effective Team Players

 photo 8-Qualities-of-Effective-Team-Players.jpg Throughout your career, you will be expected to work closely with co-workers to achieve a shared goal. You might be assigned to a team formed to achieve a specific outcome, such as improving a business process, coming up with new product ideas, or identifying additional customer markets. Or, you may simply need to work with co-workers to perform your day-to-day job duties.

Teams often produce better outcomes than individuals, and do so better, faster, and more creatively. This is because individual team members have:

  • Their own unique set of strengths, which can be leveraged for higher quality results.
  • Different people in their networks, which increases access to, and sharing of, information among the group.
  • Diverse experiences and perspectives, which contribute to a bigger pool of ideas and better problem solving.

Participating on a team also provides you with personal benefits: it allows you to form relationships, build strengths, increase your visibility, and take pride in the group’s accomplishments.

While the concept of “teamwork” may seem simple, it actually involves a wide range of skills. Developing the following traits and behaviors will help you make the most of this rewarding experience.

Engaged


Effective team players take a project seriously and give it their all. They embrace the team’s goals, and participate fully in achieving them. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Adopt the team’s purpose as your own, and hold yourself accountable for doing your part to support its success.
  • Model and promote a sense of team spirit and identity.
  • Understand what contributions you can make to help the team meet its objectives.
  • Recognize that teamwork is part of your job, even if the project is outside the scope of your normal work activities.

Dependable


Effective team players can be counted on. They make a consistent contribution to the team, and follow through on their commitments. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Be punctual when meeting, and prepared to actively discuss the details of the project.
  • Perform all project-related tasks timely and accurately.
  • Respond to your teammates’ emails and phone calls promptly.

Inclusive


Effective team players know that greater group participation and diversity lead to more ideas, some that may be better than their own. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Recognize that your co-workers offer unique backgrounds, experiences, and skills that can be beneficial to the project.
  • Encourage others to speak up without interruption.
  • Assess teammates’ suggestions with optimism and objectivity.

Upbeat


Effective team players bring positive energy to the group, and motivate members to do their best work. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Avoid complaining and negativity.
  • Praise and thank your teammates for their input.
  • Be happy when others succeed.

Humble


Effective team players know they don’t have all the answers and aren’t afraid to show weakness. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Set aside your ego.
  • Own your mistakes and view them as learning opportunities.
  • Ask for help.
  • Request and graciously accept feedback on your work.

Giving


Effective team players are generous with their time, effort, and insights. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Offer your ideas to the team confidently, yet with the understanding that the chosen solution may not be yours.
  • Provide feedback on your co-workers’ suggestions in a helpful and encouraging way.
  • Share information you learn elsewhere freely if it is relevant to the team.
  • Put in the work required for the best possible results.
  • Show support and offer assistance to your co-workers.
  • Help your teammates feel valued.
  • Share credit for project successes.

Flexible


Effective team players adapt to changing circumstances and stretch beyond their comfort zone. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Recognize that the team may need to shift focus or direction in response to factors outside their control.
  • Understand there can be more than one “right” way to do something, and show a willingness to try new methods.
  • Develop the ability to act as both leader and follower, and determine the most appropriate role in a given situation.

Unifying


Effective team players are forward-thinking, and take steps to maintain an environment that aids problem solving and goal achievement. When you are working on a team, strive to:

  • Anticipate, identify, and clarify potential miscommunication.
  • Be sensitive to tension or negative feelings among team members, and help the group work through them.
  • Deal with other issues as they arise in a solutions-oriented manner.
  • Help teammates reach agreement.

Your ability to exhibit these traits as you work toward a common goal with others will influence team, company, and individual success.


 
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