6 Qualities That Make a Great Team Player

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 February 2020

In order to achieve goals in the workplace, it’s important to be able to collaborate with others. Whether you are currently part of a team or are preparing to join a new one, developing strong teamwork skills can help you succeed in your career no matter your level or industry.

In this article, we will discuss what it means to be a team player, common characteristics of team players and how you can improve your own teamwork skills.

What is a team player?

A team player is someone who actively contributes to their group in order to complete tasks, meet goals or manage projects. Team players actively listen to their coworkers, respect ideas and aim to improve the product or process at hand. Team players understand that their team’s success is their own success, and they share responsibility when their team experiences difficulties along the way.

Team player qualities and characteristics

There are many common soft skills that make individuals great team players. While soft skills are not as easily learnt as technical skills, they can certainly be developed with time and practise.

Here are several qualities you can focus on to be a better team player:

  1. Understand your role. As a team member, you should understand your role within the team and work to achieve your duties to the best of your ability. Though you may offer help or solutions to other team members, always respect the boundaries of your position.

  2. Welcome collaboration. Working with a team means there will be a variety of different opinions and ideas. Even if you think your idea is best, you should listen to all ideas before pushing yours. Search for compromises, and remain respectful if your work is criticised.

  3. Hold yourself accountable. Take responsibility for your mistakes and look for solutions. Understand how your actions impact the entire group. In doing so, you will learn from your errors and command more respect from your team.

  4. Be flexible. You should readily accept any tasks your manager gives you. Flexibility in your role allows you to learn more and help your team. Look at every opportunity as a chance to learn and develop your skills.

  5. Have a positive attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude even during stressful times helps the rest of your team work through the difficult times more efficiently. Your positive attitude will also help create a better atmosphere for your team.

  6. Commit to the team. You should be fully invested in your team. You will be a great team player if you can show others that you believe in the group, the process and the goals. This sort of positivity can radically increase morale and boost productivity.

How to be a better team player

Working well with others shows that you are committed to achieving both personal and organisational goals. Displaying consistent teamwork skills also shows strong work ethic, increasing your chances for raises, promotions and other earnings. No matter your experience level or position, continuously focusing on becoming a better team player will lead to success in your career.

Here are several ways you can improve your teamwork skills:

  • Offer help. If you see a coworker who seems overwhelmed or is struggling to keep up with tasks, ask if you can help. Team players support each other during difficult times. Remember to ask for help, as well.

  • Actively listen. Active listening means hearing and thoughtfully responding to what your team member says. Ask questions about things you don’t understand.

  • Communicate. Keep your team updated on your progress and what you need to be successful in your job. You should be in constant communication with your team to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal and no one is repeating work.

  • Respect others. Recognise that other team members are also trying to fulfill their roles, and consider how you can support them. Take the time to get to know your team. Everyone has a role to play that is no less critical than your own.

  • Be a problem-solver. When you recognise a problem, take action to solve it. Brainstorm solutions to your problems and ask for feedback.

  • Celebrate teammates' successes. If a member of your team succeeds in the workplace, so do you. It means you are one step closer to completing a goal, so make time to celebrate their success. Also, stay updated on their personal lives and take the time to express interest and care.

If you’re unsure about what areas you need to improve to be a better team player, ask a trusted friend or colleague for honest feedback about your teamwork skills. Set SMART goals to improve those skills over time. You might also consider asking someone you respect in your industry to be your mentor. Learning from someone who has strong teamwork skills can help you improve your own.

Collaboration is a crucial part of working successfully and learning how to be a positive force for your team is vital. When you aim to be a great team player, others will follow. In doing so, you can improve your workplace, grow personally and advance in your career.