Team player refers to an individual who easily puts aside his aspirations for achieving the common goals of the team. He does his fair share without complaining, does not hog the limelight and is eager to help team members so that it is the team who wins and not him alone.
Who is a Team Player?
Team player encourages people to work together for their common responsibilities and interests to accomplish the overall objectives and goals of a company. He motivates team members and encourages them to rely on each other to complete tasks, meet deadlines and implement new and innovative ideas.
Teamwork is crucial in a workplace to enable smooth movement because it can easily remove constraints, encourage multi-disciplinary work, foster responsibility and felicitate ownership amongst the members. When people are part of a team, there is an increase in the level of effort, energy and creativity that often results in high levels of efficiency and productivity. Organizations are on the look-out for employees that are good team players as they can promote camaraderie and a sense of achievement into team alliance.
Strong team players are considered the backbone of a team as well as the organization. It is their persistence, resolve and the firm conviction that helps to meet deadlines successfully and get the job done.
15 Characteristics of a Great team player
The essential characteristics of a team player are as follows-
1. A team player understands his role
It is a fact that organizations are generally particular at the time of hiring and tells the applicant about their expectations. This helps the employee to understand his role from the onset.
A clear mindset helps him to have a better understanding of his role and responsibility towards the team and the organization as a whole.
2. A team player is responsible
The characteristic of a good team player is that he is responsible and reliable. He will try to prioritize the allotted tasks and complete them in the order of importance.
3. A team player is committed to his team
A team player will leave nothing to chance. He will be committed to his team and then to himself to achieve set targets with ease. His commitment to the team is 100%.
He will encourage his teammates and will not seek glory for himself, nor will he dominate the limelight if the team wins. He is committed to his team and will not waste his energy by bitching about team members to others.
4. A team player believes in collaboration
Team goals are more important than personal objectives to a team player. He believes in collaboration and keeps the members informed about related information.
A team player is ready to collaborate with all the team members to achieve set targets. Even in the case of a difference in opinion, the team player will overcome them and move forward.
5. A team player holds himself accountable
A team player will never assume that it is only the coach who has answers for everything and should be held accountable if things go south. He understands his responsibility and tries to gel with his coach so that they can work towards the betterment of the team.
A team player will hold himself accountable for things going wrong and will praise his coach and team members if things run smoothly. He understands that his actions will have an impact on the rest of the team members. He will promptly take responsibility for his mistakes and look for viable solutions.
6. A team player is flexible
A team has to cope and adjust with change constantly if it wants to evolve and grow. Good team players are flexible by nature. They welcome change with open arms and try to adjust accordingly.
It becomes easy for them to evaluate various opinions and make compromises when needed.
7. A team player is an excellent communicator
Every individual cannot be a good communicator. Team players generally do not have such a problem. They have the uncanny ability to put forth their views and opinions in a clear and precise manner without hurting the sentiments of other members.
A good team player shares experience, knowledge and information with others in a confident, positive and respectful way.
8. A team player is a good listener
He is also a good listener who takes the time to process the words and understand its meaning. He will consider the viewpoints of other members and process all the information before speaking his thoughts.
Active listening helps to avoid random rambling, interruptions and judgement calls.
9. A team player believes in commitment and action
He is aware of his role and communicates his commitment towards the role in the team with aplomb. He will also express his expectation and enquire about that to his team to clarify matters at the onset.
He is an active team member fully engaged in the team and ready for action at all times.
10. A team player is honest
The best characteristic of a team player is that he is honest with himself as well as the team. Suppose the members are struggling and not faring well then he will be honest in his opinions.
A good team player will not keep his mouth shut to avoid confrontation instead will tell the truth and help members to overcome their limitations with good collaboration and hard work.
Honesty is an admired trait, and a team player will be honest with his teammates, superior and most importantly with himself. He will deliver both good and bad news with equal ease.
11. A team player addresses issues
Conflicts are part and parcel of life. A good team player will address the issue head-on. He knows the value of sorting out problems and dealing with them promptly, and this is why he will seek out the member directly and sort out the matter one-on-one.
Transparency is the glue that will bind everyone together.
12. A team player will not compete with the team
If a specific player is playing very well, the rest of the members will not try to compete with him for supremacy.
Good performance by one member is the success story of the whole team, and this is why they are happy in each other’s accomplishment
13. A team player offers unconditional support
An essential characteristic of a good team player is that he does not have any secret agenda where personal goals matter more than the achievement of the team.
The player offers unconditional support to all his teammates to get the job done. The team player is ready to help with his pointers and tips even though it is not a part of his job description.
14. A team player will involve others
A good team player will involve all his team members so that nobody feels left out. He will keep everyone on their toes so that it becomes easy to face challenges and tough situations without the sign of stress.
An essential characteristic of a team player is that he keeps his team members informed by sharing ideas, views and opinions.
15. A team player knows when to back off
It is impossible to be right at every point in time. A good team player might make a mistake but will be ready to accept and rectify it as soon as possible. An essential characteristic of a team player is his ability to recognize when he is wrong and back off.
The advantages of being a good team player ar as follows-
- A team player assist in boosting productivity
- He can improve individual morale
- A team player provides support to his team
- A good team player will help in building a strong relationship within the team
- He can improve communication
10 Ways to be a good team player
The various ways to be a good team player are described below –
1. Be reliable
To be a good team player, a person has to meet set targets and deadlines. This will earn him the goodwill and support of his team members, and they will consider him trustworthy. If a person is not reliable, he will not be regarded as a good team player, and this can hurt the team.
2. Be open-minded
If you are looking for ways to be a good team player, then it is essential to be open-minded. This quality will help in being open to the viewpoint of other people in the team.
When a person is ready to listen to the perspective of his team members, he opens himself to acceptance from them. Ask for feedback and think it as constructive criticism if you want to make a secure place in the team. Never be defensive as your team members will then shy away from telling you the truth.
3. Be appreciative
A team includes people with different personalities and from a diverse cultural background. It is difficult to gel with everyone from the word go. Figuring out a way to work cordially with everyone is a challenge that you have to accept and succeed in if you are looking for ways to be a good team player.
Be appreciative of the various background and cultures that your team members belong to. This will facilitate better understanding and avoid any issues amongst themselves.
4. Be flexible
Flexibility is a trait that will take you far. If you are looking for ways to be a good team player, then it is imperative to be flexible. There will be good and bad along the way.
Some things will lead to success, whereas others might fail. Accept both as part of life with equal grace. Do not be upset instead adapt quickly to the different circumstances so that you can overcome difficulties with ease.
5. Be vigilant
If you are looking for ways to be a good team player, then simply avoid office politics. Be vigilant and make sure that you are not indulging in politics and are not part of any so-called group.
Teams cannot survive in a toxic environment, and a team player will make sure that every member of his team is happy and satisfied with other members.
6. Be focused
If you are looking for ways to be a good team player, then be focused. Look at the bigger picture and think of the team and not personal achievements. You should be willing to put the interest of the team above everything else no matter what
7. Be happy
If you are looking for ways to be a good team player, then be happy for your team members. Celebrate the success of others as if it is your achievement. This will help in building authentic relationships that will last a lifetime.
8. Be humble
An ideal team member is humble and is ready to appreciate the efforts of others. Be humble, share credits and put the emphasis on the team if you are looking for ways to be a good team player
9. Be positive
Stress is part of any work environment, and most teams will face it one time or other. If you are looking for ways to be a good team player, then be positive in your approach. This will help to bring optimism in a demanding environment.
10. Be helpful
Every member of the team cannot be superb at his work. He might be struggling in the initial days. Offer help if you are looking for ways to be a good team player.
Without collaboration, it is impossible to achieve the goals and objectives of an organization. It is team players who contribute whole-heartedly to their group to manage projects, meet goals and complete tasks.
They are excellent communicators and active listeners with a good understanding of their responsibility towards the team as a whole. A team player will always consider the team’s success as his own and will do everything in his power to keep his team forward.