What Makes a Good Team Player?

Good Team Player

Teams made up of motivated and committed members are undoubtedly the most successful. But what makes a good team player? And how do you nurture that within your organisation? Here, we look at some of the best qualities a team player can have, alongside ways in which you can encourage them in the workplace.

Qualities of A Good Team Player

While the qualities we’ve listed below aren’t the be all and end all of what makes a good team player, it’s fair to say they provide a solid foundation. Different teams have different strengths and dynamics, which certainly should be considered. But a high performing team, at its core, is comprised of a good mix of individuals who are passionate and committed to bringing their strengths to the table.

Commitment

All good team players should be committed to the goal they are working towards. And this grows out of passion and a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. It’s important for information to be communicated clearly to team members, alongside transparent targets and role definitions in order to gain their commitment.

Throughout the life of a team, commitment should also be reaffirmed at regular intervals. This comes through praise of achievements, rewards, and regular ‘catch-ups’ where team members discuss, share and feedback on their performance.

Collaboration

When teams collaborate effectively, they come up with solutions and new ideas. Therefore, it’s important for team players to be open and willing to work collaboratively, share new ideas, give constructive feedback and demonstrate creativity.

Collaboration also means communicating effectively and being open to change. This is particularly true in constantly changing organisations, where teams must adapt quickly and continue to achieve.

Accountability

Good team players understand the value of their contributions and the impact their actions have on the performance of the team. It’s important to distinguish taking accountability from finger pointing. The first means that individuals make informed decisions with confidence and learn from their mistakes – with the right support. While finger pointing is unproductive and demotivating.

Nurturing a sense of accountability in individual team members means providing the right training, processes and support systems to ensure everyone is able to justify their decisions and reflect on them for the future.

Flexibility

All teams will be working to a plan, deadline or timeline – but flexibility is important too. Flexibility gives room for team members to deal with challenges as they arise and overcome obstacles with ease.

Optimism

Team members who are optimistic and look to the future are more motivated to perform and exceed expectations. Individuals with a positive attitude who can deal with challenges without getting panicked or stressed are an asset to any team, and it’s a quality that should be nurtured in any way possible.

In many cases, optimism comes from the top down. If a leader or manager presents as optimistic and excited for the future, team players will generally model this. Optimism doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand however! Instead it means celebrating achievements and focusing on how problems or obstacles can be overcome, without losing the faith.

Motivation

The final quality of a good team player is motivation. Ideally, teams should be made up of people who are driven to succeed and motivated to push themselves. In some cases, individuals may need some help in motivating and pushing themselves. A way to help this along is with clear and consistent personal development plans, which identify the strengths of team players and address how they can build their skills in order to excel within their role.

Of course, you will never be able to stop challenges from knocking the confidence of a team player – at least temporarily. But resilient, motivated and tenacious individuals will have the skills to push through and turn a potential negative into a positive.

Nurturing Your Team Players

While some people may naturally possess more than a few of these skills, keeping a team on track, focused and motivated requires constant monitoring. In many cases, you may need to provide them with training and additional support, as well as facilitating better teamwork through team building.

Teams are essentially groups of people who have been told to work together. While you may have cherry picked them, or hired them, for their individual skills, that doesn’t mean they’ll automatically get along and work well together. Sometimes it takes a bit of work and a clear plan to build up the people in your team and help them to develop effective skills.

At KDM Events, we create innovative team building challenges, games and activities that help develop team players and strengthen team performance. To find out more, contact us today.


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