Many things in life work better when you have other people alongside you. Think about it, whether it’s a game of football, a night out on the town or doing the washing up, you can get things done quicker, more effectively and have a lot more fun along the way if you’re working in a group or team. The same is true when it comes to a business – teamwork can be instrumental to its success.
A strong team needs good team players who are all committed to working hard together to reach a shared goal. This is why employers place such value on team working abilities when recruiting, every team member is a vital cog in the company machine!
Some people take to teamwork like a duck to water, whereas others find it a little harder. The good news is, whether you’re a natural team player or not, your ability to work with other people is a skill that can be developed and improved.
So, what makes a good team player? Here are some excellent traits to bear in mind whenever you’re working in a team.
In a team environment, negativity can cause a real domino effect. If one person is giving off negative vibes, they can spread quickly and, before you know it, morale can take a nose dive. Negative colleagues tend to be the ones people try to avoid – make sure that isn’t you!
Luckily, positivity spreads just as easily, so even if things aren’t going to plan or if work is chaos, maintaining a positive attitude will not only help you stay afloat, but will help to motivate those around you.
Sometimes it’s tempting to ‘just get on with things’ when at work, but quietly squirrelling away at your desk can do more harm than good. A strong team player communicates in an open and honest manner with their colleagues.
Not only does this improve efficiency, because everyone knows what each other is up to, but it also helps to promote trust, which is key in any successful team.
This goes for the good and the bad. Don’t forget to praise your colleagues and if you need to offer criticism, do so tactfully and aim to be constructive. Remember, trust can be broken quickly, so if you mess up, own up!
Mutual respect within a team helps it to function effectively – that means no egos and everyone is treated as a peer. Showing your respect can present itself in many ways: listening to what your colleagues have to say, being on time, pulling your weight and always staying prepared are all traits of a respectful co-worker.
Another important way of being respectful to your teammates is by staying focused on the team’s goals, not just your own. Many people want to be recognised for their own personal successes and achievements at work, but don’t let your desire to prove yourself overtake your team spirit.
Trusted and valued team members are the ones that show that they’re in it for the long haul. This doesn’t mean that you should say you intend to be with the company forever, it’s impossible to predict such things. However, your co-workers will feel more comfortable working with you knowing that you care about the long term goal you all share. People who punch in and punch out, and are solely there for the paycheque will struggle to build real working relationships with their peers.
Show initiative, put forward ideas to improve the business, invest time in building rapport with your colleagues and go the extra mile whenever possible. Doing so will make you an asset to any team and, in fact, any company.
If every time you are approached with a favour or a question you are outwardly unwilling to help, people will not want to come to you with anything. This might also come back to bite if you ever need assistance with something. You may not be able to find anyone who wants to give you a hand!
This all links back to positivity, but demonstrating willingness at work means the world to your team. Be generous with your time, knowledge and skills when it comes to your colleagues. Sharing is caring, after all!
Different people face change in different ways. Change can be good, change can be bad and it’s not always within our control, especially at work. This means that being adaptable and ready to take on anything you may be faced with as a team will make sure that you have a positive impact on everyone within it.
Being open and accepting to change will allow you to influence those co-workers who aren’t feeling as flexible as yourself, helping the whole team to stay on the same page.
These are some of the many character and personality traits that can be found in a good team player. Even implementing just a few of these in your day-to-day working life could have a massive impact on your team.