3 Characteristics of a Great Team Player
3 min read
Great teams are formed by committed individuals who define success collectively rather than individually.
Whether you are already a member of a team, are about to join one, or are in charge of one, the following three attributes must be present in order for an individual to be a more valuable team player:
It is more difficult to achieve success as a team when each member works and seeks attention solely for himself. A great team player seeks opportunities to add value to others, shares knowledge with team members, and accepts responsibility for his actions.
A humble attitude should not be confused with low self-esteem or insecurities. It is rather about a combination of confidence and humility.
C.S.Lewis wrote about humility:
Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
Let us recognize and appreciate each other's contributions to the team!
2. Eager for more
A valuable team player is a dedicated individual who does his work effectively and is constantly seeking for ways to improve himself. It is diligent, always striving for more.
This type of self-motivated team member will not require significant investment. However, by providing them with guidance and trust, they become even more productive.
Of course, I'm not talking about going overboard, but about doing more and working more only when it's truly necessary. I'd like to emphasize the importance of work-life balance.
Finally, be curious, engaged and willing to go the extra mile! 🏃
3. Aware - Collaborative
A great team player is conscious of their words and actions and understands how to treat others with dignity and wisdom.
- They are not afraid to ask questions and they do so in an appropriate manner.
- They are attentive listeners who actively participate in the conversation.
- They are willing to collaborate even if possible conflicts occur.
This section was written with humility in mind, presuming that collaboration and communication are done with good intentions.
Here’s an article I recommend on Communicating as a software developer, by Tiger Abrodi.
- If a team member lacks all three of these attributes, it will be difficult for him to be recognized as a valuable team member.
- If a team member is only humble, or only eager for more, or only aware - collaborative, it may have a major impact on the team, and then leaders must make a bigger effort to tackle the arising problems over time.
- However, when team members possess all three of these attributes, they are trustworthy hard-workers who are also transparent. They know how to collaborate, how to handle a potentially uncomfortable situation and agree to collective decisions.
A great team player prioritizes the team's success before their own.
I should also mention that these attributes can be cultivated and are not unaffectable, thus a person will not always walk perfectly in all three of these areas. Anyone can have a difficult season, which can either strengthen or weaken a positive trait. To maintain good habits and characteristics, one must make deliberate choices.
Change also requires a process. Therefore, be patient!
An excellent read that helped me understand what it takes to be a good team player was Patrick M. Lencioni's book "The Ideal Team Player". It also motivated me to share some great ideas with you on this subject.
I hope you enjoyed the article and that it will help you become a more valuable team member or establish a culture of good characteristics in your team. Cheers until next time! 😊