Team Work – Ten Qualities

Assuming you had the opportunity to start a new team and could select anyone from your organisation to be on it, who would you pick?

What factors, apart from the right technical skills, should you use to select your team members?

Teams need strong team players to perform well. But what defines such people? Here are ten factors to consider

1. Demonstrates reliability
You can count on a reliable team member who gets work done and does his/her fair share to work hard and meet commitments. He or she follows through on assignments. Consistency is key. You can count on him or her to deliver good performance all of the time, not just some of the time.

2. Communicates constructively
Teams need people who can and will speak up and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for others and for the work of the team. That's what it means to communicate constructively. Such a team member does not shy away from making a point but makes it in the best way possible - in a positive, confident, and respectful manner.

3. Listens actively
Good listeners are essential for a team to function effectively. Teams need people who can absorb, understand, and consider ideas and points of view from others without debating and arguing every single point. Such a team member also can receive criticism without reacting defensively.

Most important, for effective communication and problem solving, team members need the discipline to listen first and speak second so that meaningful dialogue results.

4. Functions as an active participant
Good team players are active participants. They come prepared for team meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They're fully engaged in the work of the team and do not sit passively on the sidelines.

Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for jobs and have a can-do attitude. They want to make a contribution that will help the team be successful.

5. Shares openly and willingly
Good team players share information, knowledge and experiences willingly. They take the initiative to keep their coleagues informed.

Much of the communication within teams takes place informally, so an effective team player is comfortable talking with their colleagues passing along important news and information day-to-day. In this way they keep other people in the loop with information and expertise that helps get the job done and prevents unpleasant surprises.

6. Co-operates and pitches in to help
Co-operation is the act of working with others and acting together to accomplish a job.
This way of working is second nature to an effective team player. Despite differences they may have with other team members concerning style and perspective, they figure out ways to work together to solve problems and get the job done. They respond positively to requests for assistance and take the initiative in offering help.

7. Exhibits flexibility
Teams often have to deal with changing conditions - and may indeed create change themselves. Good team players are able to adapt to ever-changing situations, and "roll with the punches". They don't complain or get stressed because a new direction has been set or they are asked to try something new.

In addition, a flexible team member is able to consider different points of views and can compromise when required. When the team needs to move forward to make a decision or get something done s/he doesn't hold rigidly to their point of view and argue it to death. Effective team players are firm in their thoughts and open to what others have to offer - this is flexibility at its best.

8. Works as a problem-solver
Teams have to deal with many problems. Sometimes it appears that the whole reason why a team is created is to sort out problems. Effective team players are willing to deal in a solution-orientated way with all kinds of problems. They are problem-solvers. They don't simply rehash a problem the way a problem-dweller will; they don't look for others to fault as the a problem-blamer does and they don't put off dealing with problems as a problem-avoider does.

Team players get any problems out in to the open for discussion and then work collaboratively to find solutions and derive action plans.

9. Treats others in a respectful and supportive manner
Team players treat their colleagues with courtesy and consideration consistently - not just some of the time. In addition, they show understanding and support others to get the job done. They don't place conditions on when they'll provide helpe, when they'll choose to listen, and when they'll share information.

Good team players also have a sense of humor and know how to enjoy life, but they never have fun at another person's expense. They always deal with other people in a professional manner.

10. Shows commitment to the team
Effective team players care about their work, the team, and the team's work. They show up every day with this care and commitment up front. They want to do their best and they want other team members to do the same.

They don't come in any particular style or personality. They don't need to be loud cheerleader types, they may be soft-spoken. But they do care about what the team is doing and they contribute to its success - without needing to be pushed.

They look beyond their own piece of the work and care about the teams overall work. In the end, their commitment is about seeing the team succeed and knowing they have contributed to this success. They are motivated by this.

Help your team be more effective with our team building training.