Being a good team player is one of the qualities that employers always look for during recruitment.
Do you sometimes wonder what it takes to be a great team player?
Surely, being a team player is a quality you need to develop and work on.
This can be beneficial for a student, an employee, a marriage mate, an employer, e.t.c.
A team player is always a welcomed asset in any organization, as the quality comes with efficiency.
When you are a team player, people will want to work with you.
Also, you are more likely to forge fine relationships with others easily.
On a team, there is usually a team leader and the other members of the team.
Regardless of your role in the team, you need to be a good and effective team player.
Being a great team player can help a team achieve its goals and objectives faster.
This is because instead of working in isolation from others, you work together with them in unison, and the level of success that can result from that would be overwhelming.
This article will consider why it is important to be a team player, especially at work.
We will also see what fine qualities make one a good team player.
This will assist you in taking the needed measures toward becoming a team player.
It would also assist you in being a valuable asset to your organization.
What, though, does it mean to be a team player?
Who is a ‘Good’ Team Player?
A team refers to individuals who come together to collaborate and work.
This is done so they can achieve a common goal and/or objective.
An example of a team that readily comes to mind to properly explain this concept is a football team.
When there is a competition, players of differing skills and talents are brought together to make the team.
The goal remains the same, which is to come out victorious.
Each team member is expected to contribute to the team’s success, and this they do by bringing on their individual area of strength.
When they work together this way, their chances for success are increased.
Who, then, is a Team Player?
A team player is an individual who actively supports and contributes their best to the team’s tasks and responsibilities.
They offer themselves willingly and happily to give their best in ensuring the goals and objectives of the team are reached.
A team player does not see himself or herself as more important than others on the team.
Rather, they understand that every member of the team is essential to achieving success.
Hence, they respect the opinions, views, and contributions and are always ready to welcome this.
As such, they are also not obsessed with personal success, as they understand the team’s success is their own success.
Because of this commitment, a good team player does not absorb himself from responsibilities, especially when things are not going well.
Rather, he owns up to the challenges and shares the blame while working with the team to resolve a fruitful solution.
Importance of Being a Team Player
It is not uncommon to find heavily reliant people on their abilities and capabilities in some organizations.
This might be because they are very skillful, talented, or quite experienced in their field.
While they are valuable to their companies, many of them might not be team players.
They might have the bad habit of doing things independently without seeing the need for collaborative efforts.
However, regardless of the level of skill or talent we possess, being a team player is very important for various reasons.
Here are some of the benefits that come from being a team player to the individual, the team, and the organization they represent as a whole:
It Makes Work Easier
You might pride yourself in your personal abilities/skills and feel you work better alone.
While this might be true in some cases, in most instances, this can be tasking.
Let’s take you back to the example of a football team we mentioned earlier.
Imagine a player who feels he can play a defender and attacker’s role simultaneously.
How easy can it be for that individual to perform both roles effectively?
It would be difficult and tasking, to say the least.
In fact, it might be outrightly impossible to achieve the team’s objectives with such an individual.
However, being a team player who identifies his weaknesses and the strengths of others will make your work easier.
You can focus on the areas where you are better while allowing others to take care of their strength areas.
This can then ease up even the most difficult tasks for you.
It Makes Work Faster
Aside from the ease of carrying out tasks that teamwork offers, it also offers speed.
It goes without saying that the speed with which one person handles and completes a task is not the same as the speed at which two or more complete the same task.
When you are a team player, you can simultaneously focus on one or two things and allow others to do the rest.
This can help you complete your assigned duties quicker and in time.
Not working with a team, on the other hand, and wanting to do it all alone can slow down your work.
You might end up with piled-up projects because of the demands of working in isolation.
It Helps Breed Creativity
Granted, you can be creative on your own by careful thinking and engaging in mind training activities.
However, being a team player can hasten the brainstorming and creativity process.
When you work with a team, your perspective is broadened as you listen to different views and opinions.
You no longer see things from your own perspective alone but that of others.
Some of your team members might be more intelligent than you are or knowledgeable in areas you are not.
This exposure through collaboration can help you better view things and increase your chances of being creative.
And, of course, the consistency with creativity would be more than it would be if you always work on your own and in isolation from others.
It Makes You Better
As the saying goes, “no one is an island of knowledge.”
This means that it is impossible for an individual to know it all and not have areas of deficiency.
This also applies to you.
You definitely have areas that you are confident, such as your areas of strength, which you can do with ease.
This could result from the training you’ve received, the years of experience you have, or some natural talents or skills.
However, it is also modest to admit that there are areas where you are not as good, or you can tag them as your weaknesses.
This is where being a team player can help you.
While you contribute your own area of strength to the team, you are also benefiting from others.
Your weak point might be the strong point of another, and you might be able to learn from them.
Working on a team can help you enhance your own skills and even gain new skills by working with others.
You might find that teamwork has helped you to gain more knowledge, make you more skillful and all-round better in the long run.
It Improves Workplace Culture
A healthy workplace is a result of happy employees who are best friends with one another.
Another way employees can get close to each other is to have regular, meaningful communication between them.
This is what being a team player help to achieve.
When you are a team player, you spend more time working with other people and communicating with them in the process.
You get to know their interests, habits, and qualities, which can help you forge a relationship with them.
In an organization where all the workers are best of friends, it creates a good and healthy environment.
In a nutshell, teamwork brings employees together, making the workplace a haven of peace and unity.
It can Increase the Business’ Revenue
When you work on a team, contributing your own quota, and the other employees are also doing the same thing, it can improve productivity.
Likewise, this high productivity level is what will eventually transform into increased revenue and profit for your business.
Hence, when you are a team player, you can work efficiently with other team members to bring success to the organization you work for.
Another way it affects revenue generation is that the business owner can count on the input and contributions of every team member when issues arise needing prompt action.
This would help the organization in meeting business targets and generate revenue.
It Can Make you More Desirable to Employers
Without a doubt, the best organizations are looking out for great team spirit in prospective employees who will work with them.
They understand how important this is to business growth and success.
Hence, one of the questions employers often ask employees is, “Do you see yourself as a good team player?”.
When you have the attitude and qualities of a team player, top employers or business owners want you on their team.
On the other hand, if you lack this quality, you might not have people hire you because you will be difficult to work with.
Therefore, if you are looking to increase your employability and increase the chances of bagging that dream job, you need to work on being a team player.
It Makes you More Responsible
Another reason why being a team player is important is because it can help increase your sense of responsibility.
This is because you understand that you have a role to play in achieving personal success and the entire team’s success.
Hence, you are more dedicated to your duties and also carry them out with extra care.
You work hard to avoid making avoidable mistakes that can put your team in a difficult position.
When you know that it is not just about you anymore, but you have many people looking up to you, it can help you be more responsible.
It can Boost your Morale
Do you understand what it means to contribute to the success of not one, not two but a team of individuals?
The joy and satisfaction that come with it are indescribable.
The only way you can get to experience this is by being a team player.
As a team player, you can contribute your best towards a team project and even suggest that others did not think of.
When your suggestions are applied, and they yield results, this can make you happy and motivated.
It will also boost your morale.
Efforts on personal projects yielding results would, of course, increase morale, but using it on a team would definitely boost your morale more.
How to Be a Team Player -The Qualities you Should Possess
Being a team player is not rocket science.
There are certain qualities you need to possess and work on to be a good team player.
It is all these qualities put together that build the team spirit in you as an individual.
Here are a few of them:
Be a Good Listener
A good team player listens attentively to others’ opinions, views, and concerns.
Not only should you listen well, but you want this to be a habit.
As a team player, you understand clearly that you do not have all the facts nor the knowledge to carry out assigned tasks and projects.
Hence, you should always keep an open mind when other colleagues share their views, especially in the workplace.
Even if you think that the opinion of your co-worker is not valid or beneficial enough, you should still listen attentively as he/she shares this.
When you are a good listener, you demonstrate one of the fine qualities that make one a team player.
Have Good Communication Skills
While listening can be regarded as an essential communication skill, this point is based solely on how you pass across a piece of information.
If your presence on a team is to be felt and appreciated, you will need good communication skills.
That means you need to work on how you relay information verbally or in a written form.
A piece of information cannot be processed successfully when it is not clearly stated or understood.
Hence, improve clarity, simplicity, gestures, e.t.c. when communicating with other team members.
Being skillful in this area is a great step towards becoming a great team player.
Always Share your Ideas and Opinions
It is one thing to have good communication skills.
It is yet another thing to choose to communicate at all.
A good team player does not hold back from sharing what he/she knows with others.
You need to understand that collaboration is very integral to achieving success as a team.
Hence, where there is a team meeting, you do not hold your views to yourself.
Also, do not only sit to listen to others.
Rather, generously share what you think and feel with your team members.
This is a good sign that you are exhibiting the skills and qualities of a team player.
A Clear Understanding of your Strengths
Before you can be an effective team player, you should know what your areas of strengths are.
If you recall, we mentioned earlier that what makes a team function efficiently is the diversity of the team members in skills and knowledge.
Each individual on the team has a role to play.
If you are to be a team player, you need to understand your area(s) of strength clearly.
This will enable you to identify what role you play on the team and contribute to the success.
Modestly Identify your Weaknesses
An individual who deceives himself into believing that he has no notable weaknesses is not a team player.
As a team player, you should be modest enough to admit that there are areas where others are better than you are.
If you fail to do this, you might find yourself wanting to do everything or be involved in every task.
On the other hand, modesty will help you know your weak point, which might be the strength of others.
Also, this would make you stick with your areas of expertise while leaving the other area(s) for others.
A team player is not a burden or cause of a headache to the team, but rather an individual that the team loves to have around.
What makes the difference between being a burden and an asset is your commitment to the team.
You can be a team player by committing yourself to your team and your assigned responsibilities.
This means that you arrive early to work, and not only that, you are dedicated to your role while at work.
You need to show your team members that you are actively invested in the team, and you also need to have your mindset on the team’s goals and objectives.
This commitment is a sign that you are a team player.
Take Responsibility and not Shift Blames
Another practical way you can show yourself as a team player is by taking responsibility for your actions and inactions.
It’s far too common to find people who do not want anyone to hold them accountable or take responsibility.
This is especially so when events or decisions don’t turn out well.
A team player would admit his/her errors and mistakes.
He would not shift the blame for these on others.
Overall, you understand how your actions or inactions affect the team as a whole, and you are mature enough to take responsibility for that.
That is also another way to be a team player.
You Spread Positivity and Optimism
Many challenging situations might arise at work and threaten the calm mood/atmosphere in the workplace.
At such times, a team player does not go on spreading negativity or pessimism, among others.
On the contrary, you show yourself a good team player when you make positive remarks even in the face of such difficult circumstances.
You take on the duty of spreading optimism among others while looking for trusted solutions to problems arising.
Readiness to Help Others
A team player does not have the idea of “me first” or “this is not my job.”
Instead, a team player understands what teamwork really means, and take other people’s role as important as their own.
When a team member needs help or support in some areas, they are more than willing and ready to offer a helping hand.
Recognize and Celebrate the Achievements of Others
You can also show yourself as a team player when you leave no room for envy or bitterness in your organization.
When other team members make great achievements and record success, you are happy for them.
You do not feel that they are less deserving of their success, and perhaps you deserve it more.
Rather, you go all out to recognize and celebrate this with them genuinely.
With that, you are also showing a good sign of being a top team player.
A Team Player is Flexible
Flexibility is another prevalent trait or quality of a team player.
You should prepare for any change of assignment or new tasks that might come up.
It won’t be a sign that you are a good player if you make excuses or are inadaptable.
You will not be a team player if you are also not open to doing something different.
When you are flexible to adjust to workplace changes, you’re a good team player.
Share Knowledge, Information, and Resources with Others
A great team player does not hoard knowledge or information from others.
Neither does he/she keep tools and resources meant for work to themselves only.
As a team player, you know that everyone on the team is there for the same purpose and objective.
Therefore, if you know anything that can make the work easier and faster or have some resources to help, you share it with others.
At the end of the day, it is not a competition between team members. Instead, it’s a collaborative effort toward a common goal.
Final Words on How to be a Team Player
When you talk about the best qualities, one needs to excel in life, especially in the business environment, and professionally, being a team player is one of them.
As a team player, you have many opportunities open to you, as people naturally love such individuals.
It can also be the one defining quality that makes an employer hire you in an organization you’ve always wanted to work for.
Even in your family life, or relationship with others outside work, you can greatly benefit from being a team player.
We are sure that applying the qualities listed above would help you on the road towards being a great team player.