What Does Team Player Really Mean?

“Team player” is probably one of the biggest buzzwords in HR and recruiting. In 9 out of 10 job descriptions, you will find the requirement of being a team player. Managers want to have true team players in their team. Strong team player skills are used in performance reviews. But, what does being a team player really mean? Yes, a team player performs well in a team, but if we break that down, what does it really consist of?

A good team player communicates constructively.

Great team players are not afraid to express their opinion and ideas but always does so with respect and in a positive, confident manner.

A good team player is transparent and shares openly.

Good team players share the information, knowledge and experience they have and take the initiative to keep the rest of the team informed. Good team players don´t keep important information to themselves just so they can individually progress. They don’t consider information as power and therefore keep it to them.

A good team player is always ready to help.

Collaborating is working with the rest of the team to achieve a job. Good team players collaborate by nature. They might have different opinions or different ways of working than the rest of the team, but they will find a way to overcome these differences and work together. Good team players offer help when they see somebody needs it and always respond to requests for support.

A good team player is flexible.

Teams always have to deal with change, a good team player can deal with constant change and finds new ways of working together. A flexible team member can evaluate different opinions and compromise when needed. A good team player doesn´t stick solely to their own point of view, especially when the team needs to get a job done.

A good team player doesn´t compete with their team.

A strong team player doesn´t see a limited outcome where if one team member performs well it automatically means the other team member does not. A good team player considers the pie as unlimited and knows that one´s success doesn´t mean another´s failure. They know that there is enough for everyone and that by collaborating ultimately everybody wins and achieves more.

A good team player doesn´t have a secret agenda.

A strong team player works for a common agenda and does not have an individual, hidden agenda. They work for the common goal and are not led by personal interests.

A good team player supports others.

Great team players show the appropriate support to other team members to help them get the job done. They don´t condition when they will provide assistance, when they will listen or when they will share their knowledge, they are always ready to provide the support that is needed. They care about how the team is doing and want to contribute to the common success.

A good team player is reliable.

A great team player delivers what they promise to deliver and don´t slack out. They keep their word to get their work done and follows through on their tasks. They consistently deliver the output they should.

A good team player is an active team member.

Great team players make sure they are prepared for meetings and are fully engaged in the team´s work. They don’t piggyback off the work of other team members and actively make their contribution.

A good team player is a good listener.

Great team players listen actively and consider and understand different points of view in the team. They listen before speaking and listen without judging or criticising.

What other qualities make a good team player for you?


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