Whether we are in business as a single-person enterprise or running a large business; whether we are part of a team large or small we are still part of a team somewhere. Even in families, we are often a team. Teams are either functional or non-functional due to various personalities and how we manage the roles we play and the emotions that affect our behaviour.
Usually the only time we are asked how good a team player we are, or what type of team player we are is at an interview. For some people they’ve already thought about the answer whereas for others they haven’t.
Of course, it’s easy to just say that it depends on the day, the team, what type of mood we’re in. But we really should all be clear in what way we are a team player and determine exactly what makes a good team player, and what we might learn as a skill to make us a better team player.
Being a team player means we have to be very good at communication, be mindful of others’ roles, behaviours and emotions.
Here’s a few pointers which I’ve adapted from the internet which you might want to consider as part of your assessment on where you sit on the scale of being a poor, average, great or excellent team leader.
- Understanding what others are feeling during meetings
- Being able to show empathy to others in the team
- Demonstrate an interest in the team members lives outside work
- Feel and have a sense of responsibility regardless of role for success of the team
- Have a real passion for the team’s vision, mission, purpose and aim
- Compliment or praise team members regularly without hesitation
- Share credit for team members accomplishments
- Admit mistakes and apologise immediately when mistakes are realised
- Acknowledge own weaknesses to encourage others to do the same
- Take the lead on challenging tasks to encourage others to do the same
- Be a role model for behaviour and adjust to fit the culture of the team
- Be mindful of your actions and words and be sympathetic to how this may affect others
- Be an active listener and ensure every person in the team has an equal say
- Always try and contribute over and above your specific role
Perhaps you could consider the above and see this as a team player self-assessment to see how you might be able to make some improvements, learn new skills, brush up on some existing skills or address some of your weaknesses.
You might have some others you might like to add to the list and keep these handy as a checklist for those times when you are part of a team, existing, new or long-standing.
If everyone takes responsibility and tries their best, imagine how far teams could go, how successful they would be.
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