How to be a good team player?

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Last updated June 2016

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Team working is an important aspect of a modern day business. Employers look for people with good team working skills who can effectively contribute to the achievement of organisational objectives. Many employers focus more on team working skills than the degree grade achieved by the job applicants. However, not everyone is a good team player. In this article, we will show how you can be a good team player.

Definition of a team

Some people think that a team is simply a group of people. Well, this is partly true as a team is more than a group of people. In an organisation, a team is a group of two or more people who interact regularly and coordinate their work to accomplish a common objective (Larson and LaFasto, 1989, cited in Attner & Plunkett, 1994).

Importance of team work

Employers emphasise on team work and team working skills for a number of reasons. Many of the jobs are now-a-days done by teams rather than individual efforts. If one person cannot accomplish a job alone and several individuals are required, you need a team. However, team members need to have good team working skills in order to make the team successful.

How to be a good team player?

You need to have some skills and qualities in order to be a good team player. The following is a list of some tips which will help you become a good team player:

Know the skills required well

You need to be well-versed in whatever the technical skills required for your team to accomplish the objectives. If you lack in skills, it will slow down the team work. It may also lead to conflict. You do not need to be an expert; however, you need to know your area well.

Be reliable

Some people say one thing but do exactly the opposite. This is certainly not good for anything. If some members of the team are not reliable, team work would fail. So, be reliable. Do your part as best as you can and do it on time. Do not procrastinate.

Be a good communicator

If you are not a good communicator, it will impact on the team work. If you have some good ideas which you think are useful for the team, share them with the team. Do not keep them to yourself. Likewise, if you do not like the ideas proposed by others, make your position clear in a respectful manner. Make sure you do not offend anyone. This is not useful in team work.

Extend your helping hands

Help your team members as much as you can. This is very effective in building good team dynamics. If you finish your part early, see if you can extend your helping hands to the ones who need it. Your help will accelerate the team efforts. It will also help you earn respect from others.

Be positive

Have a faith in the team. Have a positive attitude towards it. If you are not positive, your performance in team work may badly suffer. There may be some challenges facing the team. However, by staying positive and flexible, you can help the team overcome challenges.

Further reading/references

Attner, R. & Plunkett, W. (1994) Introduction to Management, 5th edition, USA: International Thomson Publishing

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Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.