By Joni Lindquist

We often hear comments about others or ourselves that “he or she a great team player”.  Being a team player  has become an important characteristic that managers look for when hiring or considering promotions.   Here are five tips to becoming a great team player:

  1. Know your role – effective teams are composed of various roles.  There should be a leader, and subject matter experts.  Sometimes there are “connectors,” providing input from key organizations and sometimes a “project manager” who assists the leader.  When you are a member of the team, you need to know what your role is for the project or work the team is engaged in.   If you don’t’ know, get it clarified by your boss or person in authority.
  2. Play your role – once you know your role, you need to “play” it at a high level.  Do whatever research or analysis or work required for each meeting.  Come prepared and deliver what is expected of you.   If you are not the leader, make sure you are supporting and not undermining the leader.  Participate fully in team discussions and brainstorming.  You wouldn’t be on the team if your viewpoint didn’t matter.  Effective teams are better than the individual parts, only when all teammates are actively engaged.
  3. Support others – support others with their assignments as needed.  Don’t just get your little piece done, but be willing to help others as appropriate.  Offer encouragement; provide resources, experience, whatever you can.   If the leader goes in a direction you don’t agree with, voice your concerns, but if they are not swayed, get on the bus and help make the team’s outcome as strong as possible.  Don’t’ criticize others on the team.  You can disagree with their ideas, just don’t make it personal.
  4. Be dependable – be a teammate that others find reliable.  Do your assignments at a consistently high quality.  Be on time with your tasks and for meetings.  If you are the leader, be consistent with your directions and management of the team.
  5. Share the glory, admit your mistakes – if you do make a mistake, fess up and move on.  If the team is getting praise from others for their results, recognize other team members who have been critical in getting these results.  You can do this whether you are the leader or not.

Learn to be a great team player to advance in your career.  It’s not a nicety , it’s a necessity.

For help with team-building and other essential career skills, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Joni Lindquist –, or call (913) 345-1881.

Photo credit: lumaxart / Foter / CC BY-SA