10 star qualities for effective teamwork
Successful businesses are not built in a day. Not even Rome was built in just one day. The most important ingredient to achieve success is effective teamwork. There is no better situation than a bunch of people who collaborate well. They fight to right their wrongs passionately and celebrate their victories wholeheartedly.
But what makes a good team player in the workplace? Which are the successful team characteristics that lead to success? If you dream of a well-structured team, check out if the person next to you has several or all of the team qualities that follow.
Be confident. Not arrogant.
In the highly competitive job market, you must believe in your skills and worth as a professional. Let’s not confuse confidence with arrogance. Having a clear view of what you can and cannot do, makes you a pragmatic and reliant team player in the workplace. Self-assured teammates bring out everyone’s best selves. They smooth over differences as well as offer (and value) constructive feedback.
On the contrary, arrogant co-workers cause communication problems within the team. They react negatively to criticism and reduce productivity. A positive mentality will always pave the way to successful teamwork. It promotes unity, optimism and ultimately leads to efficiency and profitability.
Help your colleagues.
This humane quality is a must-have requirement if you want to be part of a team. Being part of something bigger requires compassion and empathy. The right team player in the workplace will try to assist and share the team’s workload and concerns. Effective teamwork is only achieved when you learn to win and lose as a team.
Teams succeed in delivering positive results when all people involved respect support each other. Therefore, the ideal work buddies help out the team, practically and psychologically. Will it be a shoulder to cry or specific technical assistance, good coworkers will come to the rescue.
Be a human being. Not a specialized robot.
It’s really important for people to find their true calling and follow it. Then, they can work towards developing the right skills and become the professionals they aspire to be. However, we live in a world where extreme specialization can be tricky. Specialized teammates may not be able to multitask or have the overall sight of a project. As they really specialize in their field, they may also have socializing issues. For example, marketers and HR recruiters are more talkative than programmers and data scientists. The first two have been trained to communicate more effectively for a living while the technical professionals speak through their work.
In the context of the team, members should also be generalists. To further elaborate, they need to know how to do their job plus have plenty of life experience. Don’t forget that hobbies, interests, and skills outside the workplace can also contribute to professional success. As Robert Anson Heinlein wrote in his novel Time enough for love, “Specialization is for insects.”
Keep many balls in the air.
Admittedly, in our fast-paced world, multitasking is a necessity. Fewer professionals work on just one task or a single project anymore. It actually brings to mind the 19th-century working model when workers had fixed positions in the production line. Teams need employees that can work their magic on several projects but also never miss a deadline.
Essentially, good comrades in the workplace battlefield must be skillful jogglers. Careful task-planning, avoidance of distractions, and a healthy lifestyle can improve the multitaskers’ performance. Since time is of the essence, time tracking is a great way to have an overview of the projects and the time you spend on them.
Be a professional chameleon.
The professional market is ever-changing and ever-evolving. Job positions can slightly alter, change focus or even disappear in the blink of an eye. Hence, team structures are delicate things. The business market needs new skills, hip working methods pop up and rising professions steal the spotlight.
Therefore, chameleonism is a valuable professional characteristic in the workplace. Great team players go with the flow by learning new skills, assisting colleagues as well as adapting to new realities. Professional chameleons also focus on the social inclusion of newcomers and carefully cope with the complex personalities in their team. Their ultimate goal is to keep the team’s “health stats” in check so that nothing can decompose their nucleus.
Take ownership of your work and words.
Standing behind your work builds your professional integrity. The right team players assume responsibility for their mistakes, their weaknesses and their fair share of successes.
There is nothing worse than colleagues who do not stay true to their words and promises. If they avoid hard decisions and just point the finger at others, the team is in for quite a ride. All these undesired traits can easily create communication problems and conflicts among teammates. Professionals that do not jump, will never learn how to fly.
Be a troubleshooter.
Problem-solving is not an easy thing to do or an asset you’re born with. Generally, managers are the main problem expects. Still, great team players should be able to offer an opinion or solution when possible. This way, they can help their colleagues solve everyday issues and promote collaboration. To their benefit, they also gain experience from each troubling situation which contributes to their professional development.
Troubleshooting requires vast knowledge, inventiveness and a good sense of control. Above all, a resolver has to be a collected and skilled individual. Keeping the team from panicking as things crumble is a rare talent. Keep in mind that great team players make even greater managers in the long run. They know the team from the inside and will appreciate their teammates’ work as well as understand the ways to achieve successful teamwork.
Truly commit to the job.
The most crucial and tough question to find in life is what moves you, motivates you and fuels your inner fire. Being part of a team implies that someone has the right experience, skills and personality qualities for a position. A dream team player, though, will tick all the boxes but will also love the job.
To fully commit to something, you need to justify the countless hours you devoted to it. Hard work is not only about money and fame. It’s about doing what fulfills your dreams. A great team member will have a deeper connection to the job and hence the team. A truly motivated person will strive to evolve professionally, build strong ties with colleagues and be available when needed.
Be Direct. Not rude.
Speaking your mind is a constitutional right and a successful team characteristic. Especially at work, which is a place that we will most likely spend ⅓ of our lives, it matters that you speak up. A great team player should be sincere but not impolite. Since teams have a similar structure to families, respect must be a non-negotiable rule. Being up front will help all your teammates but being spiteful will actually damage your work circle.
In the end, what distinguishes a direct from a rude person is not the message but the way you choose to phrase it. If your advice is useful and properly put into words, then you will be able to help your teammates and learn a lot in the process. Team-bonding is hard work but it ultimately leads to successful teamwork.
Working in a team does not mean that each person is dependent on everyone else all the time. Each professional has a specific task list that matches their skill set. Good managers should allocate tasks and should not centralize the power in their hands. This means that the team members must be able to take full responsibility for their duties and carry through with them. They should take the right initiatives, organize their time and schedule the steps that will lead them to the fruition of their assignment.
For team members that work remotely, the urgency for autonomy is even greater since they are their own managers, in a sense. They call the shots on their workflow so self-discipline is imperative.
Being part of a team is a big deal. Team players need to put their best suits on to elevate the team to stardom. Shared appreciation, mutual assistance and the existence of a common goal can make your workplace feel like home.
The essentials for effective teamwork may seem too demanding and complex. If you think about it, most of the points discussed could be included in the relationship basics 101. Confidence, dedication, honesty, flexibility and the sense of responsibility are the pillars of any relationship, personal and professional.