What Makes A Good Team Player Great?

One of the most essential qualities of a team player comes from his or her’s ability to leave selfishness at the door.

This shows that you truly care about the goal your team is trying to accomplish, as you’re sacrificing yourself to put the team in an advantageous position.

For any football fans among my readers, I’m aware you’re familiar with Luis Suarez’s handball during the quarter-finals of the 2010 South Africa World Cup against Ghana, preventing them from winning the tie.

He was given a red card, yet he still celebrated as Ghana missed the penalty they were given.

Whilst I don’t condone what he did, it was certainly a smart, tactical ‘think outside the box’ moment which changed the result in his favor.

Continuous Practice of the Trinity of Trust, Honesty and Respect

A team without trust, honesty and respect for each other is not a team.

Would you like to be backed by a board of angel investors and sponsors whom you do not trust?

Would you get involved with an organisation who keeps everything a secret?

How do you know whether they have your best interests in mind?

If you want to know what makes a good team player, trust is a quality I can’t ignore.

If you were the CEO of a large multi-chain organisation, would you be able to hand over a large project to a team member who has never taken a project of this size to completion before hand?

Especially if the results of this project determines whether your business thrives or dies?

Are you in a relationship? How do you feel about your partner meeting up with their ex of 5 years or going on a lad’s holiday to Magaluf?

The beauty about trust is that it takes years to build, but only a few minutes to break.

When there is a trust among a group, the team is more productive, as you’re designating tasks based on each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

In a relationship, there will also be less tension between two or more people as you believe your partner will conduct themselves appropriately, especially in scenarios which test temptations.

Respect is what makes a good team player

Having respect for one another is a prerequisite for success in a team.

A team achieves better results when everyone plays a part, and feels valued for their contributions.

The worst things a team could ever have are cliques and sub-factions, built to exclude and segregate select team members from on/off field activities.

The birth of internal cliques and sub-factions is the worst nightmare for any good team player.

There is nothing wrong with having a group of 3-5 people whom you get on well with like a house on fire, but my problem stems from those who show a great lack of respect towards the rest of their peers.

How can a team achieve anything when there is scorching internal discord and vitriol being slung from one end of the table to the other?

Undying and Belligerent Support

We all know the attributes which are required for a successful team, however one often overlooked attribute, is each team player’s undying and belligerent support for one another.

Unfortunately I haven’t had the privilege of working in such a team in my life yet, but it is a dream that I’ll make a reality one day.

This quality is more likely to be present in a long-term relationship between two or more people rather than a work-related team however, it doesn’t detract from its importance.

A relationship is a union of 2 or more people, therefore it also qualifies as a team.

Without having support, you’re just going to be a lost individual juggling all your problems on your own head.

I’ve seen many relationships break down in the past, including my own, and one problem which seemed to reoccur was the lack of support offered to each other.

It’s never the same as it was in the beginning.

I’ve spoken to people who have said the following…

If my girlfriend ever got fat, I’d leave her.

My rebuttal to this is always as follows…

Do you know/are you aware of what your partner/team member is going through? They might be suffering from regular bouts of depression, and the only thing they need from you right now is your support.

If there is no support, there is no team. And with no team, you’re left on your own in the wilderness.

The mark of a good team player isn’t determined by how they celebrate when things go well, but rather how they respond when things aren’t going so well.

A Positive Attitude

Nobody wants to be around a ‘kill-joy’, likewise a team cannot function effectively when morale is low and motivation is non-existent.

We are said to be the sum of the 5 people we spend the majority of our time with.

If they’re wholly negative in nature, our performance will also be more aligned in that direction.

Imagine going to a singing competition where one person is constantly uttering “I don’t think we’ll make it.”

Or you’ve spent thousands of hours constructing a business plan only to hear the echos of some rat in the background, uttering “they’ll never say yes, might as well just go home and give up.”.

It only takes one person to bring a team down after all, and a team is only as strong as its weakest link.

This is what makes a good team player

  • They’ll do anything to keep morale high. The higher the morale and the happier the group of people are – the more likely they will achieve success.
  • Disagreements and problems are solved properly, with haste and effective communication, not letting personal feelings get involved with the mission of the team.
  • Constructive criticism is aplenty, and is constantly welcomed if not preferred to praise. Your desire to improve, is the team’s desire to improve.

It doesn’t matter which context it’s in.

The employees at a bank should be just as much of a team as the sales assistants in a footwear retailer selling shoes. As a team of football players, a group of musicians, balanced life practitioners or a pair in a loving romantic relationship.

I personally can’t wait to work in a proper team and here is why.

  • Our goals for once will be aligned towards a specific thing.
  • Everyone will get a say, and their opinions will be valued equally.
  • The structure won’t be a boss and his employees, but rather a group of people who share a similar vision.

What qualities have I missed? Do you have any examples of what makes a good team player?

Let me know in the comments below.