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Four Qualities that Make an Excellent Team Player

By Michelle Zoia

 

“Okay, class, everyone divide into groups.”

Was this a phrase that made your stomach twist into knots? Did you avoid eye contact with classmates from former projects that failed or dread the idea of having to forfeit control over the outcome of a group project?

Most of us have been in collaborative environments where the process or results of your collective effort left something to be desired. Although teams sometimes fail due to circumstances outside of a team member’s control, sometimes they fail because team members lack certain skills that can inject a little vitality into the collaborative process.

Think of a time when you collaborated with a manager, coworker, or team member who really inspired you. Can you list the qualities they had that you appreciated or respected? Chances are, that person probably displayed some of the following qualities:

  • Reliability
  • Good communication
  • Cooperative
  • Committed
  • Problem solver

Can you think of a time where you have demonstrated any of these skills? If you’re scratching your head, the good news is that team skills aren’t static. Some of us are born equipped with great teamwork skills, some of us are not.

These skills can be acquired and developed with practice and patience. Employers seek out and recognize employees who successfully engage in collaborative environments with their coworkers. Remember that being a team player is an excellent way of networking (especially in organizations where teams are cross-functional and involve members of other departments) and building a reputation in your field. For these reasons, it’s never too late to start taking steps to improve yourself and increase your value as an employee or job candidate.

Curious to learn more about teamwork? Check out Demonstrate Your Value through Collaboration! from our Soft Skills Solutions Series. You’ll gain some great tips for further developing these skills.

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