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What makes a good team player?

If your employment involves working with other people (and most jobs do), being a good team player is crucial. But are you as good a team player as you think? Check out these five traits, and consider how you measure up.

Team player

An important characeristic for most jobs? Being a good team player. Because, after all, as the saying goes, “There’s no I in team.” But what are the characteristics of a good team player? Here are five key traits — give yourself an honest assessment and determine whether you have them, and if not, how you can develop them. Think about a recent project you worked on within a team and how you behaved when reading through these five traits.


Your team members have to be able to depend on you. They have to know you will do what you are assigned to do and what you say you will do when it comes to completing a project. Even if you have the most excellent skills in, for example, presenting, if you’re always missing meetings, your competency in giving a good presentation won’t count for much if your team is worried you may not show up on launch day.

Good communication skills

To work together like a well-oiled machine, clear and open discussion among the group is essential. If you scurry off to complete a key component of a project but the team is not aware of it, this does them no good (and in fact, work may be duplicated, which is a waste of time and energy).


Even if the work the team is plugging away on is dreary and mind numbing, it helps when team members maintain a positive outlook and promote a feeling of enthusiasm. People want to be around people with good energy, so it helps to be more of a cheerleader and less of a negative player.


If you’re able to adapt and roll with the punches, you’ll be more valued as a member of the team. Conflicts and issues will always occur, and a great team member has the skill to manoeuvre around these obstacles with ease. If someone can’t pitch in on their part of a project and you can step in and easily handle it even though it’s not your usual responsibility, you’ll gain major points in the team player department.

Great problem-solving skills

A good team player can keep the big picture in mind and find ways to continue working toward the goal even when factors spring up that complicate things. You can recognize and follow through on strategies that help you work past unexpected problems rather than dwell on them and show a defeatist attitude.

More career tips

Prep for those hard job interview questions
What to do when you’ve been fired
How to get along with your office enemy

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