Qualities of a Good Team Player

We talk a lot about team play in sports and marvel at how well they work together to win either a game or a  championship.  So how do we translate this to the world at work?

Here are seven tips for becoming a good team player—whether on the baseball diamond, the basketball court, or in the workplace!

  1.  A good team player keeps their commitments.  When you work on a team, by definition you depend on the other team members to get your work done so it is critical to hold up your end of the bargain.  Once a commitment is made to a project or any deliverable, you must complete your assigned tasks so that the deadline is met.  And, if you find you can’t hold up your end of the bargain, a good team player lets the rest of the team know in advance so other arrangements can be made.
  2. A good team player supports the other members of the team.  This includes picking up the slack when someone has a family emergency or taking the time to sing the praises of a co-worker—just because it’s the right thing to do.  Supporting the work of others makes the entire team more successful. And, a good team member avoids gossiping about co-workers!
  3. A good team player appreciates the work the others contribute and says thanks!  It can be highly meaningful to your co-workers to hear you say how much you value them and the work they do.  It also is a great idea to pass along praise to your manager as well.
  4. A good team player handles the inevitable changes that occur with grace.  Deadlines and priorities are constantly shifting in today’s organizations.  Rather than fighting the change or complaining about what the change will do to your work or your life, accept it and move on.
  5. A good team player consistently exceeds expectations which ensures that projects are successfully completed.
  6. A good team player takes pride in the work they do but also in the accomplishments of others on the team.
  7. A good team player works hard to increase their skill and/or knowledge.  A good team player is a continuous learner!

Teams are important. We dedicated a chapter to teams in The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook. We’d love to hear your ideas on what makes a good team player so send them on and we’ll share them in future blogs.

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