The need for team players is not new. All businesses rely on teamwork to get things done and meet business objectives. As the saying goes, ‘no man is an island.’ This is doubly true in a multi-faceted workplace setting where a variety of skills, ideas and abilities are a prerequisite to success.
Given the rapid rate of technological change and the growing need for employees who are both technically proficient and able to bring a human touch to automated processes, the need for team players is stronger than ever. As you might suspect, this means that tech-savvy individuals who have robust technical knowledge and work well on a team are invaluable.
Organizations have long attempted to screen new employees for qualities that suggest they’ll work well on a team, with varying levels of success. As recruiting specialists, we firmly believe it’s possible to find the right individuals if you know what you’re looking for.
characteristics team players share
they value the contributions of others
Team players recognize that they don’t have all the answers. They value other opinions, skills and contributions, especially if it helps build a stronger end product. They recognize their limitations and seek out others to fill the gaps.
they’re able to share input freely
Team players engage with and share feedback with other team members. If they feel strongly about something, they voice their opinion, even if it goes against the grain. They don’t withdraw or go with the flow. They understand that diverse opinions and honest feedback improve rather than hinder teamwork.
they’re active listeners
Team players listen to others without interruption. They understand that for a team to work successfully, everyone should have a chance to share their ideas. Further, they acknowledge other team members’ concerns and make an effort to find solutions.
they have a history of working on collaborative projects
As with most skills, teamwork is honed through practice. Though team players are naturally inclined to work well with others, they’ve also probably picked up valuable teamwork skills by working on a variety of team-based projects in the past. Employees that thrive in a team setting are also more likely to seek out collaborative projects. They also tend to have played on sports teams.
they work best in a diverse, multi-disciplinary workplace
Team players welcome other views, even if they’re different than their own. They work best in situations where everyone brings different skills, specialties and experiences. They take ownership of their area of specialty, but are enjoy learning from others with different expertise.
they welcome constructive feedback
Team players frequently look to their manager and collaborators for feedback and opinions. They accept feedback gracefully and use it as a learning opportunity. They’re adaptable and open to change. They actively seek out opportunities to improve and thrive in settings that focus on constant learning and development.
they engage in heated discussion calmly
Team players don’t become defensive, angry or disparaging when they’re presented with an opinion or idea they don’t like. They’re calm, rational, and able to discuss or analyze the situation professionally, even if they disagree with what others are saying. They’re able to rationally enter a debate and share opposing opinions and ideas without being confrontational.
they’re confident but not arrogant
Team players are confident in their abilities, but they don’t come across as arrogant. They recognize that no matter how successful they are, there’s always room for personal growth and improvement. They believe in themselves and what they can accomplish, but you won’t hear them boasting about their accomplishments left and right like they have something to prove.
they focus on ‘we’ instead of ‘I’
Team players think of themselves as a part of a unit and are more than happy to share the spotlight with their colleagues. They consider team successes as important as their own individual accomplishments and often discuss frame projects as a team effort. They’re good at thinking about the big picture, and how team members can work together to accomplish the best results.