It may seem like a resume cliché but being a team player is one of the top prerequisites that employers have for their workers.

The ability to communicate efficiently and to understand others plays an important role in successful team work. Putting team goals ahead of your individual situation may seem like a challenging task but it will establish the foundations of effective team work.

What does it take to be a good team player? These employees exhibit several crucial characteristics and here is a list of the most important ones.

Ability to Meet Deadlines

When the work of others is dependent on your individual efforts, you can’t afford to be late or negligent in terms of deadlines.

The best team players are strict in terms of exhibition and capable of delivering within a specific timeframe. Your work is a part of a larger project. Consider the company a well-oiled machine. If one component fails, the entire system will stop working. This is the main reason why numerous successful managers consider the ability to meet deadlines a top priority for team players.

Adaptation Skills

Team environments change all the time. There could be significant differences from project to project and there could also be changes based on the addition of new team members.

The best team players are highly adaptive. The global work model is changing rapidly. Many companies employ workers that live in different countries. There could be telecommuting team members, as well. Adapting to the new workplace reality is a prerequisite for successful team work.

Attitude and the desire to change workplace procedures are important. The best team players are always eager to learn new skills and start using the latest technologies, if these can contribute to enhanced team productivity and better results.

Recommended Reading: What Makes a Good Leader?

Communication Skills

One of the most important rules of teamwork is that you should first listen and then talk. Good listening skills can lead to an effective dialogue, which will contribute to better execution and enhanced productivity. It’s important to listen, even if you don’t agree with the opinions of other team members. Seeking compromises through active communication will usually give birth to the best solutions.

The best team players are also willing to openly share their knowledge, information and experience. You should feel comfortable talking to other team members and passing important data along. Constant interactions mean that everybody is on board and informed about the latest developments, challenges and successes.

Skillful team players also know that they should openly address the problems within the organisation. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, especially if you have constructive criticism that will lead to better team interactions. Back your claims with evidence, if you want to deliver the message in a convincing way and get your voice heard.


Building a good team is impossible if there is no cooperation. Personal differences and preferences play no role in team dynamics. The best team players are capable of doing the job, even if they have to work with professionals that they don’t like personally.

Cooperation should also focus on the ability to appreciate the work styles of others. You are very different from other team members. These differences, however, shouldn’t prevent you from acknowledging the techniques and approaches that probably work better than your own.


Strong team players also know they should display their commitment to the team. Show the other members that you care about them and about the work that you are doing.

Pay attention to small details and make sure that these are executed professionally. Take the lead, whenever you believe that your input will enhance the outcome. Follow the lead of others, if their suggestion will contribute to more effective team work.


According to many business consultants, team members need to be honest and vocal. Failing to ask questions and be honest about your viewpoint will often lead to one-dimensional teams. People should be in agreement when it comes to execution but good team members aren’t afraid of challenging the status quo, when it seems to deliver sub-par results.

Managers have an important role in each time. Managers, however, just like all other professionals could potentially make mistakes. Supporting the manager is great in terms of achieving workplace harmony but asking questions and being honest happen to be much more important. Very often, managers will appreciate such input. Honesty and commitment to excellence happen to be much more important than silent acceptance.

Problem-Solving Skills

Solving problems is often among the core responsibilities of a team. Some team members fear problem solving because it may lead to stressful situations and disputes. The best tea members aren’t afraid of looking for solutions, even if the process necessitates active debating and disagreement.

Get problems out in the open and talk about them with others. Then, collaborate with your colleagues, find the most appropriate solutions and draft a practical action plan.

Kindness and Understanding

Good team players happen to be good with people. The importance of their personality can never be underestimated.

Show kindness, sympathy and understanding. Take the initiative when it comes to communication and assisting others. Good team dynamics and harmony between the members will very often contribute to a higher level of productivity.

You don’t have to be best friends with the other team members. Being polite and showing just a little bit of personal interest can help you go a long way.

An effective team player has the right personal and professional skills. You don’t need to be a leader, in order to be considered a valuable member of a group. Constructive communication, the desire to take the lead when appropriate and active listening will all contribute to a smoother work process. Take some time to explore the work of other team members and learn from them, as well.