What are the Qualities of a Good Team Player?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 13, 2022

Published May 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Throughout your career, you'll need to work alongside other people. Excellent teamwork skills can improve your performance and help you reach your goals. This article explains what a team player is, the qualities of a great team player, and how to develop your teamwork skills.

What is a team player?

A team player works within a group to reach a shared goal. They understand their role and share in their team's successes and challenges. Team players prioritize team goals rather than just their own. Many employers are on the lookout for great team players.

Qualities of a good team player

Team players must have several soft skills to work well with others. Here are some essential qualities and characteristics of an effective team player:

1. Good listener

Actively listening to the thoughts and ideas of others is a key skill for team players. You must respect your teammates' ideas and be willing to receive constructive criticism. You must also learn to listen first and wait your turn to speak. Good listeners pay attention to details.

Example: Noah has some suggestions on how to improve the marketing strategies of his company. He approaches his team leader, Florence, after their review meeting. Florence listens to him carefully because she knows his ideas could help the company reach its target.

2. Responsible

Team players take full responsibility for their actions. They own up to their mistakes and find ways to correct them. That way, they can learn from their mistakes.

Example: Chloe works as an engineer for a manufacturing company. She has a busy weekend and fails to complete her tasks for the week. Instead of making excuses or shifting her work to another engineer, she meets her manager, who is willing to adjust her work schedule.

Related: What To Do if You Made a Mistake at Work (With Tips)

3. Committed to the team

Great team players care about their team and the work their teammates do. Your teammates must know that you believe in the team's work. Great team players maintain a positive attitude that can improve the team's performance even during challenging periods.

Example: Nicole is a graphics designer for a digital marketing company. Her job doesn't require her to join the public relations team in advertising the company's products, but she is willing to make posts and send them out on her social media account.

4. Flexible

Be willing to carry out new tasks, learn on the job and explore new solutions. Great team players can adapt to changes and compromise when necessary.

Example: Terry is a doctor in a general hospital. One day, his shift replacement fails to show up. Terry informs his supervisor, who asks whether he can cover for her. He considers the patients that are waiting for his replacement and agrees to work some hours of the shift while another colleague helps out with the rest.

5. Active participant

Team players come prepared for meetings and contribute to the team's work. They understand the boundaries of their position and value the contributions of other teammates.

Example: Ethan is a lawyer who is passionate about languages. In his current role, he works as a research intern for a startup. The legal aid of the company explains a policy for a product. Ethan offers his suggestions as a lawyer but understands his boundaries.

6. Reliable

Team players complete tasks and meet targets. If you're a team player, you understand that your behaviour at work affects the entire team. You try to finish tasks on time to improve your team's productivity. A team player is someone others can count on.

Example: Benjamin works as a lab assistant in a hospital. He understands his role is critical to the company. Therefore, he comes to work early and tries to complete all reports before his deadline.

7. Adaptable

Great team players are willing to fill any required role. They understand that it takes the effort of all teammates to reach goals, and they aren't selfish. If you're a team player, you understand that your supervisor might not give you the task you prefer. However, you will be willing to work hard.

Example: Jackie is the team lead of product development at her organization. She oversees the work of other product designers. When one of her team members fails to show up, she assumes their role so the organization can reach its targets.

Related: 7 Adaptability Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

How to become a better team player

Becoming a better team player can help you get raises and reach other personal or team goals. Here are the ways to develop your teamwork skills:

1. Celebrate your teammate's wins

Improve your teamwork skills by celebrating the success of your team. Look at the achievements of your colleagues as a win for you. You can also reward your teammates and take an interest in their personal lives.

2. Treat your teammates with respect

Understand that they are working towards reaching the goals of your team. Being respectful encourages them and increases their productivity.

3. Be a problem-solver

Every team has challenges it seeks to overcome. When you identify one, look for ways to solve it. Brainstorming with other teammates can help you discover ideas you hadn't considered and get additional opinions.

4. Support others

If your teammate struggles with a task, find out if they need help. Supporting them shows you care about your teammate, and the team's goals interest you.

Related: Promoting Collaboration in the Workplace: All You Need to Know

5. Ask for help

Get help from someone in your team if you can't figure your task out. Asking for assistance builds healthy relationships with your teammates. People are happy to help because you all work towards a shared goal.

6. Get feedback from teammates

Identifying areas of self-improvement can be challenging. However, a teammate, mentor or friend can spot your strengths and weaknesses. They can give you honest feedback privately or make it part of your team-bonding process.

7. Learn from others who have strong teamwork skills

If you find someone who has excellent teamwork skills, identify what makes them a great team player. By doing this, you can pinpoint which of your own qualities to develop for success. Learn from others and apply the relevant skills when interacting with others.

Related: What Makes a Team Successful (With Tips and Examples)

8. Set personal goals

Use what you observe from others and the feedback they give to form goals and become a better team player. You can use the SMART model to set goals for yourself. This means your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based.

How to show employers that you are a team player

Follow these steps to express your teamwork skills to employers:

1. Write your teamwork skills in your resume

Include that you are a team player in your resume's summary to get a recruiter's attention. You can also include it in your objective statement, especially if you're applying for a job that involves a lot of teamwork. Here are some examples of how to express that you're a team player:

  • Objective: To become a team lead at Harvey Industries

  • Versatile programmer with a passion for working with developers looking to join Hi-Vent Inc.

Read More: How To Demonstrate You're a Team Player on Your Resume

2. Mention a specific role and give an example

While stating you're a team player is important, showing your teamwork skills is a better way to convince hiring managers you're a good fit for the role. Include whether you were the leader or member of a team and explain the responsibilities on your resume. You can also discuss the specific tasks you completed and give examples of how you're a team player during interviews. Here are some examples:

  • I worked with a rental company where my responsibility was calculating the embodied emissions of products.

  • I worked with other marketers to ensure 100% customer retention for a packaging company.

3. Mention team-player phrases in your resume or interview

Many companies use software to review resumes, especially those receiving several resumes for one role. If the job requires a team player, a hiring manager may be looking for keywords such as:

  • Committed team-member

  • Exceptional communication skills

  • Team member who can also work independently

  • Enjoys working with others

  • Dedicated worker who can work in a team environment

Related: 15 Team Player Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

4. Include your teamwork skills with other skills and qualifications

You should include your teamwork skills when listing other requirements on your resume. Even if you've written it in other areas, you can use the "Skills" section to emphasize that you're a good team player. Here's an example:

Skills: pressure management, creativity, structural analysis, attention to detail, computer science, data modelling, team leadership, adaptability

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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