The 10 Commandments of a Highly Effective Team Member

We’ve all seen how ineffective teamwork can lead to a dismal, failure to reach goals and targets. This was well demonstrated in reality TV shows like The Apprentice where working together as a cohesive team meant success by winning challenges. In your job interview you were probably asked if you’re a good team member. Your answer – yes, I work well in a team. But, do you really? Take the 10 commandments of a highly effective team member test to find out.

Why companies hire team players

Why do companies go to great lengths to ensure teams are working successfully? Why do they stress the importance of team work in their job descriptions and aim to hire employees who are good team players?  Why do they invest time and money in team building events?

The bottom line is effective teamwork makes money. Effective teamwork contributes significantly to a business wanting to increase turnover. Other objectives of collaborative working groups include: targets are reached, solutions to problems are found and innovative ideas are generated.

No goal seems unachievable when tackled by a team that is motivated and works well. The synergy of a highly effective team is geared towards increasing work performance, employee unity and company culture.

How does being a team player help you?

There is no ‘I’ in team work, but this does not mean that being a highly effective member of a team does not affect you positively. Far from it. Establishing yourself as a valuable member of a team can lead to career enhancing opportunities. You will be recognised for your contribution, abilities and strengths by your superiors. By creating a good impression and taking advantage of the opportunity to shine, you can find yourself climbing the corporate ladder before you can even locate it.

The attributes of a good team player demonstrate personal leadership and self-empowerment skills. Having the courage to take initiative, commitment towards attaining a goal and displaying a positive attitude earn rewards that do not have an expiration date.

How to ensure you’re a great team player

Here is how to make teamwork work for you and make your presence count. In no particular order of importance the 10 commandments of a highly effective team member are:

  1. Have a positive attitude. A positive attitude and enthusiastic outlook is infectious and boosts the morale of the group. Creative ideas and possibilities feed of a positive frame of mind
  2. Exercise good listening skills. Effective listening creates meaningful dialogues, and ensures that the sharing of ideas and points of view arise in a safe space of understanding, and without criticism
  3. Respect the ideas of others in the same way as you would want yours respected
  4. Be a good communicator. Communicate with team members effectively, with positivity, confidence, and respect
  5. Earn the reputation of being reliable to get the job done. Determination to succeed is strength of mind that can benefit you in all areas of your life
  6. Be adaptable and flexible to changing situations. A ‘can-do’ attitude helps make taking the initiative easier.
  7. Have a sense of humour and know when and how to use it appropriately to a given situation. Laughter is a known antidote to alleviating conflict and stress
  8. Engage in the conversation. There is no time or reward for being a passive participant in a successful team. Make a commitment
  9. Good team players share information, their knowledge, and their experience. After all, the objective is to complete a goal successfully. Be willing you learn yourself. Working is a team should be a mutually beneficial relationship
  10. Know your strengths and actively seek situations where you can utilize them to the benefit of the team and help move the team forward

The by-product of being an effective member of a team is two-pronged: being a good team player not only promotes the interests of the company you work for, but it can also boost your career.


Photo credit: Team Player