What a Real Team Player Looks Like in a Healthy Team Culture

With the World Cup on everyone’s minds this summer, I’ve been thinking about the traditional idea of teamwork. We’ve been taught from a young age to support our team. We all want to be seen as selfless team players and we live in fear of “letting down the team.”

But does being a team player mean mindlessly doing your work as assigned? Does it mean accepting whatever methods you are given to achieve the team goals? Does it mean giving so much of yourself that you become overworked and resentful?

I would argue that teamwork is a wonderful thing, but in order to be a great teammate, it’s important to have a healthy team culture. The good news is that this is something that you can directly influence by your actions and words.

So I propose a few new guidelines for what a strong team player should look like:

  • #1: Team players work hard to understand the team’s goals and how those goals impact the success of their organization. They know how their role supports the team in accomplishing its goals and will ask questions when asked to do something that is not aligned with values or strategy.
  • #2: They help and encourage their teammates. They don’t take individual credit for team wins. And when the team is struggling, they give honest, thoughtful feedback – even when it may be difficult or scary.
  • #3: They value –- and publicly recognize — their teammates’ contributions. They look for opportunities to celebrate wins, even small ones.
  • #4: They continue to innovate, build their skills and stay up on the latest trends and tactics so that they can make the team stronger. They bring that knowledge back to the team and share it.
  • #5: They keep their commitments and they set boundaries. A real team player communicates their own expectations and clarifies other people’s expectations of them. And they feel comfortable drawing lines when the work/life balance tips in the wrong direction.
  • #6: They are loyal. They don’t talk about their leader or teammates behind their backs – they deal with issues directly. They don’t waste energy and bring their teammates down by complaining – they come up with options or solutions.

It’s not always easy to be a real team player. You need trust, mutual respect and open communications on a team to have real team work. In my experience, the most effective way to build team culture like this is by focusing on building a foundation of trust. This is done through positive daily interactions, healthy feedback and powerful insights that are discoverable by using team behavioral assessments.

Interested in creating great team culture with great team players using insightful and thoughtful tools? Powers Resource Center is hosting a DISC certification event this September in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. These tools are powerful options for creating deep level insights with individuals and teams. Space for our program is limited. For more information and to save your spot, visit our Everything DiSC Certification Workshops registration page.






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