When I work with teams, they always want to know how to make the team better, obviously. The truth is, however, before a team can get better as a whole, the players, as individuals, must learn how to be a good teammate. For a team to be successful, a group of individuals must learn to work as a unit and build unbreakable trust. They must respect each other and put their egos aside so that the entire team can thrive. To have a great team, you must first be a great teammate and the rest will fall into place.
Here are some of the most important qualities of a great teammate.
A great teammate:
- Takes responsibility– When things go wrong do not blame others for the shortcoming, you look them in the eye and admit to your faults. Admitting your faults makes it more likely your team will continue to trust you and give you a fair amount of opportunities.
- Listens and learns– Know when to keep your mouth shut and just hear what everyone else is saying. Listen to understand, do not listen to respond. Knowing how to receive feedback is a huge part of growth.
- Communicates- If you need something say something, if you see something speak up. Nothing can get accomplished if no one is communicating their plan, needs or concerns effectively. Keep in mind there is a right time and right place for important conversations, so that just like you need to listen, your athlete can listen to you as well.
- Knows their role– Don’t step on each other toes. If someone is the lead or captain let them play their role. If it is not your position, try your best to not overstep your boundaries. This shows your teammates that you have trust in their abilities to get the job done and doesn’t seem condescending.
- Has their teammates back– Do not publicly speak bad about other teammates especially when they are not around. When they are being attacked step up for them and support them.
- Committed to the team– When you are on a team, that team should have your loyalty. A great teammate does not speak down or negatively of their team to others and constantly brings their best foot forward every day. For a team to be successful each member needs to bring 100% every day.
- Is confident– Not only do you have to believe in your team but individually you need to believe in yourself. Confidence can be contagious, but not only that, how do you expect others to believe in you when you don’t even believe in yourself.
- Knows when to fall back– Sometimes you must allow for others to shine even if that means stepping back. Sometimes your opinions don’t matter and sometimes it is not about you so allow others to have the spotlight.
- Knows how to have fun– All work and no play leads to burnout, know how to lighten the mood and enjoy what you’re doing. Positive emotions and energy is contagious and will spread throughout the team. Enjoying what you’re doing allows for you to enter flow faster and from there everything just starts to click.
- Knows their teammates– A good teammate knows the strengths of their teammates but are also aware of where they may fall short and can be ready to step in and help. They also know the best ways to show appreciation to their teammates and can be attuned to their needs.