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TCFP192: What It Really Means To Be A Team Player

One of the biggest mistakes I see struggling teams making is thinking that each other is the enemy. Instead of focusing on the mission, they start worrying about whether they stand out or how every decision affects them. Essentially, they forget what they are really fighting for. In today's podcast, we're talking about the characteristics that define good team members and how you can help reset the culture of your team (whether you are the leader or not).


Characteristics of a strong team player:


They are a thermostat.

They aren't swayed by what's happening around them. They set the standard for productivity, conduct, and quality and call other people to that standard.


They are accountable to themselves and others.

They take responsibility for their actions and mistakes. They are always willing to help others and act in the best interest of the team/company.


They are flexible.

A good team player is willing to adapt to change. They are early adopters of new policies and initiatives, even when they are not necessarily in agreement.


They are positive.

They are an active part of keeping morale high. When facing a challenging situation, they are positive during meetings and one-on-one conversations.


They are committed to the team.

The team's goals matter more than their own agenda. They know that their peers are not their competition and that they need them to make the


They are a person of integrity.

They push back against things that go against the team's values and will fight for what is right. They will address the people who are putting the culture/organization at risk.


Q: What do you think prevents teams from being more unified? Describe the most unified team you have been a part of. What did those team members do to create unity?


Q: Describe a time when you saw infighting in a team. (Consider the times you have been a part of a sports team, volunteer project, or another team.) What effect did that have on the team's success? Was the problem ever fixed? If so, how? If not, what do you think could have been done differently?



Application Activities:

  1. Does your year-end review have a portion that focuses on culture, or is it all focused on results? Remember that your organization's culture is just as important as its structure, and it must be taught! If you still need to, work with your HR to add a portion to the year-end review that addresses how well your employees exhibit these characteristics and allows you to show them how to grow as team players, not just individual contributors.

  2. Consider what else you would add to this list of the characteristics of a good team member. Use this list as a baseline to create a code of values for your team. Print this list and hang it somewhere so your team can easily see it as a reminder of the culture you are working toward.

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