Cutting-Edge Leadership

The best in current leadership research and theory, from cultivating charisma to transforming your organization

Characteristics of Good Work Team Members

Are your coworkers good team members? Are you? 7 necessary qualities.

Today, most workers are part of a work team. What are the qualities of good team members?

1. Honest and Straightforward. A good team member is up front. He/she doesn’t play games, or lead others on. You can count on a good team member to tell you what’s what, regardless of whether it is good news or bad news.

2. Shares the Load. A good team member does his or her fair share of the work. There is a sense of equity and fairness in the good team member. A sense of equity is critically important for team members’ collective motivation.

3. Reliable. The good team member can be counted on. She or he meets deadlines and is on time.

4. Fair. A good team member takes appropriate credit, but would never think of taking credit for someone else’s work.

5. Complements Others’ Skills. An important characteristic of effective work teams is the shared capacity. Every member has areas of strength and some weak spots. A good team member provides some unique skills and/or knowledge that move the team forward.

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6. Good Communication Skills. Teamwork is social, so good team members need to be skilled, and tactful, communicators.

7. Positive Attitude. No one would ever follow a pessimistic leader, and the same goes for team members. A positive, “can-do” attitude is critical for the good team member.

 

Think about the very best team members you have worked with and odds are that they have 5 or 6 of these qualities.

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Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D., is the Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.

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