Qualities of a Good Team Player

By: Agile Velocity | May 29, 2013 |  Agile,  Article,  Leadership,  Team
Blue Angels are team playersThe word “team” in Agile Team is hugely important and something we rarely give much thought to.  I recently browsed the web to discover and define what really makes a good team player.  Part of my personal journey is to improve as a member of my team.  I look to these words for inspiration.

Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.

– Henry Ford
None of us is as smart as all of us

Dependable, reliable, and consistent

You can count on a reliable team member who gets work done and does his fair share to work hard and meet commitments.

Communicates Constructively

Teams need people who speak up and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly, and with respect for others and for the work of the team.

Shares openly

Good team players share. They’re willing to share information, knowledge, and experience. They take the initiative to keep other team members informed.

Asks “What can I do to help the team succeed?”

Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for assignments.


Teams need team players who can absorb, understand, and consider ideas and points of view from other people without debating and arguing every point.


Good team players, despite differences they may have with other team members concerning style and perspective, figure out ways to work together to solve problems and get work done. They respond to requests for assistance and take the initiative to offer help.


A flexible team member can consider different points of views and compromise when needed.


They’re problem-solvers, not problem-dwellers, problem-blamers, or problem-avoiders. They don’t simply rehash a problem the way problem-dwellers do. They don’t look for others to fault, as the blamers do. And they don’t put off dealing with issues, the way avoiders do.


Team players treat fellow team members with courtesy and consideration — not just some of the time but consistently. They care about the team winning.

When observing the best teams, it is difficult to identify leaders.

  • The creative type who generates ideas called the Plant
  • The extrovert who has good networks (the Resource Investigator)
  • The dynamic individual who thrives on the pressure (the Shaper)
  • The person who soberly evaluates the usefulness of ideas (the Monitor-Evaluator)
  • The cooperative team player (the Team-worker)
  • The ones with specialist skills (the Specialist)
  • Those who turn ideas into solutions (the Implementer)
  • The person who get issues completed (the Completer-Finisher)
  • The person who keeps the team together effectively (the Co-ordinator).

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