Article

How do you spot the ideal team player?

Strategy & Leadership Training | Article

Some people are just better at teamwork than others, but why is that? Every organization is keen to identify who these employees are and how to easily spot them.  These are the type of people who instantly add value to a team environment and require much less coaching and management. And, in order to spot them better, here are three virtues that an ideal team player possesses: humility, hunger and smartness. 

Ideal team players are humble.

Humble team players don’t have highly extensive egos and are not concerned about status. They can be easily identified when they are quick to point out the contributions of others and deter attention from their own persona. They never define success individually, but rather share credit and emphasize team over self. 

Ideal team players are hungry.

Hunger is what moves the players further and is usually depicted through team players’ never-ending pursuit for more: more things to do, more to learn, and more responsibility to take on. Hungry people are self-motivated and diligent and are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.

Ideal team players are smart.

A team player that is on his/her way to being ideal is smart when he/she has common sense about people. Smart people are always aware of what is happening in a group situation and possess the ability to deal with others in the most effective way. They possess good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions.

Most organizational teams usually have all the necessary knowledge and competence to conduct a certain task or project. However, what they do struggle with is being able to access that, to reach that potential in people. Therefore, the impact of ensuring that members of a team value and demonstrate humility, hunger and people smarts cannot be overstated. The challenging factor is being able to have a balance between all three of these virtues in the same person, since showcasing one or two out of the three attributes can create real team problems, such as damaging team dynamics and performance.

In short, a team full of people who are humble, hungry, and smart will make it possible to have more things done in less time and with far fewer distractions. The key benefit, however, is that being fully aware of these virtues will help leaders hire, recognize and cultivate ideal team players in their organizations more easily and rapidly.

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