Business, Career

How to be a better team player at work

better team player at work

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In almost every second job advertisement you will find the point “teamwork” or “you should be used to working in a team” … but how do you become a team player? And more importantly, how can you be a better team player at work?

What does it mean to be able to work in a team? What makes a good team? What should you watch out for when working with several people?

Find more career tips and advice

Factors to be a better team player at work

You are able to work in a team if you can work well with other people and they also appreciate your cooperation in the team.

Teamwork combines several skills that are important for smooth collaboration with several people. The following points should be brought to ensure perfect harmony.

  • communicative
  • cooperative
  • emphatic
  • tolerant
  • involved
  • compromising
  • adaptable
  • considerate
  • disciplined

Of course, you do not have to bring all these points with you in order to classify yourself as a team player and to be a better team player at work. But one or the other points should still be described as a strength of yours, provided that you advertise teamwork as one of your strengths in the application.

Not every team works equally well, which is why it is advisable to keep an overview of certain points.

Chasing a goal

Are you all pursuing the same goal? An efficient team can only work if all members work towards a common goal . The same goal and the common striving for it creates a feeling of togetherness and camaraderie. This enables the work ethic within the team to be strengthened and worked efficiently.

Sense and purpose

When working out your objectives, it is important that you see a purpose in your actions. Those team members who see no sense in your work will not maintain your motivation and therefore cannot contribute constructively with your work to the set goal.


Communication and organization are two factors that go hand in hand. A team in which it is not clearly defined who is responsible for what cannot function efficiently. In addition, it is important to talk to the other team members about what they are working on, whether there are problems or whether a task has already been completed.

In order to ensure good communication, it is important that the achievements of team members are not only observed, but also appreciated and valued.

Take responsibility

Although certain tasks are divided, a good team should take responsibility together. Since everyone strives for the same goal, all team members should pursue this goal with passion. This also includes taking responsibility if something goes wrong. Because it is a joint project and the responsibility should be shared by everyone.


Dealing with each other is probably the most important aspect when working in a team. It is important that there is a friendly atmosphere and no competition. In this way, criticism can be appropriately applied and the inputs are recorded and processed.


The planning phase for the new project is starting, but you believe that too little attention is paid to one factor. Then you should make the rest of the team aware of this and explain exactly why this point should be given more attention.

If you are working with a good team, the rest of the team will listen to your point of view and explain it in detail so that an objective decision can be made as to whether your point of view will be followed up or whether your doubts are unjustified.

Unconventional ideas

Try new approaches to move your business forward. As a well-known saying goes: “Whoever does not dare does not win”. So try something new or take a step that nobody has dared to do before.


Simply doing it without another colleague or family member’s opinion is rarely a good idea. That’s why you should count on feedback from your teammates.

If you are asked for feedback yourself, there are a few points to consider. The most important point is that you put the positive points in the foreground. A positive feedback does not depress the mood and helps to contribute to a job-promoting climate .

Self reflection

Do not only give feedback to others, but also question your own activities. Are there points you could have done better? What is the relationship like with your work colleagues? Any why is this the case? What could you improve? What difficulties have you encountered and can you overcome them yourself?

Celebrate milestones

As a team, you should also celebrate the success you have achieved. After completing a project, go for a beer in a bar or eat together in a fancy restaurant. Allot a day per month to just have fun with your team. This not only has the effect that the team is welded closer together, but also gives a short break from the joint project, so that everyone can work towards the common goal again.

But it has some hurdles…

Teamwork very often fails because of people. The workload in projects is often so high that, for example, there is no time for feedback and self-reflection and sometimes the strength is lacking.

Employees oversee several projects at one go and at some point, as the former Bayern coach Trappatoni says, “bottle empty”. And many people are unable to perform high-quality self-reflection under these conditions. Something half-hearted is done – and you think you have done a self-reflection.

In addition, people often have the problem of recognizing their weaknesses and dealing with them. Often it is misunderstandings of the others or characteristics of the other participants.

Some types of employees stand in their own way and some project managers put together a homogeneous team, according to the motto – you should be 11 friends.
Or the project manager as a leader and the others as followers.

Team leaders also often go the way of the least effort (optimization thinking) and thus the quality of the result may decrease.