Teamwork represents a core trait of any successful worker. As such, it gets listed as one of the key “soft skills” every business blog tells you to master. But what does being a team player at work mean?

The term “teamwork” itself is pretty vague. Telling someone to “improve your teamwork” would be like a coach yelling at an athlete “play better!”

However, it is possible to break the idea of “teamwork” down into component traits. Once identified, these become easier to target. You can work to improve the more narrowly-defined skills individually, increasing your overall teamwork in the process.

With that in mind, here are the five main qualities of a team player at work:

Broad Ability to Communicate

Companies rely on communication. Different parts of the firm specialize in different functions. It’s communication that brings these disparate activities together to strive toward a shared goal.

If you can communicate, you can help knit the company together. But you need to be able to leverage this skill in many ways. Talking to customers is different than talking to the team in accounting, which is different than talking to the folks in the IT department.

Mastering all these interactions will help make you an indispensable corporate connection.

Listening Skills

The ability to describe ideas understandably is a key skill. However, it’s equally important to succeed on the other side of the conversation. You have to be good at listening.

Receiving feedback can be a difficult experience. However, eliciting constructive criticism and acting on it healthily allows you to grow and improve. It’s the core trait in learning, and the constant expansion of your knowledge base will help drive your career forward in a changing market.

Flexibility 

Let’s talk about that changing market for a second. Business doesn’t stand still. Skills that seem important today will become old-fashioned in just a matter of a few years.

You have to be ready to change with the times. It will allow you to work with different types of coworkers and thrive in different situations. Meanwhile, learning new skills and gaining competencies in new technologies will let you bring more value to any team you work on.

Reliability 

Teammates rely on each other. When you are working on a project with other people, your coworkers need you to complete your part for them to do their jobs. They need to count on you to show up and to complete your assigned tasks.

Therefore, reliability becomes a core asset for any team player. The skill may seem simple, but without it, little else you provide will matter.

Leadership (Without Being Bossy)

Every team needs direction. In any group, no matter how outwardly democratic, someone has to take charge. Otherwise, the project will become a meandering mess.

However, leadership isn’t just getting people to do what you say. It involves motivation and empowerment. Your goal is to bring the other members of the team together so that everyone plays their part in the project’s success.

Fitting into a team gets easier when you know you belong. Partnering with a strong recruiting firm, like SmartTalent, allows you to find the best position for your talents.

Contact them today to learn more.