15 Qualities of Successful Teamwork


by Jim Guttmann, on August 30, 2016


During the course of our working careers we derive a lot of satisfaction from three primary areas. These are the things that get us out of the bed in the morning and excited about coming to work:

1. First of all, it is what we are able to accomplish on an individual basis in terms of personal growth and development.

2. Another major satisfier can be those occasions when we have been a mentor to others, which helps those folks become the best that they can be.

3. Finally, there are instances in which we are part of highly successful teams that achieve great things.

When thinking about great team work, several examples stand out in my mind. Of course it’s easy to see the obvious ones in the sports world where players understood their roles, put their personal egos aside and worked together unselfishly toward winning a championship.

On a more personal basis, the Little League softball team that I once coached years ago had young boys and girls who would pick each other up with shouts of encouragement. It was fun to watch the development of each player and how their “baby steps” contributed to the overall success of the team. As one would expect, the smiles on the faces of their parents were priceless!

Another time I was part of a project team that worked long hours together to achieve an important goal. In fact, it required an Engineer to occasionally drop everything to help an HR Manager pass out forms and then, in turn, for the HR Manager to assist the Facilities Manager with inventory, etc. You get the idea. There wasn’t such a thing as “that’s not my job.” Members of this project team each had an “attitude”. The attitude was that each team mate will do whatever it takes so that the project is completed in a superior manner and ahead of schedule – thereby exceeding customer expectations. That was yet another priceless moment!

In a highly successful and enjoyable team, each team member….

  1. Is encouraged to provide input into the team’s focus and direction.
  2. Feels comfortable discussing most anything with other members of the team – even when they don’t necessarily see “eye to eye” on all issues.
  3. Fully trusts the other team members.
  4. Will take up any problem with a team mate directly, rather than cause disruption within the team by talking to others about it.
  5. Will respect one another by not openly make derogatory comments about another team mate or contribute to a rumor mill.
  6. Fully supports a final decision made regarding the team’s direction, even in instances when he/she didn’t initially advocate it.
  7. Feels appreciated for what he/she contributes to the team’s success and is respected by other team members.
  8. Recognizes that diversity in thought, skills and abilities brings value to the overall team.
  9. Recognizes that personal goals shouldn’t take precedence over team goals – especially when some of the personal goals don’t clearly contribute to overall team success.
  10. Is quick to give credit to other team members whose contributions are “behind the scenes” and will never improperly take credit for what others have done.
  11. Recognizes that everyone’s contribution is important and matters – not just the ones that stand out as stars of the team.
  12. Constantly strives to improve so as to make an even stronger contribution to the success of the team.
  13. Will willingly “chip in” and help another member of the team when needed.
  14. Has a good sense of humor; can laugh at oneself and our “shared humanity”. Does not take himself or herself too seriously.
  15. Relishes in the success of other team members – recognizing that when one succeeds, all succeed. After all, everyone’s positive contribution makes the team look good!

Now that I’ve shared my list of qualities of great teams, do you think that I’ve left any off the list? If so, please send us your thoughts or tell us about your great team experiences. We would love to hear from you!

One of the ways we’ve seen that can take your team from “good” to “great” is using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as a means to explore ways in which teams can better communicate, share information, make good decisions and, of course, work better together. If you’re interested in discussing how MBTI can help you and your team, contact us!







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Jim Guttmann

As a LandrumHR Senior Human Resources Manager, Jim is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has over 30 years of HR generalist experience. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Florida State University and is an active member of the Raleigh-Wake Human Resources Management Association in North Carolina. Jim is also certified as a County Mediator in the State of Florida and in the administration of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Jim is also very involved in his church community and is commissioned as Stephen Ministry Leader.

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