The ability to work well in teams is a skill set on its own. However, several related traits correlate with good teamwork and often make someone a good candidate for a position that requires teamwork This is often critical in small businesses, as employees are more connected in their roles and work closely together in operating the business.
The use of teams in the workplace is intended to foster sharing and debate about ideas and alternative solutions. Strong listening skills help an employee perform better by showing support of others when they speak, along with better understanding the ideas they share. This improves team chemistry. Good listening skills are sometimes an afterthought compared to the ability to share ideas, but are equally important.
While listening to the ideas of other team members, a knowledgeable team member must often use his skills of persuasion to convince others to go along with his suggestion. Teams often use different approaches to come to agreements, but in certain situations, the team member with the best experience in a given situation needs to step up and sell that experience and point of view to ultimately bring out the best solution.
Responsibility and accountability are closely related traits that are critical to teamwork. Teams often distribute tasks to different team members. To achieve success, it is important that each team member accept accountability and complete his duties in a timely fashion. Along with being accountable for task completion, the skill of accountability means that you acknowledge and take responsibility for mistakes.
Cooperation is a general skill that encompasses a helpful nature and willingness to participate actively within the team. Work teams succeed only when all members are fully engaged in sharing ideas and performing tasks. These cooperative attributes make an employee much more valuable to his team. Active participation and cooperation also earns the respect of other team members, making them more willing to hear your ideas