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What qualities should a good team member have?

dsteenman profile image Danny Steenman ・1 min read

And should all team members have similar characteristics in order to become a good team?

Discussion

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Depending on the team you will be valuable if:

  • you pick a certain niche or piece of the project you take responsibility for
  • you don't gatekeep knowledge, you voluntarily share info and are generally helpful
  • you listen and don't always argue, instead try to find ways to reach consensus
  • read between the lines and get as much information as you can, especially if you work remotely

I think it's best team members have different skills and personalities.

 

Totally agree with "you don't gatekeep knowledge"

 

Being able to communicate in a transparent manner. I personally feel like there is nothing worse than getting little to no feedback - or just waiting a long time until you get some half-baked response

 

I think there are a bunch of common qualities that everyone should have on a good team (many of which have already been mentioned), but I also like diversity within a team to create a little bit of healthy (safe) tension.

Having a team of extremely similar people will ultimately result in very similar approaches and the risk of not considering uncommon or unfamiliar solutions. Similarly, there may not be enough different thinking and challenging of common beliefs.

So I see a good team having a common set of interpersonal characteristics, but a varied set of professional/technical strengths. You (ideally) need:

  • someone who is perpetually lazy and looking to automate all the things
  • someone who is guaranteed to be pessimistic about any solution
  • someone who is guaranteed to be optimistic about any solution
  • someone who deals very well in unstructured work and is great at researching novel solutions to problems
  • someone who is a "glue person" who focuses on bringing the team members together
  • ... and probably another half dozen archetypes which are needed for great teams.

p.s I realised as I wrote this that I was starting to talk about the characteristics of a great team, rather than the original question around a good team. I think you could build a good team with everyone having a common set of characteristics. I think a great team would require a set of diverse personalities on top of the common base characteristics.

p.p.s Of course, none of this guarantees a great team, or even a good team :-) Team dynamics are a wonderfully non-scientific thing.

 

Open mindset, good communication skills and humble would probably by my top three