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Photo Credit: Richard Tompsett

Straight up, I'm not in a perfect roller derby team (sorry teamies, you know I love you though) but you know what? Im a shitty team mate! Yep its true, I don’t go to training as much as I should, My work and Business usually take priority and I miss heaps of the team bonding days. However, ironically, while at this other job that keeps me away from Derby Im learning about what it would take to create the Perfect Roller Derby Team!

Building an effective team isn’t so easy. Good teams have a sum that is greater than the individual pieces. This requires that egos are set aside to allow the entity of the team to be greater than any one member. By putting everyone on the team in a position to do what they do best, high achievement is possible.

So after admitting that I'm a shitty team mate I got wondering “So what are the top qualities of an effective team player?” I decided to consult the great and powerful internet to learn what great teammates do differently to shitty ones like me.

Demonstrate reliability – You can rely on your team mates to do their part and do it well. Inconsistency breeds disappointment and an overall lack of trust.

Communicate constructively – You know they will tell you the truth, even when it hurts. They make it safe for you to be vulnerable.

Listens actively – They absorb and understand complex or sensitive topics and give the idea its due consideration. Having a place to vet ideas is a huge driver of innovation.

Function as an active participant – Good teammates come prepared to events and meetings. They’re engaged and actively seeking a role.

Share openly and willingly – They are not in competition with you. Therefore they’ll willingly pass on tips and tricks to help you become better.

Cooperate and pitch in to help – Team players respond to requests for help and often take on the toughest tasks. This is second nature to most.

Exhibit flexibility – They will roll with the punches when things change. The ability to take advantage of an opportunity, even if it means changing plans, is huge.

Shows commitment to the team – The best partners put team before self. They show up every day thinking about how they can make a contribution.

Work as a problem-solver – Good partners are problem-solvers, not problem-dwellers. They don’t look to blame others, but rather find a way to make things work.

Consistently respectful and supportive – They always treat their partners with respect. They’re unconditional and focused on the long term.

Does this describe your teammates or Derby Team? Better yet, does it describe you? After reflecting on it a bit, it’s clear I have a lot to do to become a good team member! How about you?