1.3 Team Membership Skills

Mass communication professionals almost always work in teams. Different members of the group bring their particular skill sets and competencies to the overall task. Employers expect that each individual understands the role s/he plays and understands how to work collaboratively to accomplish the goals set by supervisors and clients.

You will almost certainly begin your career as one member of a larger team and as someone who is responsible for working with a variety of colleagues who have different expertise and different responsibilities. You will be successful if you understand how your contributions to the overall effort fits with others contributions.  Your ability to both “manage laterally” and “manage up” will help your colleagues and superiors understand and acknowledge the role you are playing in the team effort.

A group of people trying to put a puzzle together
Scott Maxwell – CC BY-SA 2.0

Author Dan Collins has outlined characteristics of a good team member:

  • Works for consensus on decisions

  • Shares openly and authentically with others regarding personal feelings, opinions, thoughts, and perceptions about problems and conditions

  • Involves others in the decision-making process

  • Trusts, supports, and has genuine concern for other team members

  • “Owns” problems rather than blaming them on others

  • When listening, attempts to hear and interpret communication from other’s points of view

  • Influences others by involving them in the issue(s)

  • Encourages the development of other team members

  • Respects and is tolerant of individual differences

  • Acknowledges and works through conflict openly

  • Considers and uses new ideas and suggestions from others

  • Encourages feedback on own behavior

  • Understands and is committed to team objectives

  • Does not engage in win/lose activities with other team members

  • Has skills in understanding what’s going on in the group

Again, you can see how this list overlaps with the KIPP traits and the employers’ wish list. These are some of the key skills and characteristics that successful students, professionals and team members share.

A short video from Study.com on being a good team member


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Information Strategies for Communicators Copyright © 2015 by Kathleen A. Hansen and Nora Paul is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.