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Top 10 Team Member Traits To Look For In Your Next Project

No man is an island. No project can run on its own. It requires the talent, time and skill of several people working together toward the same united goal. But where do you find talent? So many people claim to be “experts” at this and that, but how do you know what skills are the ones you need for your project? Today, we’re going to dive into the top 10 team traits to look for in your next project.

Top 10 Team Member Traits To Look For In Your Next Project

1. Do They Claim To Be An Expert

Strive to work with the best. Strive to be the best. But never claim to be the best. What do you trust more…the person who claims to be an expert of the person that is surrounded by others who say they are the expert?

One of the most powerful qualities a team member can have is knowing themself. The ones that are constantly learning and admit not to know everything — those are the ones you want to have a conversation with. Those are the team members that become leaders. When you meet one, do everything you can to keep them around.

2. Do They Take Responsibility

It’s human nature to mess up. We all do it. What defines us is how we react after a mess up happens. Does the team member place blame, ignore it, takes responsibility, learns from it? The emotions are endless.

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Failure is an opportunity to learn. When things get tough you want a team member not looking to place the blame, but accept responsibility and learn from it. This is easier said than done and takes some people years to even grasp. Again, if you find someone like this make sure you appreciate them.

3. Are They, Leaders Or Followers

A follower does what they’re told. They make sure the day to day moves never stop turning. They are fine with keeping things as are and generally go with the flow. Followers are worker bees. Without them the nest won’t grow or be protected.

Leaders are looking for new ways to accomplish a job. They inspire those around them. They motivate the team to do more and look at the project as a whole instead of parts.

Your team needs a healthy combination of followers and leaders.

4. Can They Communicate Effectively

Communication is everything. We launched The Bug Squasher to be the death of endless emails. We wanted to create an environment where communication was streamlined. At the end of the day, it’s a visual issue tracker tool that lets teams communicate easily.

Look at your team members and identify the ones that can clearly express a thought from beginning to end. Analyze how they communicate with you. Ie. do they use stats, tools, wing-it? Poor communication is cancer to a team and project.

5. Are They Motivated

Motivation is a double edge sword. Yes, you need and want team members who are motivated. But are they self motivated or do you need to give them a pick me up every now and then?

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The truth is, we all could use a helping hand. If a team member isn’t motivated see how you can inspire greatness out of them. Try to identify a ways to motivate them — and before you reach for your wallet, realize money will only work for so long.

Take your team out for lunch, appreciate them.

6. Do They Bring Positivity To The Project

You can have the most skilled person on the team, but if they bring negative energy to a project it is poison. Negativity has a way of spreading like wildfire. Negativity will damper victories, shorten communication, and kill motivation.

Look for team members who bring positivity to a project. When you’re six months in development and everyone is killing themself over finding the best solution for a bug you will appreciate them for their energy.

7. Are They An “Average” Multitasker

It never fails, you get hired for one job and end up doing ten. Whether it’s fair or not, it’s just how it is. The longer you stay at a job the more items land on your plate. How does your team react when this happens?

Some people have the ability to multitask. They thrive in these types of environments. They see this as a challenge and rise above. Others not so much.

For those on the team who struggle with this, see if giving them a tool ie time management tool would be beneficial. Look at your and their process and see if there are any gaps. The Bug Squasher has different priority levels to help team members know which items to tackle first. Use this tactic in your own project management.

8. Can They Adapt

There will be a time when you are not around and your team will have to function without you. During this time, the unexpected can happen. How does your team react to it?

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Some people can’t adapt to new situations. They need time to adjust. They need to reset. That’s fine and expected. Others know exactly what to do when curveballs are thrown their way.

9. Will They Quit On You

Nothing hurts more than being six months into a project and a team member quits on you. This doesn’t necessarily mean they walked out of the office either. They can quit on you and be showing up five days a week.

When this happens you need to look at the big picture and ask yourself if the juice is worth squeezing. What I mean by that is, do you want to motivate this person? Do you see value in their skills and think it’s worth bringing them back from the darkside?

Or do you think they’re burned out and there’s nothing there worth saving. It’s a hard question every project manager, business owner, and even team member will cross at some point in their lives. Don’t avoid it. Don’t prolong it. Answer it. The entire team is watching.

10. Do They Support Other Team Members

The best team members understand every project is a team effort. They work together endlessly to make advancements. They support each other when times are great and have each others back when times are tough.

Lead by example. Before asking your team to support each other, look at yourself and see what you can do to support them.

-The Bug Squasher Team

PS. Top talent is hard to find and even harder to keep. Surround yourself with a team designed for success. It will pay off tenfold by the end of your project.

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