How to Be an Excellent Team Player #BacktoSchool

Teamwork is key in every aspect of life, and essential when working in a company environment. Effective teams achieve greater efficiency, communication, and results. And they have more fun along the way.

Being able to work in a team isn’t always something that comes naturally. It is a skill that you can learn and practice. 

The best way to learn is through experience! However, it always pays to be prepared with proven techniques. 

The OpenClassrooms’ course, Working Effectively in Teams, goes into depth, teaching step-by-step how to really flourish in a team environment. 

This course can be taken on it’s own or as a supplement to one of the OpenClassrooms Programs – to sharpen your professional skillset.

In this article, let’s peek into the course, discovering a very important initial step in working in teams:

How to define your role in the team

Effective teamwork requires understanding a team’s shared objective and your individual role. 

There are usually 9 different roles within a team dynamic that contribute to its success (*Belbin, 2003). You may recognize yourself in one or more of these:

  • Resource Investigator: uses their inquisitive nature to find ideas to bring back to the team.
  • Monitor Evaluator: provides a logical eye, making impartial judgments where required and weighs the team’s options in a logical way.
  • Specialist: brings in-depth knowledge of a key area to the team.
  • Shaper: provides the necessary drive to ensure that the team keeps moving and does not lose focus or momentum.
  • Plant: tends to be highly creative and good at solving problems in unconventional ways.
  • Completer-Finisher: most effectively used at the end of tasks to polish and scrutinize the work for errors, subjecting it to the highest standards of quality control.
  • Coordinator: needed to focus on the team’s objectives, draw out team members and delegate work appropriately.
  • Implementer: needed to plan a workable strategy and carry it out as efficiently as possible.
  • Team Worker: helps the team to gel, using their versatility to identify the work required and complete it on behalf of the team.


In a team, the role that you will occupy depends on a balance of 3 things: 

  • your job: which informs your skills;
  • your preference: which is mostly instinctive and driven by personal motivations; and 
  • the group dynamic: e.g. others may see you as well suited or required for a team vacancy that you had not considered. 

Today’s teams are more diverse and dynamic than ever, meaning different skillsets, personalities, and nationalities working together can bring fresh challenges and opportunity. 

The most dynamic team structure will see roles revolving because the team’s cohesion and open-mindedness will allow for this.

This is what is known as the “changing roles phenomenon”. The key to cooperation is for you to accept a role depending on the situation’s needs, putting little emphasis on your own preferences. 

Every team project can also serve as an occasion for personal growth and professional development.

Want to learn more about Teamwork? 

Here is the introduction to the free OpenClassrooms course, Working Effectively in Teams:


Go to the Course Now!

About OpenClassrooms 

OpenClassrooms is a global online education-to-employment platform, designed to teach people the skills they need for the most in-demand jobs. 

We provide programs in areas such as web and mobile development, data analysis, design, project management and digital product management, career coaching and more.

All the courses that make up our programs can be accessed freely online.

Our associate’s-, bachelor’s- and masters-level diploma programs are conducted fully online through a mix of videos, online reading, and projects a student would realistically face in a future role. Programs take an average of 6 to 18 months to complete.

To augment the online learning experience, students that sign up for a diploma program are paired with experienced professionals in their field that serve as a dedicated mentor. Mentors help with their coursework and career coaches help them find a job.

If you would like to inquire about one of our paid, career programs, book a call with one of our student advisors to learn more.


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