7 Characteristics of an Influential Team Member

team member

You can begin or increase your level of influence with the colleagues who are on the same team as you. In The Leadership Mandate I wrote about the 5 main areas of influence, one of those being work. In regards to work I wrote, “Anyone has the potential to influence and impact subordinates, colleagues, direct managers, and upper management. This allows you to become a 360 degree influencer within your current job position.” Since the average person spend a significant amount of time within a work environment, it would benefit us to adapt the characteristics that allow us to be an influential team member. Below are 7 of the core characteristics you should know and adapt:

1. Positive attitude-

A positive attitude really does matter. Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” People are drawn and want to work with those who consistently possess a positive and optimistic attitude. To be an influential team member always chose to have a positive attitude.

2. Competent-

Being competent comes when you are strong in a specific skill set, knowledgeable and also experienced within your chosen field. Performing on a level that allows you to deliver maximum results is one of the byproducts of being competent. It places you in a position where you are able to not only increase your influence with other team member but also with your boss. Be and remain competent by becoming a lifelong learner.

3. Dependable-

An influential team member is dependable. This is when everyone on the team knows that you will show up (physically and mentally) and deliver only your best work. It has been said that, “Being dependable, on time and a productive worker is the best employment insurance there is.” ~Unknown Author Commit to being dependable will allow you to have influence within your team.

4. Relational-

Relationships and influence are closely connected. Being a person of influence comes when you build friendships and stay connected to the lives of those you wish to influence. This happens by using some of your best time and energy on the people around you. To get to know and stay connected with them. Take time on a regular basis to maintain your professional relationships with those on your team.

5. Vision focused

Those who have influence on a team are vision focused. There are two main areas that these individuals are vision focused. First, they have a vision of the work they are personally doing that will help the team win and secondly they also have a big picture of how their team’s contribution impacts the overall company’s goals. They grab a hold of the vision and take action by contributing their personal best.

6. Collaborative-

An effective team works together. They are united in achieving the team’s purpose and goals. Mattie Stepanek said, “Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” This happens when the team get alone (Being relational) and works together. When you have some influence with your team, you should work to join and unit the other team members together. This will create a team that more productive and in turn will allow you to be seen as an influential team member.

7. Encouraging-

There is power in a kind word of encouragement. Everyone wants to feel cared about and valued. An encouraging word to a team member can bring strong positive emotions that will lift them up. Consistently speaking encouraging words to those on your team, will build respect and your team will want to be around you. It will allow you to be seen as a positive influencer.

Question: Can you add to the list? What are some other characteristics that allow a person to be an influential team member?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great attributes, Dan! All of them are so very important. One that has served me well over the years is to “Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.” It kind of incorporates several of the points you mention, but it’s a life principle that I use to motivate myself to always do my best. And it’s not for the purpose of impressing others and creating a good reputation; for me, it’s about accountability in the gifts and abilities God gave me. When I stick to this, it means I put more thought into what I say I’m going to do and place a lot of importance on making sure what I say and do (who I am inside and out) always match.

    • That’s an important principle/value to have, Kari. It’s something everyone should follow. Thank you for adding your wisdom here.

  • I think collaborative is what sticks out to me. So many people want to go solo even in the midst of being a team. They want the glory and the recognition, and they’re not really concerned with getting thing done.

    • Collaborating with our team members is so important, it allows for better results. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • Vision-focused stands out. Some leaders need to learn vision-sharing, and I think team members actually want to stay on the same page and assume a leadership role.

    • Hello Mark,

      “vision-sharing” I like that. I agree, it brings more ownership to the team. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  • Vision is key, when people can understand where the team is going and how they can be a part of that energy is created and ownership is developed.

    • I totally agree, Paul. Thank you for adding to the topic.

  • Good list. I know that this one is kind of alluded to in the other characteristics; honesty is foundational I believe. This “win at all cost” world we live in tends to put this characteristic on the back burner when it should be front and center.

    • Great point, It should be that the team wins at all cost and not one individual. Thank you for adding your wisdom here.

  • Integrity- doing what’s right even when no one is looking and even when it hurts you/costs you something.

    I like that you included dependability. I think that is undervalued.

    • Great description of integrity. It’s about being the same person whether in private or public. Thank you for adding your thoughts.

      • To me, Integrity is part of a person’s character. If a person doesn’t have integrity when others aren’t looking, then they really don’t have good character- even if they do have a “good” reputation.
        God knows our hearts and thoughts- we can’t fool Him, even if we do fool others.

  • This IS an excellent list. I think you’ve touched on it, but I think it’s so critical to be a leadership builder–to be helping others grow as leaders, too. I try to do that. It requires giving up the idea that I’m the only one who can do something.

    • Hello Melanie, It’s great to hear from you. YES, that’s a crucial one, helping in the process of developing others is key. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

      • It’s good to be back to my blog reading and commenting, Dan. Looking forward to more wisdom from you.

        • I’m glad your back:) Thank you for the kind words.

  • Great tips! I would also add to the list help others by inspiring them and sacrifice for themselves.

    • Great addition, Tony! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

  • One thing that I’ve always considered a good quality to have when you’re on a team is to be a good listener. Have you ever been working with someone who simply won’t listen to you? They’re either lost in their own world or thinking about what they want to say next, but don’t actually give you time to explain your thoughts and opinions. It can be really frustrating at times.

    • Yes, I have worked with people who just are not able to stop talking and listen. It’s difficult to work with people like that. Listening is a valuable skill to develop. Thank you for sharing:)