Whenever I hear someone say, “I’m a good team player” I have no idea what that means to them. It is sooooo “cliché.” It was the “buzz word” for a while. But truthfully, it’s one of my pet peeves.
And when I hear someone say it during an interview, I want to know what they mean by that and how they have demonstrated they are a good team player.
When someone says, “I’m a team player,” it doesn’t tell me ANYTHING about them.
It is all left to interpretation.
Do their ideas about being a team player mean the same thing as mine?
Does the notion of being a “team player” equate to when they had to complete their fourth grade Social Studies project? (Ugh. I didn’t like those projects.)
And when someone says they are a “good team player,” I want to know how other people know they are a good team player.
If we are on the same team:
How will I know you have my back?
How will I know I can trust you?
How will I know you can give and receive feedback effectively?
How will I know you agree with the team goals?
(Gosh, this is beginning to sound like a Whitney Houston song.)
We fill a necessary and vital role on our teams.
How we “show up” and fulfill our roles and obligations determine how valuable we are to that team.
Feel free to check out this article on Ten Characteristics of a Real Team Player by Liz Ryan. I like how her characteristics describe what a good team player means.
If you are ever asked this question during an interview, or you happen to mention it, I strongly encourage you to weave your answers to these questions into your response:
Comment in the box below and share your thoughts on these questions and what makes a good team player in your opinion.