Let’s face it: Everyone wants to be a team player. And most people think they are. But we know that’s not true. Some people are so consumed with their own work; they forget to support their team—or they flat out don’t care. It isn’t always easy to be a part of a team. In fact, it’s sometimes a real pain! But it’s an absolute necessity in the workplace. You simply have to be willing to collaborate and pitch in when needed in order to achieve success. After all, if you don’t help your team, they won’t help you. And no one man (or woman) can do it alone!
So, are you really a team player? Or do you just think you are? Take this quiz to find out!
Read each of the following statements. Respond to each by asking yourself if you feel this way:
Most of the Time = Give yourself 3 points
Sometimes = Give yourself 2 points
Never = Give yourself 1 point
(Notice there is no option for ALL the time – that’s just not realistic!)
1. When I see my teammates struggling, I offer to help even when I’m busy with my own work.
2. When a task needs to be done and no one else wants to do it, I volunteer.
3. I always offer my opinion but I am willing to compromise for the good of the team.
4. When everyone else is working late on a project I’m involved with, I will usually stick around too.
5. When I receive praise, I am quick to share credit with my teammates.
6. I feel that team goals are just as important as my individual goals.
7. I want to see my fellow team members succeed.
8. I enjoy working with the people on my team.
9. I respect the people on my team and appreciate their unique opinions, perspectives and ways of doing things.
10. I feel that my work is better when I’m working with my team.
Count up your points.
If you have 25 to 30 points:
Congratulations! You’ve got teamwork down to a science. You recognize the importance of supporting and contributing to your team. You’ve built some strong relationships, established a reputation for being a hard worker, and you’ve really got your priorities straight. Your teammates certainly appreciate it. By building, and being a part of, a strong team, you can feel confident that your career future is bright. You have a network of colleagues who know and respect your work – and that’s a huge benefit in the professional world. You’ve also got people who will support you when you need a little help. More than likely, you won’t even have to ask. When you need it, your team will be there.
If you have 20 to 24 points:
Well done! You’re on your way to being a truly strong team player. Right now, you’re a team player some of the time. While that’s perfectly acceptable, it’s not ideal. Your team needs to depend on you. They need to know that you’re a part of the team always. Contributing only occasionally might even be counterproductive. After all, you want to show that you’re a loyal and enthusiastic member, not just a “fair weather” friend. Look at this list of questions again and consider where you could do more to show your support for the team. You’re so close – just put in that small, added effort and the results will be dramatic.
If you have 10 to 19 points:
Ok, how do I put this gently…? You probably won’t be voted MVP anytime soon. You might be one of those people who think they’re a team player but really, you’re not quite following through on the actions. You answered “sometimes” or “never” quite a bit on this test. Maybe you’re getting along just fine this way – you’re doing your job and getting things done. But remember that being a part of a strong team can be an incredible asset in the future. You may be doing fine right now, but once you hit a rough patch, where will you be?
If you’ve been contributing and supporting your team, they’ll step up and help you when things are tough. But if you’ve been more concerned with doing your own thing, watch out. You might not have anyone to lean on when you need it. I’m not saying being a little selfish is always bad. But remember that a team relationship is reciprocal. You give some; you get some. Take a good look at this list and see what kinds of things you’re failing to do on a regular basis. Maybe it’s time to step it up a bit and focus on helping your team.