Being a good team player is an employability skill that nearly all employers require and it’s not hard to figure out why. Have you ever been part of a dysfunctional team? Perhaps you had to tackle a big cross-departmental project at work and your team spent the time aimlessly tackling unimportant tasks. Or maybe you had a school assignment and your group struggled to get it done between bickering about the topic. Equally as bad, maybe one person (you?) got so frustrated he or she did the whole project by themselves. If you’ve ever faced this or a similar situation then you know the importance of good teamwork and being a team player
But, not all team projects have to be difficult and just by correcting bad teammate behavior in yourself, you could dramatically improve the experience next time. To help we’ve listed the four most common types of dysfunctional team members. Do you recognize yourself in any of the descriptions below?
The Talkinator – It’s easy to get excited when starting a group project, but this type of person often forgets the word “group” in this situation. Working together is dependent on everyone being heard and feeling encouraged to share their idea. If one person dominates the conversation then resentment may build in other group members, resulting in them opting out of participation.
The Wallflower – The opposite of the Talkinator, a wallflower is a teammate that sits on the sidelines and doesn’t participate. Being part of a group project is an active duty role. If you’re a shy person or an introvert try to participate in another way, take notes during meetings, ask questions or vocally agree with someone. Also if you’re part of a group that has a wallflower type, try engaging them directly during meetings by asking them what they think of an idea or start off by having everyone go around the room to provide a status update on their part of the project.
The Snail – These are the people who are slow to change course or just plain resistant. When working on a group assignment it is important to be flexible. Priorities, focus and even deadlines can change and these elements are often out of the control of the group. By not adapting this person can slow progress and create frustration in the group. If you have a snail on your team, try talking to that person about their concerns. You may be able to help them understand the need for change or they may raise valid points of objection.
The Heel-Digger – A variety of opinions is great during a group project, as long you can eventually reach a consensus. But sometimes you’ll find a team member that believes he or she is so right that they refuse to agree with the group and waste time arguing. This person has yet to learn the lesson of picking the right battle so you might have to do it for them. Don’t let one person hold up progress on inconsequential matters. However, if your team is arguing about something that impacts the entire project, work hard to understand everyone’s point of view and find a compromise.
Bryant & Stratton College Online aims to help students maximize their employability for career success through its Employability Series and Career Resources
. This set of core competencies is integrated in to the College’s online degree programs, to complement occupation-specific training and help graduates get hired.
Interested in learning more about the online degree programs offered by Bryant & Stratton College Online? Call 1.888.447.3528 to speak with an admissions representative.