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Are you an ideal team player?

ksaaskil profile image Kimmo Sääskilahti Originally published at kimmosaaskilahti.fi ・2 min read

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is a classic in teamwork literature. Recently I've been reading the author's follow-up book The Ideal Team Player. I've only started reading the fable, but I couldn't help taking a peek at the end of the book where I found an interesting self-evaluation test for anyone interested in improving their team work skills. I thought it's quite cool so I'll share it here!

Think how your teammates would respond to the following claims about you (the original claims were written in the first person but for me, it felt easier to think in third person).

The response scale is: Usually=3, Sometimes=2, Rarely=1.

Humility

  1. She compliments or praises her teammates without hesitation.
  2. She easily admits to her mistakes.
  3. She's willing to take on lower-level work for the good of the team.
  4. She gladly shares credit for team accomplishments.
  5. She readily acknowledges her weaknesses.
  6. She offers and accepts apologies graciously.

Hunger

  1. She does more than what is required in her own job.
  2. She has passion for the "mission" of the team.
  3. She feels a sense of personal responsibility for the overall success of the team.
  4. She's willing to contribute to and think about work outside of office hours.
  5. She's willing to take on tedious or challenging tasks whenever necessary.
  6. She looks for opportunities to contribute outside of her area of responsibility.

Smart

  1. She generally understands what others are feeling during meetings and conversations.
  2. She shows empathy to others on the team.
  3. She demonstrates an interest in the lives of her teammates.
  4. She's an attentive listener.
  5. She's aware of how her words and actions impact others on the team.
  6. She adjusts her behavior and style to fit the nature of a conversation or relationship.

I tried to evaluate myself as honestly as possible based on my recent actions as part of the team and scored 42 points out of 54. It feels a bit easier to understand where I need to improve and how. A good next step might be to ask teammates to evaluate me directly and try to improve in each of the three areas in turn.

What do you think about the self-evaluation above? How much did you score? What other questions would you add to the list? Thanks for reading!

Discussion (1)

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Doaa Mahely

Teamwork is a skill that has been on my mind lately. The books you mentioned sound foundational in this genre.

I tried to evaluate myself with the questionnaire and my most honest evaluation is somewhere between 40 and 45 points. I had different answers for different teams I've been with, often my level of engagement and passion depends on external factors unrelated to the team specifically.

I don't really agree with some of these but I may get a chance to understand them more after digging into the books and understanding teamwork from the author's perspective. Thanks for sharing!