There are a number of roles that individuals typically play on teams, many of which are positive. For example, positive team roles may be to encourage, to stimulate outside-of-the-box thinking, to facilitate clear communication, to broker compromise between team members, to keep the team organized and on track, to summarize key decisions or problems, and to keep morale high.
Unfortunately, some team roles can be destructive and selfish, so much so that they cut into the team’s effectiveness. Below are the 10 most destructive, selfish, and negative team roles to avoid:
• Steamroller: Tries to dominate or constantly interrupts teammates.
• Show Off: Thinks he or she knows all the answers. Brags about and exaggerates his or her team contributions and accomplishments.
• Waffler: Can’t make a decision.
• Butterfly: Keeps changing the topic and focus before others are ready.
• Aggressor: Doesn’t show respect to teammates. Comments negatively about them. Dominates to get his or her way.
• Broom: Sweeps unpleasant task or team relationship problems under a rug.
• Critic: Sees the negative side to any argument but doesn’t suggest alternatives. Puts down others’ ideas.
• Victim/Martyr: Looks for sympathy from others.
• Self-Confessor: Uses the team as a forum for sharing inappropriate personal information.
• Clown: Uses humor too much or inappropriately.
For more information on how to be an effective team player, check out our Pinterest board, “Being a Team Player: 50 Tips” at: http://pinterest.com/drlaurahills/being-a-team-player-50-tips/ — Dr. Laura Hills, Blue Pencil Institute, www.bluepencilinstitute.com