Yes. I. Am. A. Team. Player.
You can do it. Remember when your mother asked if you’d done your homework? Yep-finished it in study hall. Or your doctor asks if you’re limiting sugar and alcohol while exercising at least 5 days a week? Absolutely – sugar, carbs, processed foods and every day but Sunday. Or the cashier asks if you’d like to add 10% to your purchase to save Lemur Leap Frogs from extinction in their native Peru…uh, yeah….no…I mean I already gave to the…um bugs…er…frogs this morning.
So when you are asked…again and again…about your capacity to cohort and consort…as I do Chickens, for you, I’ma break down the rules of this game.
#1 – Do not offer caveats, such as: I can be a team player…if I’m the coach…or, at least get first dibs on choosing my position. Or…Well, that kind of depends, I mean…who’s on the team…I’ma not play with no scrubs, if ya’ know what I mean.
#2 – Do not focus on what you think should be a team’s goal…e.g. Well, I like to win. Though a ‘team,’ by definition, implies competition and achievement…no one wants to hear your story about how your pet goldfish ate its babies and how that experience taught you a valuable lesson, at a very young age, about what it takes to survive and thrive in this fish-eat-their-own-fish world.
#3 – Do not go all “Moneyball”…talkin’ about the importance of analyzing each player’s contributions to objectively evaluate strengths, weaknesses and performance gaps larger than the one in Michael Strahan’s charming grin.
#4 – Do not emphasize the importance of a game plan or draw ‘Xs’ and ‘Os’ next to terms like context, resources, positioning, answerability, practice, strategy, struggle …blah, blah, yawn, yawn.
#5 – Do not acknowledge that you are willing to stand firm, argue with umpires, make last minute judgment calls…or that you’re eager to learn different positions, change up uniforms and equipment from time to time…or that you sometimes end up red-faced because you’re too caught up in the game.
#6 – Do not think about the subjectivity and subtlety inherent in this simple question. The simplest questions are always the most profound…amIright? But block all that out…just focus on the back of every high school t-shirt ever worn…
And…trust me on this…just say:
I’m a people person. There is no “I” in team. I can go along to get along. Joiner…yep…that is me…sign me up. G-O T-E-A-M! Assimilate is my middle name.
Got it? Good. Let’s pile into the back of your pickup and head to Dairy Queen!