Monday Musings: Being a Team Player vs Taking a Stand

From time to time, during my career, I have been accused of not being a team player. Normally, this has to do with one area in particular, social events.

I am an introvert. Some people don’t get that about me right away because they’ve seen me do presentations, read my work, listened to my podcast, or watched my vlogs. I’m not shy, and I can turn it on when necessary, but it is important for me to have time to turn it off and not engage with another human being. I need recharge time. I also don’t bond with people through scheduled events. I’m slow to trust and need multiple encounters with people over a long period of time to warm up to them.

As I have progressed through my career and found myself in leadership positions, I understand that it is important to be social and participate in events whether I want to do them or not. I have stepped up my game. As a teacher, if it wasn’t an after school event for my students, I wouldn’t show up. If it was during my school contract time, I still wouldn’t participate unless it was mandated.

I also think it is important to be transparent so people don’t accuse me of not being a team player. I have found that makes all the difference. Then, colleagues don’t think I’m avoiding them if I don’t attend the social after work. They don’t think I’m being difficult if I don’t want to participate in the pitch in or some team spirit activity. I have made an effort to pick and choose some activities to be involved in because I have been in leadership for the last few years. I think it is a good way to find a happy medium with respecting who you are as a person and showing you are a team player.

I would be interested in hearing how you all have negotiated this in the workplace.


  1. Interesting.  I hope folks don’t define social events created by colleagues as being a team player.   In the OLD days, being a team player AT WORK was defined as jumping in and helping others get their work completed, sharing knowledge, listening to others, flexibility, effective participation in meetings, and volunteering to be part of a project that fosters the good of everyone. Sue Wright

    1. We need more of that back in the workplace. I don’t know if it is an education thing, but these social events aren’t for everyone. People who don’t want to participate get accused of being in a silo. I don’t get it.

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