During a Q&A session at the end of an event I spoke at last week, a member of the audience prefaced her question to me by describing her previous job as a “nightmare.” She said the individuals on her work team were “horrific teammates.”

Horrific. Nightmare. Monstrous. Terrifying. Evil. Heinous. Demonic. Cruel. Wicked.

Isn’t it interesting how many words associated with Halloween are also associated with the experience of being on a dysfunctional team?

Unlike Halloween favorites like dressing up and going trick-or-treating, nothing fun comes from having to be around horrific teammates—the antitheses of good teammates.

Over the past few days, I’ve thought a lot about the label that audience member assigned to her teammates and what specifically makes someone a horrific teammate.

Selfishness. Horrific teammates don’t consider how their actions affect the other members of their team. They only think about themselves. Their motivation is never what’s best for the team? It’s always what’s best for me? To advance their personal agenda, they will lie, cheat, steal, and betray.

Ego. Horrific teammates don’t take constructive criticism. They let compliments go to their head and they ignore negative feedback. Furthermore, they’re unable to collaborate or share control. They cannot function in a supportive role, operate with a serve-first mindset, nor humble themselves to ask for help.

Awareness. Horrific teammates don’t see their shortcomings. They’re oblivious to their annoying habits and how those annoying habits could irritate others. Their lack of awareness hinders productivity, causes relationship friction, and disrupts their teams’ momentum.

Malcontent. Horrific teammates don’t like the current state of affairs on their teams but aren’t willing to do anything to change their situations. They are incessant complainers, who are often more concerned with who’s to blame for a problem than they are with fixing that problem.

Comparatively, good teammates are selfless, egoless, and hyperaware. And whatever dissatisfactions they have with their teams’ current situations aren’t manifested in the form of complaining, blaming, or shaming. When they have a problem, they immerse themselves in finding a solution.

Horrific teammates may be the antitheses of good teammates, but good teammates are the antidote to the toxicity of horrific teammates. Like silver bullets, sunlight, and garlic, good teammates’ positive attitudes keep the horror at bay.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

Lance Loya is the founder and CEO of the Good Teammate Factory and the creator National Be a Good Teammate Day. He is a former sports coach turned bestselling author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

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