Competency perspective: teamwork

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

May 09

In our performance reviews, we typically see ratings for both goals and competencies. Competencies are your job skills and how you play in the sandbox with others. While there are many competencies, the one that consistently shows up is “teamwork.” Here’s my perspective.

If you read a hundred reviews and look at how people write their self-reviews on teamwork, one statement almost always comes out: “I am willing to help others” or some variation of that sentence.

But, teamwork isn’t about helping others. Teamwork is fulfilling a role in the group and performing that role flawlessly. There is an accountability associated with your role on the team.

I remember when I was in sixth grade and playing flag football. It was a kickoff and my responsibility on the team was to make sure that if the player came down my sideline that I at least turned the runner back inside. One time I didn’t. The kid scored.

My responsibility to the team was not to be willing to help others, but to be the person that turned the runner back inside.

Thus, my view is that a person’s first responsibility in teamwork is to be able to rely on you to do your work well and on time. The team must have the mindset that they can count on your performance. The team doesn’t get distracted trying to cover for you, fix your work, or get your work done on time. If your team can rely on you, the team can move forward.

Don’t do your work well or on time and your value to the team is less than zero.

So in the review, orient your commentary about reliability for your completed work and THEN write about how you were also able to help others. Being willing to help others means nothing if your own work doesn’t get done.

How many people on your team were willing to help – but didn’t get their work done?


About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.