Sticky Situation: Are You The Perfect Colleague?

03/31/2016 05:37 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 05:12 EDT
Yuri Arcurs via Getty Images

Sticky situation:

You are good at your job, maybe the best on your team.

You are a natural leader, perhaps the best in your industry.

You're smart, maybe the most educated of the company.

But, are you the best colleague? What do your teammates say about you? Do they like you? One colleague, an uncongenial colleague can contaminate the entire team. You know "It only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch".

Are you, maybe, perhaps, that apple...?

Here's a quiz to validate if you deserve Best Colleague Ever award, or if you need to improve some behaviours.


Assign one point per observable behaviour that you regularly demonstrate. Each bullet counts for one point. Tally them and check the legend at the end to find out if you are: that apple, OK, or the best colleague ever.

1) Respectful

I bet you guessed it! Respect is essential amongst colleagues. Is it not?

But, can you define it? What does it mean to be a respectful colleague? What gestures and what words do you observe in those whom you label respectful?

In my experience, being respectful, or displaying any quality for that matter, also involves more specific behaviours.

Hence, a respectful colleague is also:

Confident in his abilities. Without arrogance, in due course, he knows when to intervene or not and when to turn to others, without feeling threatened.

Discreet. He takes care of his own affaires and does not interfere in the affairs of others.

Punctual. He respects others' time by delivering work on time, arriving on time and not hogging time.

• Open-minded. He does not believe he has all the answers and is always willing to learn.

Polite. He recognizes the importance of the "magic words" as an easy way to contribute to a pleasant work environment. He does not think that politeness is passé, superfluous and a waste of time. He uses: "Hello, Please, Thank you, You are welcome and I am sorry", daily.

2) Good communicator

• He accurately shares knowledge, goals and challenges, in writing and orally.

• He expressed himself clearly and is aware of his tone.

• He is good at listening and asks relevant questions.

• He uses the correct mode of communication for the appropriate task and person.

• He seeks feedback and is able to accept criticism.

3) Organized

• He can easily locate information and documents.

• His workspace is orderly and ready to safely welcome visitors. Psst, your shoe collection should not be displayed at the office. Unless you work for Aldo. ;-)

• He is ready and prepared to participate in meetings and activities.


• He has the initiative and is in control to deliver whatever it takes, even in times of crisis.

5) Generous

• He is not stingy with his time and his expertise.

• He readily shares his knowledge and gives compliments.

6) Team player

• He knows and aims for the entire team's objective.

• He understands each team member's contribution.

• He takes responsibility for his role and is accountable for his actions.

• He facilitates positive interdependence.

• He gives credit to his peers and celebrates them.

7) Has integrity

• He says what he does and does what he says.

• He is authentic or true to himself.

• He is honest.

8) Comes to work happy

• He smiles and greets everyone.

• He loves his job!

So what's your score? What kind of colleague are you?

0 to 14: Oh, la, la, it could be that you are the apple that is spoiling the bunch... Your colleagues are really wondering about you and why you are on the team. It is best to adopt more of the above behaviours.

14 to 20: You are OK, nothing more, but good enough.

20 or more: You are the perfect colleague; well on you're way to getting the Best Colleague Ever award. Keep up the good work and thank you for being a great contributor to making our work world better.

Want more solutions? Visit Julie's website, like her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter and here in the Huffington Post. Order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Or, invite her to facilitate a workshop for your team. "Bye-bye embarrassment and faux-pas. Hello confidence and credibility."

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