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Today I was told I would not be hired because I give the impression that I'm not a team player.

I shrugged my shoulders and never denied the accusation.

If someone is a team player, what kind of person are they? If someone is not a team player, what kind of person does this make them?

I believe this was a euphemism for me being a cold, emotionally detached--perhaps rude--person. Is this completely nonsensical?

EDIT: Yes I know what being a team player literally means. I want to know what it infers, or what it could possibly infer. What characteristics are synonymous with people who aren't team players?

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    You'd have to ask the person who said it; and they probably couldn't tell you. – Vladimir Kornea Jul 15 '15 at 19:54
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    Welcome to ELU, 69110. Since most people prefer being on a team of warm, engaged, polite people, we are more likely to be hired if we can at least pretend these traits. Who knows? If we pretend long enough, we might actually become warm, engaged, polite people. At any rate, the answer to this question is not primarily linguistic. – ScotM Jul 15 '15 at 20:00
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    @KristinaLopez, perhaps the euphemism was a bit more warm and polite than the interviewer's actual determination? It is in the applicant's best interest to receive an honest appraisal, so that they can make adjustments for future endeavors :-) – ScotM Jul 15 '15 at 20:05
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    There are a slim minority of teams that don't put such a high premium on warmth and emotional engagement, 69110. You may be more comfortable working on such a team, but it seems that your friend does not lead one. I'm glad you feel good about your friend's "tough love", because trying to work together at that level might have frustrated both of you enough to ruin your friendship. – ScotM Jul 15 '15 at 20:36
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    Some people perform best in collaboration with others, that would be a 'team player', some people perform best working in relative or absolute isolation. – user98990 Jul 15 '15 at 21:39
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A team player is someone who collaborates with others, discusses ideas/concepts, follows the rules, and doesn't put others at any kind of disadvantage on purpose.

A team player does not work alone. There is no I in team

A team player makes sure that his/her team succeeds or at least makes a legitimate effort to do so.

  • I'd quibble with 'follow the rules'. A team player acts for the good of the team. Sometimes that involves not following the rules, especially if the rules were imposed from outside the team. – DJClayworth Jul 15 '15 at 21:27
  • "Not a team player" is often used euphemistically to mean someone who won't go along with the prevailing guppengedanken, and I use the German deliberately. As the Depressories poster has it, "There is no "I" in team, but there is in "Kiss My Ass." – deadrat Jul 15 '15 at 22:06
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You answered your own question bro. Cold, emotionally detached, would rather do their work over the broken backs of their co-workers just as soon as help them. Etc etc

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