8 Characteristics of People Who Don’t Fit Well on a Team

Have you ever heard the phrase “odd person out”?

It means you don’t fit. You don’t measure up for some reason. You are excluded. Being odd person out can hurt if for some unfair reason one is discriminated against.

While I certainly can’t claim discrimination the way many people understand the term, I’ve been odd man out numerous times. I’ve been there because I’m a pastor at times. People assume I can’t also be fun—or I would judge their activities—so there are many social events I don’t get invited to attend. I remember feeling this way as the only person from a single-parent home among my friends in high school.

We’ve all been excluded at some point in life for some reason.

It’s a bad thing to be “odd person out” by no choice of your own, but some people actually place themselves in the position by the decisions they make and the way they respond to others. It happens all the time in team dynamics.

Some people seem to choose to be ” odd person out.” The choices they make cause them not to fit well on a particular team.

I’ve led or worked with many teams, and whether there are a few people or many who make up the team, there can often be one who chooses to be “odd person out.” And, in fairness, it may or may not be a conscious decision they’ve made—they simply don’t fit well with the rest of the team, but they got there by some of their own decisions.

If unaddressed, it can be dangerous for organizational health. Trying to build consensus or form team spirit becomes more difficult. Morale is infected by the intentional “odd person out.” Spotting this as the problem early can avoid further issues down the road.

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Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.

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