Working as a team is never easy. Differences of opinion, different learning styles, and different personalities can all make it very difficult to work together as a unit. Here are some “to don’ts” when working as a team.
Squash the Tension as Soon as it Rises
I’ve been a part of many “teams” in my life. Whether it was sports, school, or work, I’ve had to suffer through many team building exercises, and this is probably the most important thing I’ve learned from it all: you are not always going to get along.
Differences of opinion are good. They spark discussions that could lead to better ways of doing things. This, however, becomes a problem when people refuse to be understanding and stop listening. This leads to tension that can bring the team down. Not-listening soon turns into not-talking. At least not to one another. There’s a stalemate. Instead of hashing it out like adults, teammates get angry and bash each other behind their backs.
There is no “I’m going to punch my teammate in the throat” in TEAM.
The Absent Teammate
Nothing is more frustrating than someone who does not pull their own weight on the team. Everyone else picks up the slack and becomes angry when the absent teammate reaps the same benefits. The only way to solve this issue is for people to just be honest about their commitment level.
Is being a part of this team something that you are able to commit to? If not, be up front about it so everyone you are working with can at least prepare for doing your share. It’s the ‘depending on someone just to have them let you down’ that is unacceptable.
Lets just be honest from the get go, okay?
Getting Caught in the Middle
I was recently caught between two people who could not get along. We were out promoting their projects, which requires getting out there and meeting new people, something we are not all comfortable with in the first place. This was made even more difficult by the shyness of one teammate and a lack of patience from the other.
They began to get on each others nerves, but instead of hashing it out with each other, they both chose to talk to me about it. I got stuck in a situation where I had to try to console them both, while being very careful about what I said so as not to become an instigator and make things worse. I hate that!
Their disagreement had nothing to do with me, but somehow it became my problem. If you are a part of a team, please DO NOT DO THIS!!
It’s never easy being a part of a team, but if we can all be a little patient, understanding, and willing to listen, we can accomplish what we’ve set out to do.
Are you inspired yet?
Do you like working as a team or prefer to go solo?