It Takes Teamwork

It’s a rare thing to be working alone, solo. While you may have myriad responsibilities that are yours and for which you must take ownership, you will be working with others as part of a team.  And even if you’re self-employed, you may be working for yourself, but maybe not by yourself.  Whether directly or indirectly, we all work with others to get things done.
And since we must work collaboratively to accomplish shared tasks and goals, we’ve got to learn to play nicely with others, be patient and open.  By the time we enter the world of work, we have already established patterns and preferences that dictate how we will perform and interact with co-workers. And because of our individual differences – whether cultural, ethnic, social, educational, or chronological – getting along all the time with the people we work with is sometimes difficult.  After we’ve been in the work force for a while, other patterns and coping methods emerge that determine how effective we are working with other people.
Whether we readily accept it or not, we are dependent on the efforts and accomplishments of others to do our own work.  It doesn’t matter if the only people you work with are the customer service clerk at the local shipping office or copying center, a coworker, or one of your own employees, a bad attitude, a lack of pride or confidence, poor communication, etc., can make everyone’s job more difficult, often unnecessarily, and frequently avoidably.  So, what can you do?
Learn how to ask for what you want and need from co-workers or service personnel by being polite and supportive in your communication with them.  Don’t demand; politely and respectfully request what you need with patience and openness.  The person in the next cubicle may have different priorities or methodologies for completing tasks, and they not be completely in sync with your own.
Demonstrate an attitude of gratitude to all the people you work with, not just your team members.  When someone completes their piece of the work, acknowledge their efforts and express appreciation.  Yes, they are doing what they are being paid to do and what they are expected to do.  But if they didn’t do their share, you’d have to pick up the slack and do it, and you would likely be unhappy about having to take on the extra tasks.  So be thankful for their contributions.  And try to at least be supportive if the work isn’t up to your personal standards. If something needs to be redone, be polite in the request to redo, and respect the effort that was put forth, even if there were mistakes made.  Are you perfect?
Openly acknowledge the contributions of others.  Don’t seek or take credit for someone else’s contributions.
You’ll be amazed at the positive effects on morale and productivity when people feel they are appreciated and their efforts respected.
Remember that you can’t build a business on the efforts of just one person any more than a baseball team can win a pennant race on the arm of just one pitcher.  Space stations aren’t built on the calculations of just one scientist.  And there’s no “I” in the word “team”.
So, go play nice!
To learn about other ways we can work together on your job search or your career, please visit: