Team work, how to deal with it← Back to blog
Working within a team, what a pleasure for many, what a disgrace for others. The world is full of different people. Some of them prefer to be surrounded by colleagues to exchange ideas, and others would rather work on their own without interferences. The moment we start working in a company, or if we start our own business, we have to adapt to the situation. There may be no colleagues to collaborate with, or the team may be so big there will be no way we won’t be working with the rest.
There’s no need to be friends with our working colleagues, but a respectful and easy relationship will be positive to create a comfortable ambiance. Feeling that our job is safe and that we are supported will help us see our workplace as a good environment to be during long hours, instead of considering it as some representation of hell. If we feel comfortable within our team, we will concentrate in our tasks and we will be eager to get things done.
It would be best if team projects were managed by someone with experience who could orientate the team. It may not be possible. For example in a new business, at somewhere were the workers don’t have much experience or in a University project. In any of those situations, with some patience and a good organisation things will develop smoothly. Here we have some of the basic ideas for a successful organisation:
- We should learn to delegate and be convinced about it. If we are responsible of a team, let’s feel confident, they will do the best they can if they feel we trust their work and judgement. Trusting the team will have mid and long term positive impact, in relation to productivity and personal fulfilment of the employees.
- It is essential to divide the work without duplicating efforts. If we don’t communicate, it might happen that two colleagues or teams are working on the same task, so someone will be losing time that could be dedicated to something else. If during a specific moment there’s no work for everyone, doing the same tasks twice would not be a problem but a way to keep everyone active. But when there are many projects to deal with at the same time, it’s better to be efficient.
- Arrange follow-up meetings. The head of the project will have the opportunity to have a look on the work that is being done, so problems can be rectified if needed. For that purpose, depending on the size of the team, everyone can be involved in the meetings, or just the responsible of each area (design, finance, communication…).
- Set deadlines. They are essential for the project to progress as a whole. Some pressure will encourage the team to get ready to work, but at the same time it may create anxiety among some co-workers or employees. Not everyone has the same rhythm, let’s not forget that. Deadlines should be defined taking into consideration the available time and people, and the amount of work that we have for a project. Still, we should not forget to leave a margin for last minute changes or unexpected events.
- Speak up! Communications are another must of team work. May we encounter any difficulties during the process, we should be able to tell our supervisor or another colleague to find a feasible solution or an alternative. Or even without a problem, if we are making a substantial progress in an area, it may help the rest of the team to know about it. So let’s forget about some old ideas such as “I will not say anything, I may interrupt” or “that is not important enough to tell the rest”. Of course, there is no point in bothering someone who is concentrated to communicate something useless, but if something is worth sharing, don’t have any doubts.
Managing a group of people is usually tricky. It means putting a group of different individuals together and be able to make them do the task they are best at to obtain a result altogether. Everyone has responsibilities and a specific role within the team. All that with a previously defined goal: creating a viable and successful project based in each company’s standards.
We know, each job has its specific features and it is not possible to manage all teams the exact same way. But there are some basic and useful guidelines for any kind of organisation to have the full picture about what is happening around us and in relation to our projects. Now it’s your turn to try how this works for you.