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Up your game – you or the team?

In nearly every job application it’s essential to boast an independent mindset as well as your skills to work in a team. What they don’t explain, which we’re probably expected to know, is the trade off between knowing when it’s your responsibility to up the anti or your team’s.

Raise your hand

In every working team there’s an unspoken rule that you pull your weight equally. But what happens when people start to let slip in comparison to those who go overboard and make the rest of us look bad? Who decides who’s responsibility it is to advise a re-shuffle if your manager doesn’t notice? On the occasion where your attention to detail exceeds your team members you could also be letting the side down if you don’t acknowledge such an  issue and raise your hand to spill. The argument you may have against yourself is that no one likes a snitch, and working dynamics are often as important to productivity as the work in hand, so it’s important to be conscious of the way you go about it. If you’re on top of your work it could be an option to offer a helping hand, as long as it’s not going to affect your own work load. Even if your offer is rejected it could also offer a hint that your colleague is falling behind.

Team tactics

When deadlines are looming it’s often the case that they’re on hold because you’re working on reaction. By reaction I mean you’re waiting for responses, documents or feedback from other people. It can be a brave move to buckle up the courage and assess what’s outstanding. If you’re on top of everything, a 5 minute conversation with your team may result in a productivity boost. After all, communication is key. A common trade off is blaming others for your lack of drive or daydreaming, so before jumping to conclusions just ensure you back is covered before you bring others into the equation. Honesty really is the best policy.

Keyboard warriors

With the majority of job roles depending on computers, it’s very easy to loose sight of face to face communication. Raising issues over a keyboard allows you to cower behind your screen. Although you may be feel like you can be more authoritative behind your screen, remember that the person on the receiving end may also laugh in your face.  Putting across your goals and needs over a coffee is often better received than it is over e-mail. Nearly every office will be faced with a trojan keyboard tapper that gives out more than they can take, so if you’re fed up with their passive aggressive slurs then approach them about their demands the next time you catch them in the lift.

Realising your team’s potential is often a guessing game and it can be resolved by a fine balance of self realisation and a shared passion for a productive outcome.

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