Connie’s Career Corner


“More ideas can lead to a better result.”

Tip for the day:  If you want a different outcome, try a different approach.  Unknown


Q:   Dear Connie:  I get so frustrated when my team is given a project to complete.  My teammates do not seem to work as hard as I work.  Can you give me any suggestions on how to get the rest of my team to work like I do?

A:   Dear Frustrated:  You might not be happy if your whole team approached the task exactly the same way that you do.  The best outcome comes from having diversity in your group, and this includes the different styles people use to approach projects.

To help reduce your frustration, take a little time and understand the different styles people use when completing a project.  There are many assessments you and your co-workers can take to help identify your work styles.  You might want to check out free assessments on the Internet.  Your human resource department may have someone who has been trained in giving assessments to further help your team understand how each team member approaches his work.

Here are four of the approaches people take in completing their work.  The Self-appointed Leader wants to get everything planned out and assigned (including a timeline for completions) while expecting everyone to work and work hard.  The Thinker wants to gather and process the information before any part of the project has begun.  A Thinker will have a hard time understanding how the Self-appointed Leader can plan and start something that may not even be the plan that is needed.  The People Pleaser will want to be sure that everyone in the group has the opportunity to share his ideas.  The People Pleaser will also want the whole team to be happy with their individual assignments.  The Socializer may not appear to be working on his portion of the project until just before the deadline.  He may then be willing to do what it takes to meet the deadline.  The Socializer will probably want to plan a lunch or party to celebrate the project being finished.

If you want to become an even more valued employee, you should learn more about different work styles.  Use your knowledge to help make your team the best it can be.  If you give the Thinker the task of doing the team research, you will have a team member whose knowledge base can help the team avoid delays due to lack of information.  Listen to feedback from the People Pleaser.  If you match the project assignments with what your team members prefer to do, they will be happier.  Happier workers generally turn out the best work.

You may have a lot of great ideas, but think of multiplying those ideas by the number of people on your team.  There does not have to be a right and wrong way to do most projects, but there is usually a good, better and best way to each project.  Stay focused on whether your team members get their assignments finished by deadline, not on whether their daily accomplishments match yours.  It is the quality of the outcome that truly matters.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to .

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