I Hate My Teammates…and You?—–Yoky’s Advice for Working in A Team (Part 1)

bad team, good teamWe all once hated our teammates. They were liars, dictators, controllers, over-promisers, procrastinators, cowards, perfectionists; they were incapable, irresponsible, selfish, and weird; they talk too much, or don’t talk at all; they were just simply stupid; they were high or drunk at meetings; they never go to meetings; they forget to do their work; they text group texts ALL-THE-TIME or they never respond to group texts; they were just jerks and bitches; they hit on you…….uhmmmm….that counts too.  I am, and you are too, one of the bad teammates that everyone hates. Nobody is perfect:)

How to deal with them

Step 1: Stop complaining about your awful teammates. The only way to eliminate conflicts is to actually take the initiative and …...kill them! Kill them all!!!!! .………….haha….jk…

Be Prepared!Step 2: Avoid making avoidable mistakes. From my experiences at JMU’s business school, I found that the biggest problem that teams have is that they come to meetings unprepared. It is a huge mistake for many reasons.

First, if the instruction for the project is vague and you and your teammates have different interpretations, you have to wait until your professor clarifies the instruction to proceed. Your professor is not your mom who is ready to help you whenever you need. So the consequence is either time being wasted or going with the wrong interpretation.

long meetingSecond, if you come to meetings unprepared, the meeting will be twice as long as it needs to be. Everybody hates long meetings. It is only natural for them to sacrifice the quality of the work to get out of the meeting ASAP.

Third, quite a few people can’t think straight in a group setting. Some tasks/problems have to be solved alone.

Fourth, you might reach consensus too quickly. When you are a member of a team, you have the pressure to say “sounds good to me” to something that you don’t necessarily understand or agree with.

Solution:

1. make sure everyone knows what to bring to the meeting. Let each person claim a responsibility and set deadlines for assigned tasks. At least make sure everyone reads the instructions and gets their assigned tasks clarified by professors before coming to the meeting.

listen2. You might incline to do so because you don’t want to appear to be a control freak, but there is an effective way: ask your teammates what they think. Before you make any suggestions, start your sentence with an open-ended question such as “what do you all think we should do before the meeting?” Be assertive about listening instead of suggesting.

3. Let your teammates own the tasks. People are more motivated to do stuff when it is their choice. Think of a deadline in your mind and ask your teammates to decide what time and which day that they desire. As long as they suggest something close to your ideal, go with the time they choose. Again, letting them own the deadlines will help them to respect the deadline. But if they suggest something that’s too off, give your reason and be assertive to persuade (as long as you listened first).

To be continued……

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Thanks for Mrs. Anderson’s help with editing my blog! (3650)

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