Frustration with people must be the number one frustration in organizational life. Wrong teammates distract, drain, and hobble.
People, not work, make organizational life misery or joy.
Success on teams often determines career success. But, it takes more than technical competence to succeed on teams.
3 essentials for success:
#1. Love learning. Those who can’t be wrong can’t learn. How good are you at admitting mistakes and moving forward?
Success is transitory for those who hide mistakes.
Everyone who says, “I’m learning,” confesses they’ve been screwing up or falling short.
Love learning by:
- Withholding judgement.
- Taking another’s perspective.
#2. Invite feedback. Receiving and learning from feedback is good, even if it is rare. Seeking feedback is extraordinary. When was the last time you asked,
- What am I doing to make your job more difficult?
- How am I hindering our team?
- What am I doing that gets in the way of my own success?
I asked a trusted friend to give me feedback. He said, “You’re too black and white. You put people in the awkward position of being on the right side or the wrong side.”
His feedback is hard to hear. I prefer to think of myself as confident, not being black and white. I view myself as a pussy cat. But, he’s right and it’s transforming the way I approach challenging topics and difficult situations.
The first response to all feedback is always the same, “Thank you.”
#3. Develop relationships. How successful are you at developing new relationships. “Works well with others,” isn’t enough. Are you taking relationship-initiative?
- Helping someone on their pet project.
- Mentor/mentee connections.
- Social interactions outside work.
Those who succeed on teams go further than lone-ranger types.
What if you’re the one making others miserable?
What are you doing to work on work relationships?
What qualities are essential for success on teams?