How to Accelerate Your Team

It was a busy day in the office and truth be told I didn’t even have time to stop for lunch, yeah we all have one of these days, some of us maybe have more of such days than the average person!

What ticked me off was that this colleague of mine seemed to be taking a rather laxed approach to everything, considering that everything that we were working on was urgent. My boss is one of those who believe everything is urgent or else we wouldn’t be doing it so you have to move fast and get the job done as soon as yesterday. But not my colleague on this particular day and it irritated me to bits because I was not about to spend 15mins of precious time holding his hand wondering how I can convince him to actually do some work. Suffice to say I ended up pulling the weight of both of us and I was pissed off as hell.

It got me thinking, is this chap taking advantage of me and if so, how do I draw a line? Yes a line needed to be drawn and I was ready to come all out guns blazing with words such as boundaries and terms of reference on his black ass!

Show them you mean business because the minute you start being all giggly with them, then they immediately know that they can get you to do a couple of favors for them.

In a team environment where everything seems chaotic how do you get your team mates to pull their weight without them affecting your sanity or your performance as a group?

  1. It pays to invest in taking time to get to know this person and how they work. Study them like you are about to sit for an exam about them, because this is how you will learn to understand the moves that they make and what makes them tick.
  2. Show them you mean business because the minute you start being all giggly with them, then they immediately know that they can get you to do a couple of favors for them. This can even escalate to you ending up doing their work just because they somehow conned you into it. Is this you? This was me, I stomped my foot down and explained to my colleague that there are certain things that are not part of my terms of reference when I was joining the organization, therefore if he feels he is unable to do his work he should request our supervisor for some advice on the best way forward. I felt relief and guilt free because I was simply being honest.
  3. Don’t bring your personal life to the office, no need to share about your family or in-laws really that is too much information which they can some day use against you depending on the level of spite that they are operating from.
  4. Ask your colleague for advice even though you don’t really need to take this advice, it is just a way to make them feel like you count on their input in the work place. So if your colleague believes that you value their perspectives then there are chances that they will pull their weight.
  5. Complement the team players when genuine great work has been done. Sometimes we feel we don’t really need to complement peers at work which is bad because at the end of the day we are working for a common goal. Besides, if they move up the ladder, who knows they could take you with them!

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  • Africangel

    No wonder its called the Rat Race… the human element is totally removed. The office is just that the office and to hell with your home life. I have found that it is easier to work with everyone when you at least get to know their moods. Imagine a woman who has just been abused by her hubby or a man who has just discovered that his girlfriend is cheating on him with his best friend; do we really expect this person to be at 100% and to come into the office looking all happy because “This is the office and my personal problems do not apply”. I have always found that the best bosses/work colleagues are those who know how to balance empathy with strictness. Its true, don’t let your workmates walk all over you but show some compassion on the days they are just not up to it.

  • Mwesh

    I agree with African Angel.Leave your baggage out the door before you get to the office.Problem sometimes is there are people who do not know how to differentiate between the work place and home.Whatever baggage one has woken up with the least one can do is drop it on the colleagues with no explanation.I am of the opinion that if its too depressing,find some way to keep it shut under until the end of the day because you will walk all over people for no apparent reason.End of the day the boss expects results but because of all the emotion,nothing is done.And that guy deserved that whip on his ass,its not like you share his salary…..go girl…that’s how it should be done.Kudos

  • Naomie

    Amen to that sisters! Although the guy now begins to think what a b*#$h i have become, really you can’t win them all :-) but I’m content, that’s all that matters!

  • Mwesh

    Naomie…..and that’s why it remains at “he thinks”… stays in his imagination.Such things should not move you.He better get a life.Being content is the way to go.Soldier on gal

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