Terms like “on the ball” and “organized” can serve as euphemisms for “control freak” and “bossypants.” I like to think of myself as the former, but know I can be the latter. Which is why I often have a hard time working on group projects. I have strong ideas, and I like to see them carried out to my full potential…I mean “our” full potential. Oh dear. If you’re anything like me, I suggest considering the following rules for collaboration.
Some basic rules for collaboration:
1) If there are specific roles to be filled, try to define who’s doing what job early in the process to avoid stepping on one another’s toes.
2) Delegate based on strengths. You probably don’t know how to do everything, so use the other person’s skill set to your advantage.
3) You’re not the boss, so stop being bossy.
4) Let the other person have their own opinion. Another person who is as invested in the project as you are may have good feedback. Be fair.
5) Stick to your guns, but sometimes you need to concede. You want to be happy with the final project, but you may not want to ruin a relationship over it.
6) You don’t have to say everything you’re thinking.
7) Shake it off. Project feedback is not necessarily personal feedback.
8) Celebrate together. A project done together has the potential to be even better than a project done alone.
I’m obviously not an expert at this, so if you have any tips for getting along in a team, please do share them!