Back in your secondary school days, teachers and professors pressed upon their impressionable students the importance of working in a group. Everything from science labs to partners papers to group projects showed up in class curriculums. Fast forward to your workplace. Chances are, collaboration and group work are still very much a common occurrence. Did your years of school group projects truly prepare you for all the company teamwork you experience now? Turns out most employees prefer to work individually or without any help from colleagues. Do you identify as one of these employees? Take a couple moments to reflect on the following points.
- Do you view help or collaboration as a weakness? Many people think that asking for help shows weakness. Asking for help, however, is quite the opposite. Recognizing that you could use a helping hand or that a coworker might be particularly proficient in a certain area than you, actually proves that you are more honest and in tune with your line of work.
- Do you think that the effort your colleagues will contribute to group work being subpar? We’ve likely all fallen to this mindset at some point, whether subconsciously or not. If you opt to work on a lengthy project independently due to such thinking, you’ll likely end up working overtime to finish everything. Even if you take pride in working long hours, the reality is that many hands make light work. This certainly isn’t a way to get out of actually doing your job, but getting over the “subpar” mindset will reduce stress and likely produce better results due to more minds focused on the project.
- When you are up to your ears in work, do you still turn down offered help? Turning down help when you’re drowning is not a wise decision. If a colleague notices that you have a large workload and offers a helping hand, then you likely need the help.
- Do you prefer to work individually because it makes you look “self-sufficient”? Well, I’ve got news for you. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it certainly wasn’t built by one man. Incredible work is accomplished through teamwork and collaboration. Maybe you’ve submit some really good independent projects. Those projects, however, could have been great if you had allowed other people’s inputs and opinions. Furthermore, most supervisors view “self-sufficient” workers as less favorable and less productive than employees who ask for help.
Did you identify with any of the questions? You might be hurting your career path if you tend towards more of these points. So the next time you’re assigned a project at work, accept the helping hand.