Recently I worked with a team who were having some struggles in getting along with each other. In our first group session, I noticed one particular team member (let’s call him Jon) giving me ‘death stares’ and dis-engaged from the program. He obviously did not want to be there. He believed the program was taking him way from his important work. He resented having his time wasted. I was taking him away from his clients. In fact, he shared his feelings with his team:
‘My job is deliver high quality service to my clients. It’s important work. I don’t have the time or the energy to do this ‘Team Work’ stuff. My clients will always take priority over my colleagues’.
Jon was highly respected for his ability to build relationships with his clients. He was very dedicated to his company. Yet Jon was creating chaos amongst his colleagues.
He was being paid to be part of a team, yet he didn’t want to do the ‘work’ associated with teamwork. It’s like an employee saying:
‘I applied for this job knowing I’d be part of a team. Pay me to be part of a team but don’t expect me to put any time and energy into it because it’s not important to me’.
How we treat our colleagues has an important impact of the team. Psychologists Alan A. Cavaiola, PhD, and Neil J. Lavender, PhD, surveyed more than 1,100 employees. They found that approximately eighty percent reported moderate to severe stress as a result of working with a difficult colleague, boss, or subordinate.
Relating at Work:
1. How are you relating to your Colleagues?
2. How are you relating to your Clients?
3. How are you relating to your Company or Organisation?
Have you ever worked with someone is fantastic with their clients – yet have terrible relationships with their colleagues? Or maybe they love and respect the company they work for, yet treat their colleagues with disrespect? To be a great team member, we need to be great at all three.