Why don't I work well in a team?
“Alone we go fast, but together we go far”.
The aim of teamwork is to create creative and intellectual competition to achieve a collective result that exceeds the sum of the individual results. The proverb is all very well, but that would mean annihilating the nature of each person. Indeed, not all of us are as productive as we might think in a group, especially when we don’t belong to the team of extroverts 😬.
The group reserved for extroverts?
I’ve often said that I’m an introvert, meaning I am more inward-looking than outward-looking. We tend to be quiet and independent, which also means that we prefer to be alone. In all work groups, we’re rather discreet and don’t like taking the lead. Managing others in a professional environment does very little for us 😣!
In addition, when you’re part of a group of introverts, you’ll tend to have more difficulty expressing your ideas to others. This doesn’t mean that they’re less good or interesting, it’s just that it’s complicated to make your voice heard in situations where there are many people. It requires you to develop a greater ability to adapt in order to make your way among socially comfortable people, which can sometimes have an impact on your productivity 😅.
A result that depends on others
Another problem is that the result of this teamwork depends on everyone, and this is something that bothers me. Indeed, some people don’t necessarily assume their responsibilities, or even worse, there are colleagues who steal our work and take all the credit for it. So obviously, it makes you less willing to join forces with others...
In theory, teamwork is meant to bring strength in numbers and produce new results. However, this doesn’t take into account the fact that there are certain cases where it is more like an unmanageable playground. This means twice as much work for the people who are really involved and who have hierarchical pressure on their shoulders. The result? You get burnt out by the double burden and the atmosphere, which can make you completely lose it in the office. Taking on more work and managing difficult colleagues can also lead to mental exhaustion 😔...
Difficulty finding compromises
Even if everyone is committed to the project, we’re not necessarily all on the same page. From this point of view too, it can turn into an ordeal and this is typically what I hate 🤯. As everyone has a strong opinion on how the work should be done, it can prevent us from functioning as we would like. It’s harder to move forward when you work with other methods that aren’t your own.
Moreover, beyond working differently, teamwork can create tensions, as it’s sometimes difficult to find a compromise. It’s normal to have different opinions on the same goal, but damn, it’s exhausting fighting with others when you could have made progress faster on your own 😩...
What are the solutions to be able to work in a team?
Over the years and especially with Covid entering our lives, working from home has been democratized, much to my delight 😬. Indeed, I’m more efficient working from home than being in an open space (my personal nightmare 😱). However, that doesn’t prevent teamwork from existing, even remotely. So how do you go about achieving this?
If you’re uncomfortable working in a team, you should verbalize this and talk to your manager in particular. The business world is also able to adapt to different individuals who make up the company, which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to exchange ideas. Personally, I asked if I could remain working from home full time because I know that I’m better off working from home. Yes, I’m more productive being in my bubble, in a cozy setting 🤗!
🖥️ There’s no need to be in the same office to communicate, there are many tools to help positive communication. Being more comfortable writing, I love sending a quick message via chat!
Find your place 👩💼
It’s important to find your place in the team you work with, as this is a good way to gain respect and create a bond. Indeed, staying in the background only creates more difficulties, as you’ll either be seen as someone who doesn’t want to work or someone asocial (or even both)! What I like to do in order to find my place is to talk to everyone individually in informal moments. It allows me to get to figure out each personality a bit more and get to know the others 🤜🤛.
Express one idea at a time ☝️
As I said, it’s often difficult to express myself in a group. I usually have ideas rushing through my head, which makes it difficult for me to express them. Worse still, I sometimes cut off my speech, which is unbearable! 1, 2, 3, breathe! But above all, you need to remember that you should express one idea at a time, depending on the subject being discussed, and actively listen to your colleagues. There’s no rush and worst-case scenario, if you’re afraid of forgetting things, you can always take notes to talk about it later!
Take a course 📝
If you work in a team on a regular basis and are very uncomfortable, you can ask your company for a training course! Yes, public speaking (or at least in a group) can be learned! Once you know how to express yourself better, you’ll be able to move out of the background, and it will be easier to express your opinion and deal with others. There are several types of courses such as those dedicated to non-violent communication or those that work on stress management 🧘♀️.
Feel good in the company ✅
To conclude, I’d say that it’s essential to feel good in the company as a whole and even in the field in which you work. If you have difficulties working as a team, maybe you are dissatisfied with something else? It’s not the employees or the group work that’s the issue, but a deeper problem, such as feeling good in the company 🧐. It’s important to ask yourself the right questions and ask whether it’s not the time to change careers. Yes, no feeling should be neglected in order to understand why you can’t work in a team!
Editor’s note: Ask yourself the right questions...
Working in a team isn’t always easy! If the pattern keeps repeating itself, if you’re always uncomfortable when working with others, if you feel that you don’t fit in at work, then it’s a good idea to ask yourself some questions. What’s bothering you? How could you change this? Is teamwork imperative? Have you found your path? We advise you to make an appointment with a coach to discuss this. Together you can develop new habits that will allow you to flourish in your activities
🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!
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