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There is no “I” in team—managing your professional relationships

[ 2010-08-18 13:53]     字号 [] [] []  
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By Art Schneider

Louis Gerstner, the man who turned IBM around in the Nineties, described a company as “Great teams coming together to build great products and services for customers.” Any company you work for, whether it delivers pizzas, builds bridges, makes cookies or develops software, all of these companies require PEOPLE to get the job done. Unless you are a sole-proprietor working alone, your are part of team. Teams work with other teams. Teams work with teams of internal clients and teams are supported by teams of support teams (facilities, phone services, even cafeteria workers). Your success in your career depends on how you interact with your teams and other teams. Respect, integrity and equality are some of the virtues of this teamwork.

Your Team

Ok, after all of this talk about working with teams, I am first going to talk about the relationship with your manager (if you are a manager, the same applies in reverse). Your manager sets the tone for the team. She needs to make sure the people in the group are working together. Make sure you understand the tone, raise any major issues with your manager regarding interpersonal relationships. Jamie Dimon, of JP Morgan Chase, was quoted as saying “Personality issues don’t age well”.

Whenever people are working together inevitably conflicts arise; be it tactical differences or personal conflicts. Immediate escalation represents a certain immaturity, alienates the manager and makes it more difficult to actually resolve problems. Better to sit with your colleague and work out your differences rather than escalate first. At a very minimum, sit down with your colleague discuss your differences, try to come up with potential solutions and then bring it to your manager. Don’t force your manager into a King Solomon Split the baby in half dilemma. Try to successfully negotiate.

If, and only if your colleague refuse to negotiate and come up with a series of alternatives for the manager will you maintain positive relations. If your colleague is totally stubborn and adamant then this is a severe performance issue and may reflect performance problems on their end. This requires an immediate escalation on your part.

Your Support Teams

Support teams get the short end of the stick. In Information Technology organizations, these are the teams that maintain hardware, support and general network support. While project teams get all of the glory for a successful delivery, support teams rarely get these accolades as they are un-seen. However, should a problem arise, they get the blame. They then develop, a “bunker mentality”. This is an analogy when they get defensive, hostile, untrusting, etc. It is very important to develop courteous relationships with these people. One, because they can help you achieve your goals quicker and two if you are in crises mode, they will be more motivated to help you because of your working relationships. A strong positiverapport with these teams is essential for your success and the success of your team.


sole-proprietor 全权所有人,独立经营者

integrity 正直,诚实

in reverse 相反地

interpersonal 人际关系的

tactical 策略性的

escalation (战斗或不好的情况)升级或恶化

alienate 离间,使疏远(不和)

King Solomon Split the baby in half 圣经故事中“所罗门王的判决”,讲的是两个女人都声称自己是孩子的母亲,所罗门王用智慧做出了正确的判决。文中是一种幽默的用法。

stubborn 顽固的,执拗的

adamant 固执的

accolade 赞扬,嘉奖

bunker mentality 文中指一种没有出头之日的不好的心态

analogy 类比,比拟

courteous 有礼貌的

rapport 意见一致,关系和睦