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It's Just Not Cricket.....

Ok - hands up who has never made a mistake at work? How about hands up if we don't have workplace memories that make us wince when we recall our contribution to an unhappy situation? Finally, hands up anyone who has never had a colleague that they would happily trek to the North Pole and back rather than spend two minutes in the lift with them?

My guess is that not many hands were raised....

Does this make us terrible people? Does it make us poor team players? Does it mean that we have less emotional intelligence than a cat with a trembling Field Mouse in it's paws?

The answer of course is no; it simply makes us human.

Try as we might, we all err and we all encounter people we struggle to work with. Sometimes the other person has well and truly earned our wrath, other times we are able to admit that the problem in the relationship is just as much our responsibility as it is theirs.

The truth is, the best teams are not made up of people who naturally get along. The best teams are made up of individuals who have something special to contribute; something the others need in order to succeed.

That is not to say that it makes it easy to form a team full of people who you wouldn't choose to spend time with in or out of the workplace (the famous Tuckman model talks in depth about the 'Storming' phase and I am sure we can all relate to that experience). But, if we are honest with ourselves, sometime the people who comprehensively rub us up the wrong way do so precisely because they bring something to the team that we cannot...

So, no matter how that person makes us feel personally (and yes, sometimes the words we use are not suitable for polite company) that doesn't make them any less valuable to our team. In fact sometimes they make them the person we can learn from the most.

I will be honest, I was inspired to write this blog having seen the many column inches dedicated to the Kevin Pietersen/Andrew Strauss/ECB situation (some may say debacle) today. Whilst I do not wish to pass comment, I do firmly believe that, given time, all parties will come to wish they had adapted their behaviour to enable a positive outcome for all.

So whilst we may not be dealing with the success of a national team, take the time today to take a step back and look at the colleague we struggle with the most and ask yourself:
  1. What can I learn from them?
  2. What can I do to make sure those lessons benefit both me and our team?
  3. What can I do to ensure the team benefit from the fact this person is part of us too?
I am not promising that it will be easy, but I do think that it will be worth it.

Good luck!

May 13 2015Frances Ferguson

Frances Ferguson

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