ABH Card #12: Teamworking your way to Success

By July 13, 2018 August 29th, 2018 No Comments
There is no I in team

I came to this company straight out of school, i.e. out of an environment where competition is strongly reinforced, and solo work is dominant. You rarely get the chance to experience how it feels to depend on someone and have someone depend on you. Although in theory I knew what teamwork was, I struggled with it in practice when I first joined my team. It was strange for me to see that some team members were not accentuating that they themselves created something as individuals, instead I kept hearing the frequent usage of the word 'we' instead of 'I', which was new to me. There were periods when my ego was going wild, when I had the need for everyone to know that 'I' did something, that something was 'my' idea, that it was not 'me' who miscalculated something, but some other team member. So, while developing new tech skills is important, so is learning how to work together with others and how to share both responsibility and glory with them. In other words, the most important personal project I was and am still working on since I came to this company is how to be a teammate in the real sense of the word.

Sharing the responsibility

In our team, we use each other as checks and balances. For instance, we never submit a report without it being approved by two other teammates and without getting feedback from them first. The moment you realize that responsibility over work is shared, this becomes a great motivator to try to avoid mistakes as much as you can. I guess in that sense our entire workflow and team dynamics functions on the principle of checks and balances.

Learning from your team

The most recent thing I did out of my comfort zone was visiting clients in another country along with two experienced Atlanters. I feel like the most stressful part of that trip was not the presentation itself, but the discussions with clients, the need to control your emotions and to make compromises and above all, and the pressure of representing my company elsewhere. I definitely felt the need to prove myself to my senior colleagues because their evaluation and feedback is important to me.