What Ideal Team Work Looks Like: DeclutteredBy: Susan Dunn
I got a new website designed, up and running last week. Yes, last week. And it was no cookie-cutter either. I’m well-organized, but the speed with which Nancy, the web designer, worked was amazing.
No sooner did I send her something, than it was up on the website. Actually she was simultaneously working on two websites for me. Things were flying back and forth.
Drag Creates Drag
I was reminded of something my friend told me when I was working on my dissertation. He said do what the chair asks immediately, get it back as fast as you can. “It baffles them,” he said. “Most students prolong it indefinitely. When someone’s working fast, then they don’t have time to obsess. It’s catching, you know?”
That was good advice! Taking forever to do something creates a force field with a lot of drag in it.
Back to Nancy. Well, she’s a friend, too, and I became concerned. Didn’t she have any other business? Eventually I had to ask, “Do you not have any business, Nancy?”
“Yes,” she emailed back. “I’m swamped.”
Small wonder when she’s so professional, speedy, accurate … but she’s also creative.
Okay, I thought, I’m going to ask. Nancy, how do you do it?
“Thanks for asking,” she wrote and then sent me this list. At the top it said, “I’m glad you asked why I have so much time. I try to teach this to others [she’s also a coach].
I Have So Much Time Because
Nancy continued, “The way I’ve worked on your website is my typical way of interacting with web design clients and a typical response time. I really set the pace when I do a website with someone and am terrific at wrapping it up, too. Some people have trouble completing things in life or they bottom out in the middle when it gets hard. In me, they have a steady pace setter who has the will to complete the project and the know-how, expertise and experience.”
Getting things completed ... one of my mentors used to say, “The pregnancy is wonderful, if only the baby didn’t have to be born.”
Nancy continued, “While doing this, I have supervised the remodeling of the house, got H&M off on the cruise, fixed dinner for my roommate and visited with her, and done many coaching sessions.
“I give my friends and clients the impression that I am serene and unruffled (or so they say) but you wouldn’t BELIEVE what I accomplish in a day. I recommend good mental and physical health habits and the elimination of toxic people and television.”
My Work is Majestic
The most amazing thing about this experience with Nancy was her passion. She emailed me at one point: “A website is a majestic thing and deserves the full attention of someone who knows how important it is to get your message across.”
One of the things she’s best at is ‘getting’ who you are and putting it into the web site. I think this is because of the focus. She’s into the other person and the project, not self-concerns.
Blaming & Shaming
In this team project, there were changes in direction, call them snafus. The name I’d chosen was being use so the logo had to be changed. “Great!” Nancy emailed. “How about this?” The photos she originally chose turned out to be too expensive. “How about these?” she replied, sending 3 new ones.
I’ve worked on many teams, and the biggest time-waster and energy-drag is those disgruntled sighs, rolling of eyes, throwing hands up in the air, labeling things as “mistakes” and assigning fault. Comments such as Why didn’t you tell me beforehand ... There was a miscommunication…You said you wanted ... If you’d said that in the first place ... Subtle or blatant, they accomplish nothing and exhaust us.
Change it, fix it, keep it flowing, was our motto. We didn’t waste time analyzing, blaming, naming, shaming.
Are you overwhelmed? Many of my coaching clients and friends are. You can take some tips from Nancy, on how to declutter, and here’s one from me—when you surround yourself with people like this, life sure goes a lot easier! Declutter your project team!
My website? I wish we could still be working on it. How often do you say that when you’ve finished working on a project with someone? How often can you say “It was a pleasure working with you” and mean it?
© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2003
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