You’ve just started a new project. You have the expertise to finish your portion of the tasks. You’ve got reasonable deadlines, the right amount of resources, and best of all, you believe in the work you’re doing. Looking over all your preparation work, you think you’re ready to start working.

Think again.

Whenever you begin a project. you have to spend time getting to know your team. Even just introducing yourself can go a long way in making yourself more effective at getting work done. Even better if you have time to discuss shared goals and deadlines. This will help ensure you really understand the project and are working in sync with your team.

This step isn’t just for managers, although managers absolutely have to think of these pieces all the time. All team members benefit from putting forth quality time getting to know the team. Have you ever hit a brick wall in your work and wished you knew who could unblock you? Have you wished you understood why a person is working on goal A when you’re waiting for them to finish goal B? If you knew your team, you’d be able to solve these problems and keep being productive.

Getting to know your team isn’t just about touchy feely chit chat. It’s also about understanding the team’s processes. How do they make decisions? Learn from their mistakes? Prioritize work? Pinpointing these pieces of the puzzle will enable you to work effectively within the team and even suggest better improvements for added efficiency.

So the next time you start a project, spend a little time and get to know your team. It’ll take a little upfront work, but you’ll be glad you did once the ball gets rolling.

-Deborah Fike

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Plus