Sunday, May 29, 2016

Working With Other People

When hiring someone for a project it is so important to be sure that the candidate can work with other people. But in this, as with so many things, the biped mammals can be tricky.

What do people mean by “working with other people”? Does it mean blind compliance? Does it mean good communicator? Does it mean a desire to find a workable compromise? Does it mean maintaining one's equilibrium when someone lies to your face? Does it mean doing it their way to the detriment of the project? Does it mean being able to share credit? Does it mean leaving the psychodrama at home?  All of the above? None of the above?

Now I feel as though I have to confess something to you. You see, crazy people can make me act a little, well, upset.  Nutty behavior can wear on my nerves a bit.  The logical reaction when faced with aberrant behavior on the part of a fellow worker, of course, is to attempt to choke the life out of the miscreant causing all the psychodrama.  But it is possible that this logical and helpful response to our co-worker's overt betrayal, or bid for power, or demand for attention and special privilege *could* be misunderstood. Maybe the miscreant will become a better person because you tried to choke him or her to death. We can only hope so.  But not everyone understands that my motives are pure.

So what to do?  Well under extreme provocation, what we might call 'creative differences' occur and it might be best for someone like myself to extract themselves from the project with as much grace as possible. No need to make the project suffer because I think someone is a loony. Under these extreme circumstances, the project does not need my input. Its a tough decision to make.

So maybe instead of asking whether so-and-so can work with other people, it might be more effective to be sure that everyone on the project, even those in charge, can work with other people. You know, treat people with respect, that sort of thing?  Remember that none of us are perfect and that all of us can make a mistake. Remember that we all have a role to play, and that role may not be the one we would ideally prefer (e.g. I really want to direct, etc). Let us all remember that this is not a zero sum game and that we were all beginners once. Speaking in basketball terms, the center or forward may make most of the scores but the team wins in large part because of assists.

I would hope that everyone on a project would make an effort to get along and  give everyone a certain amount of slack as we move the project forward.

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