A Lone Wolf’s Guide to Teamwork

RL09-16-15There are two types of people: those who thrive in a group setting and those who would rather work alone. And though these two groups can get along when they need to, they’d much rather do things their own way. In most business settings, when loners are required to work as a cohesive unit with co-workers, the person who works better alone has good reasons to do so. So how does the lone wolf successfully join the wolf pack? Check out these answers to the most common excuses in this lone wolf’s guide to teamwork.

I work better alone.

This is probably the most common response when an independent person is asked to work in a team. Some people feel as though they get more accomplished when they are their own team. If this is you, consider breaking up the work between the group members equally. This will allow each team member to work on his or her own to accomplish specific tasks. Delegation is key to ensure all aspects of the project get completed in a timely and thorough manner. Then, at the given completion time, meet up as a group, compile all parts, and make it one cohesive work.

I always end up doing all the work myself anyway.

Apathetic people and teammates who procrastinate can be the Achilles’ heel to an effective team. All it takes is one instance of this to create a lone wolf. You can never force anyone to do anything, and the saying is true, you can only control what you do. However, you can at least ease your mind in a business setting by outlining each specific task, assigning them to team members, and having each one of them sign the work proposal. Now if you happen to get caught with lazy team members, you can at least cover your own tail.

Groups slow the process down.

Nowadays, there are meetings about everything—sometimes, even meetings about meetings. When working in a group setting, meetings can be a detriment to completing a project on a timely basis. In many cases, the reason for this is people are either confused about the purpose of the project, unsure about their specific work load, or stuck on one aspect of their job duties. Meetings can bring some projects to a halt, so it’s best to thoroughly plan for these issues before they arise. Before your group begins the project or task, get the questions out of the way, answering every one of them as well as possible. Also, be sure that whoever needs to sign off on the project is alerted ahead of time in order to keep the work moving.

Groups deliver subpar products.

This particular excuse is comprised of all of the other excuses in one. Some professionals feel that because of the other issues that arise, it’s impossible to create meaningful and near perfect products. The stress that accompanies having to pick up other people’s slack, working with individuals who aren’t as detail oriented as you, and having groups that slow down the finish date can be cumbersome. This is a very real threat to delivering quality material; however, seeing this preemptively will give the lone wolf the foresight to plan for these threats.

Just because you’ve always worked by yourself doesn’t mean you can’t be as effective working with a group. Take these few insights to heart next time you’re tasked with a group project, and who knows, maybe the lone wolf will find a wolf pack.

How do you work with a team? What do you do to ensure high productivity? Let us know in the comments section below!


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