Overcoming the Challenges of Teamwork
One thing that I have noticed since entering college is that the level of competition between classmates has drastically increased since high school. Grades seem to matter more and therefore choosing the right team members is crucial for getting good grades and more importantly a great career.
Similar to high school, people still fall into certain student categories (i.e. slacker, hard worker, etc.). Sometimes you don’t have the option of choosing your team-mates and this can make getting a good GPA challenging. But as the scriptures state, nothing is impossible. This is why I ask myself what God would do in each of these situations:
Person A – The Slacker – This person shows up to most team meetings but is never actively involved. Generally, this person is there to get passing grades but not willing to put in effort needed to get a good grade. The Lord says, “The soul of the sluggard desireth,and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” (Proverbs 13:4) Even the Lord says hard work pays off. If you can motivate others to recognize this, then they may become more willing to work hard. Giving smaller parts to this team member is also a great solution.
Person B – The Person Who Never Shows Up – Showing up to every team meeting is sometimes unrealistic as schedules are not perfectly aligned. However, this team member generally doesn’t show up to group meetings and the only way they get their work completed is through assigning a specific task to them. Remember what God would do “Be ye angry, and sin not: let the sun go down upon your wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26) If you know the person has a tendency of not showing up to team meetings arrange other ways of communication (i.e. Skype, email, etc.). Make sure everyone knows their part and set earlier deadlines to ensure everything is completed and in good quality.
Person C – The Hard Worker- The hard worker generally takes on a large role of the project. If someone doesn’t come through with their part, this person usually takes it upon themselves to complete the required sections. God says, “For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” (Psalm 128:2) To ensure this does not happen, make sure the work is divided evenly and that each team member understands what they are doing. If one is unable to complete their work effectively, divide that specific task among the remaining team members so the hard worker does not become overwhelmed.
Person D – The Overachiever-This person is generally difficult to work with. It takes a long time to come to an agreement as most ideas are not good enough. Standards are typically set high and this can cause stress to the remainder of the team. The overachiever needs to remember “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) Overachievers tend to do more work than is actually expected of them. A way to overcome this is constantly bringing them back to the assignment guidelines. Trust God and do what is right.
No matter which team members you are working with, always remember to pray for guidance. Find ways to work around these different characteristics. But most importantly, keep peace between each of the members. Your actions have consequences and your choices impact the outcome.
What types of people have you worked with in your life? How have you overcome difficult situations?