Pieces of the Puzzle

**To be read with a pinch of humor** (:

As much as I enjoy my new work place and meeting my new colleagues (few of which ‘might’ turn into friends over a period of time), I cant help but miss my ex-colleagues in various assignments – few I worked with and for a few of them, and few who were simply a part of the assignment. They were open and willing to explore ideas together, inherently curious people, and ones who didn’t grade our relationship on some hierarchical scale but based on our shared interests. The fact that my work was recognized by the client or my superiors is more a testament to the amazing social talent I was surrounded by…than anything else.

When we embark on a new assignment, do we not wonder who do we want on our team or how can we build teams and networks where everyone wins and grows? If only we had Networkers, Connectors, People Happy to Refer You First – With No Expectations, People Who Believe in You…Willing to Help You and Help You with Ideas…people who believe in paying it forward always end up being your best business relationship.

I have and will come across various people in my work – and yes, I might love to run away from a few of them…. but these are colleagues whom I have to engage with so heading for the nearest door really isn’t an option. Because we have:

Narcissists who are closers that go big or go home. They “build up their press because they concentrate on success instead of failure. It’s the fundamental psychology of a sales professional. I feel they serve a purpose on a sales team.

The Name Dropper which could be a sub category of the Narcissist or Status Claimer. Yes, networking is about who they know, but I don’t need a constant reminder of who they know and whose yacht they were on this weekend.

Griller who ask lots and lots of questions because they dig stories, details, emotions, insight, histories, opinions, convictions, the whole gamut. They aren’t necessarily bad…I think the person I run from is the person who asks and asks, but turns into a clam when it’s their turn to spill it. They are usually so focussed on asking the next question that they are almost never listening, unless it conforms with their world view.

Ahh-I-know-it-all who has learned everything they need to know and try to make everything fit into that paradigm.

I-Me-Myself who are one-way-street types who will run over you, put you down, stifle you, discourage you, and never treat you with respect – for sure never love you.

Elevator Pitch Junkies who live by their 20-seconds pitch on everything you ever needed to know about life and everything. They want everything in a nice neat package, injected intravenously in their empty heads so that they can go around repeating the mantra like a parrot.

Yes Man/Woman who follow come what may and never question. They are helpful for getting stuff done but can lead an organisation down the path to ruin if no one else is there to be critical. They are positive but destructive.

Glory-hunters who find delegation difficult or who cherry-pick parts from roles for maximum visibility. It’s not a very inclusive or team-spirited attitude

Chronic Dictators who never contribute to the positive team energy/ creativity required to successfully complete any projects but constantly provide input on how to get the job done (a talking head).

The Grandstander who will jump on a topic and them dominate the conversation trying to establish themselves as the subject-matter expert. Unfortunately, it results in a one-sided conversation and does little to forward a true discussion on the issue.

Oh-Wellers who want to be a part of the process, but have no real desire for one outcome vs. another…who act like they’re all in, but bail when things get rough or aren’t going well.

Including the ones that give you 15 arguments why not to do something rather than one contribution on how to succeed at it… Or the ones that grill your ideas to then go on and still them for personal advancement… Both are actually similar they just want to justify their existence and salaries it’s all about toxic individual survival… What they are missing is that a company is like a rugby team… ultimately no one cares or remember how many tackles or turn overs you made or if you scored they remember you were part of the team that won the championship.

The Dodger who don’t return calls or emails. They don’t actively participate in meetings/try to avoid attending them at all. They avoid having to deliver anything. Anything they couldn’t avoid being responsible for – never gets delivered because they were waiting on someone else to do something/they didn’t realise there was a time line/the sky was too blue (always a reason for non delivery). Claim they are always busy but can’t actually explain their workload. They just cruise through the day in the office and god forbid you need something off them.

How about working with too many “Chiefs and not enough Indians“, people who know the answer before you even finish your statement. Or the ones when you try to explain your situation and they say its ok, and havent even let you put your two cents in.

Just including the ‘non-learners‘ who live online but don’t tap into its vast knowledge base, either from poor research skills, arrogance or plain laziness.

The ones I am uncomfortable with the most are the ones who pull out their cell phones and call/receive call right in the middle of a conversation. While I have allowed it to propagate, stunned by its impeccable crassness, in the solace of knowing that manners are the property of a gentleman and a lady, while their lack – the hallmark of an upstart.

Work and life are blessed with the contribution from many personalities and nuances, these nuances and personalities in turn help us develop our skills further and polish our intelligent coping strategies, I look at it as an opportunity to find a different way to engage, almost like finding a new way home. While we may rule these people out temporarily, we should not rule them out permanently. In worst cases, if you are unable to accommodate the person in the team, let go the people off the bus freeing them to be great elsewhere, by not holding them back.

The truth is, as long as man is ruling planet “earth”, it’s never going to be perfect and that’s ever so evident in the workplace. Ah geez, what if I’m guilty of all of these? Can I run away from myself? 🙂 Work seems to work better when the basics of being a human are practiced. Could most problems be solved that simply? How can something so simple, be so difficult sometimes?

Not always can you pick who you work with and certainly not easy to run from all those that you just have to work with – but what the heck, who said life was easy. Just as each of us (raising my hand virtually) have made our set of mistakes, so do others, and so we leave the door open that if someone changes, they can be welcomes back. We just have to try to find a way through with these people – try to find their strengths, draw them out of the behaviour that we don’t need. I find that most people step up when they are surrounded by curious, positive, informed folks.

As a wise man said, “In my life so far, I have discovered that there are really only two kinds of people: those who are for you, and those who are against you. Learn to recognize them, for they are often and easily mistaken for each other.

The important “piece of the puzzle” is to be able to lead and inspire while honoring people’s differences. Good rule of thumb in all endeavors: you are only as smart as the people you surround yourself with… Sometimes referred to as a “team”.

Categories: Muddled Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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