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To Step Forward on a Broken Bridge

With great teams, come great accomplishments. A well-complementing squad is a strong backbone to any project irrespective of the technology, the innovation, the timeline, or the criticality. A team can be visualised as a mesh. If each team member were represented as a node, an unerringly resilient team can be represented by a distributed mesh network with each node connecting to the other. The thickness of the connection lines signifying the need to communicate or work closely with the other person. While the project manager does play a key role in harnessing the strengths of each person to make the mesh sturdier, the connection lines between nodes are, no doubt, the locking factor.

Not all of us are lucky to function in a team that doubles up as a support system to enable us to grow in all areas, even the ones we are struggling in. Often, we have had to work alongside people with whom, for various reasons, we have trouble building a professional rapport with. This causes the connection lines to go weaker with days and, with a very high possibility, break one fine day. In a distributed network, when two nodes stop communicating if left unfixed, it is only a matter of time before the entire mesh breaks down.

The situation worsens multifold when you are one of the nodes at the end of the bleak connection line, where force tension is extreme. Whatever the reason is, we are all looking for a conducive work environment where we can work to our maximum to bring out our highest productivity.

First and foremost, attempt to release the tension by communicating directly. If not, involve people you think may be able to help. However, if none of these work, here are some things you can do:

  1. Everyone is equally entitled to getting frustrated. Seek methods to vent out your frustration in a healthy way. Maybe talking to a colleague, maybe writing, maybe sports, etc.
  2. Interaction and overlap are good, but in such cases, it can be mentally tiresome. If so, draw a clear boundary between your role and theirs.
  3. Express yourself clearly. Take time to articulate your thoughts well and present them. This has the potential to make a great deal of positive impact, especially when there is a conflict.
  4. When there are unwarranted talks from the other node, ignore and learn to let go. One of the toughest skills is the ability to let go. However, once you learn to distinguish what really matters and what does not, it removes all the pain associated with some unpleasant situations.
  5. If it impacts your productivity, introspect to see if the incident takes more priority than what you had committed to deliver. It is also possible that the sting is because you had considered it personal.
  6. One of the strongest points that helps all of the above is to take genuine efforts to attempt to understand the intent behind the tension being generated from the other node. If the intentions are malicious, report it to the relevant stakeholders. However, if the intentions are pure, take it as constructive feedback and see if changing something from your end can change things. After all, we are all here to learn.

The working environment isn’t only a place to improve our technical skills but also learn significantly about our personalities, which can be used everywhere.

Being well aware of this is why at CoffeeBeans, we take team bonding very seriously. We understand that this not only impacts work but also the personal well being. We share a good camaraderie with everyone and build a durable mesh of more reliable connections. We encourage mentor-mentee bonding and make it a point to check how well fit the person also feels in the project, company, and the environment. We candidly, irrespective of gender, role, experience, touch base, if their journey is enjoyable.

After all. It is the journey that matters.

Happy learning. Happy social distancing.

Dhivya Raj