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Stop trying to solve problems once and for all

How often have you speculated about the outstanding results you could achieve if you simply had enough time to figure out a perfect solution? Have you entertained the idea that, if coworkers would just listen to you or adopt new attitudes and processes, you could finally achieve success? Hey, you are not alone! Being effective at work and producing good results is something that requires creativity, problem solving, and teamwork. However, the pursuit of a perfect solution or process (i.e., you will never have to make adjustments or changes again) is a foolish endeavor.

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How to succeed in teamwork, lessons from academia

How do you feel when asked to complete work as part of a team? For many, the prospect of teamwork fuels feelings of anxiety and dread — a reaction to multiple occasions where expectations and experiences didn’t match up during completion of team-based work. The frustration associated with teamwork may be attributed to instances where an individual felt they were asked to complete more than their “fair share” of work. Others may feel angst because “teamwork,” for them, means seeing associates dominate aspects of the project, completing work in isolation, and returning to the group with “the solution.” The solution being something that the team never discussed, provided input on, or had time to influence before fast approaching deadlines. I think that teamwork can be a wonderful thing. However, in order to make teamwork a good experience for everyone involved it is essential to first learn how to work in teams (i.e., we suck at team work because we don’t know how to work in teams — we have not been taught to collaborate effectively).