Working alone… with others

National Blog Posting Month – December 2012 – Work

Prompt – Would you rather work alone or with other people?

This is a hard one. There are situations in which having partners on a project is great as well as those which wind up being a nightmare.

Working with others means that you have back-up if there are problems and built-in help. It means also that you don’t need to know every single thing – your colleagues can fill in for your knowledge gaps. The downside is that, unless you’re working with a great set of people, sometimes you might wind up being more of a cheerleader for an unmotivated group. This can result in a pretty crappy result (if any ever arises).

Working alone means that you don’t have to coordinate meetings and you can work at your own pace. Plus, you can take full credit if the project is successful. Downside: Failure is all your’s too, and there’s no-one prompting you or encouraging you to stay on task. Things might never get done!

I’ve had successes and failures in both scenarios. I like to think that I’d prefer to work alone, that I’d be more successful if I didn’t have to deal with other people, but there are a lot of things I just can do on my own. It doesn’t help that I have social anxiety – just picking up the phone to call someone to ask on their progress can be a nightmare! If I could, I’d rather work alone, but the reality is that I just can’t. So I often get into collaborative projects, and hope that either a) my colleagues will be as motivated as me and won’t need much prompting or b) I’m not the leader on the project. It doesn’t always work that way, and I’ve suffered through many failures. I’ve also had many successes.

So I’m going to take the middle road and say ‘both.’ If I could, I would probably prefer to work alone, but I accept that that is not a viable option in most cases. I move on. Things have to get finished. And they do – most of the time.

For 12-27-12

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