By John Sonmez March 29, 2018

Working On A Team: I Hate And I Suck!

What about teamwork? This is exactly what we are going to talk in this video.

Do you hate being part of a team? Do you hate having to work as a team member?

While this culture of a one man has been widely spreading, teamwork is still a HUGE part of anyone's success. So, what would you do if you HATE working on a team? How can you possibly turn this situation around?

Watch this video and find out!

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey. What's up? John Sonmez here. So, I got a question about working in groups. This will be a career related video for you today. Someone asked me, they said, “I suck at working in groups. How could I possibly change that? Do I have to change that to be successful in life?”
This is interesting. I think that … Well, one thing I'll say just from the get-go is that yes, you do have to change this to be successful in life. Why? Because a majority of the success or failure that you have in life and a majority of life itself is dependent on your relationships with other people and relating to other people.
So if you suck at working in groups, if you suck at relating with other people, that's probably going to be the core reason why you suck at working in groups, and there may be some other reasons. But then, you're going to have a struggling throughout your life, because it doesn't matter what job you do or what you're doing in life, you're going to be relating to other people and that a really, really important skill.
That's why as a software developer, when I was a software developer and when I was starting Simple Programmer, my other business, I would focus on soft skills. I'd focus on teaching people soft skills. I wrote that book, Soft Skills, the software developer's life manual. You know, all the stuff with Simple Programmer, my other business, is all based on soft skills because it's so, so important.
Again, a lot of the stuff that you hear on this channel are about soft skills, about relating with people, about the psychology of people. You need to understand that and you need to be able to get along with people. Some of that is your own internal psychology of understanding yourself. A lot of times, here's the thing, is you can figure out other people by turning the camera inside and looking at yourself, and looking at how your mind works, the kind of things that you're doing. You can assume that a lot of people are somewhat similar, at least in their basic thing. At some level we're all the same, right? Even though we're very different in many aspects.
But to get back to the question here of working in groups, obviously I think it's important. Like I said, it doesn't matter what job that you're doing. Whether you're a programmer, you're going to be still working with other people. Whether you're a doctor, obviously you're going to be working with other people. Whatever profession it is, even if you think you're solo, freelancing, working by yourself, working on your own, you're going to have to relate.
Let's say that you're a writer. You're like, “A writer, they just write.” Well, you know, you're probably going to have an editor. You're probably going to have a publishing company. You're probably going to have a cover designer. And even if you don't have all those things, even if you're totally solo, you're going to be selling to customers and you're going to be writing to an audience. You have to love your audience. It comes through. There's, I forget with book it was but they were talking about this idea that a bad writer hates their audience. It's in their words, you can tell whether or not the writer loves their audience or not. Hopefully if I'm making these YouTube videos you guys can tell whether I care about you guys or not, right? Or if I think you're a fucking douche bag, I don't know. You know [inaudible 00:03:45] like I'm making the videos because I like you guys. It should come across that I love you guys.
Anyway, the point is this, is that no matter what profession that you have, you're going to be dealing with people. You're going to be dealing with people in your relationships in life, whether it be friends or romantic relationships, with your parents, with your relatives. All this stuff is really, really important. I know I'm somewhat side-tracking here but I'm saying that if you can't work in groups that's probably a core problem here.
And here's the other thing, if we just scoped it down to working in groups, in so many work environments you're going to have to work in a group. I mean you can find jobs where you can work solo, like I said, but they're very far and few in between, and you're probably still going to have to relate to someone. You're probably still going to have to work with someone, even if you're an entrepreneur, even if as an entrepreneur you eventually build a team. Right? Otherwise you get limited by what you can do.
So pretty much, you're going to have to work with other people. Now how can you develop this ability to work with other people? Obviously you should have gotten from what I've said so far, is first you have to work on your people skills. There's a really good book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I highly, highly recommend that you read this book. In fact I've got a copy here on my desk. It's definitely a critical book for dealing with people and learning people skills.
In addition to that you should actively try and work on yourself, because if you work on yourself, the more well adjusted person that you are, accepting of yourself, having confidence and self-esteem, the less that you're going to be reactive to other people. When you see someone who can't work with others very well, and they have problems with other people, they're consistently getting into conflicts, it's because … It's not the other people and it's not necessarily that there are skills relating to people, although it may be some of that. But a lot of times it's themselves. It's their self-confidence.
So when I talk to people that are having these problems, especially with working in groups, I ultimately almost always diagnose that they have a problem with accepting themselves. I just did a review on a book called Radical Acceptance. You should read that book, that's a really good book that will help you to develop that acceptance for yourself and others. That's going to help you to be able to work with people and to not … Because a lot of times like I said, when you're working other people what ends up happening if you've got this big ego, if you've got self-confidence issues, self-esteem issues, you're going to be threatened by other people. Other people that are doing better than you, other people that are doing worse than you, you want to show that you're better than them, other people that annoy you because you want to do things your way or a certain way and they're slowing you down or inhibiting you. That's why that acceptance is really important.
Now aside from that as far as working in groups, developing that skill, you've got to start to think about a team mindset, and realize that, one thing I'd say about with working in groups, is you've got to figure out what work is best done in the group and which is not. There's a couple things as well I'll say about this.
One of them is that a lot of people think that a good way to work in groups is to be very accommodating and consensus driven. That's the worst way. This is why a lot of people can't work in groups, is if no one is stepping up you need to step up and take charge in any kind of group situation, but you need to be able to have some healthy conflict and you can't be accommodating and you can't … I mean totally accommodating, and you can't be looking for consensuses. Groups that are driven by consensuses almost always fail and there's almost always some bitterness and it just doesn't work out.
So if you're having trouble it might be because you're too much of a pushover, that you're too easy and you need to be a little bit more assertive and aggressive. Again, to do it in a controlled manner so that you're not offending everyone and getting into fist fights with everyone who you're working with. But you've got to state your opinions, you've got to state what you think is correct and hold to that to some degree. It doesn't mean that you can't be flexible at all but it means that you don't just look for consensuses. That's really, really important.
The other thing I'd say that you've got to know which work and which stuff is best done in the group and which is not. Not everything should be done in the group. Just because you're working with people doesn't mean that you work with them on every single thing. Sometimes you go over to your silo and to your desk and you work on the piece.
The group comes together and functions best for certain activities. Brainstorming is great. Charting the plan is great. But sometimes … and working through problems maybe in smaller pairs and whatnot is great, like pair programming in software development. But at some point you need to just sit down and do the work. Having someone help you to write a paper doesn't make that much sense. You don't want to do that as a group. So you've got to figure out which activities make sense as a group and which ones don't.
Anyway, I think that will probably help you a lot along those lines. Like I said, this is really important. You have to develop the skillset. One of the most important skillsets that I've developed in my life is the ability to communicate with other people and to work with them, to build relationships, to get along with other people. If you can't do that, you're not going to function in society, you're not going to get what you want out of life, whether it be relationships or whether it be career, or anything else like that.
You've got to work on this skillset. Like I said, I have gone on the record saying that I think this is the most important skillset that a person can develop. But aside from learning to learn, I think those are probably the most two important skillsets that you can learn as a human being on this earth.
All right. If you haven't subscribed already, click that subscribe button below and click the bell to make sure you don't miss any videos. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."