Work Solo or Collaborate? How to Choose Based on What Benefits You - Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant

Work Solo or Collaborate? How to Choose Based on What Benefits You

Do you favor collaborative or solo work? Some of us desire to work alone as a result of we all know how you can be efficient, even when our work isn’t unbiased of everybody else’s work. Or, if we work as a part of a workgroup, corresponding to HR or Finance, we solely share a departmental aim, not a product aim. Workgroups won’t must collaborate as a result of their work could be unbiased of anybody else’s deliverables.

I see too many disincentives to collaborate, even when persons are a part of product or function groups—when these groups share a typical aim.

But, generally, it relies upon not simply on the kind of work but in addition on the cultural context.

Benefits of Solo Work

Most individuals inform me they love solo work as a result of they will focus. That “get-into-the-zone” focus permits individuals to:

  • Feel as if we work sooner,
  • Enjoy fixing the issue, and
  • Gain the ending satisfaction.

We really feel we’ve extra autonomy, mastery, and function after we work alone.

But what occurs when your work has to mesh or combine with different individuals’s work? One of us—even in focus—would possibly delay all of the work. (You can measure the cycle time to measure and visualize these delays.) While individuals can work alone, the work isn’t unbiased.

That’s why I like to recommend managers and product/function groups collaborate on their work.

Benefits of Collaborative Work

When we collaborate even with only one particular person, we are able to:

  • Integrate suggestions as we proceed to study and make the product higher.
  • Build belief and respect with others as we work. (Especially for those who pair, swarm, or mob together with your workforce.) In my expertise, managers low cost the worth of belief and respect as a result of they’re intangible advantages.
  • Continual evaluation of why and the way we’re doing this work.

However, collaboration is not for everybody and each workforce/workgroup. Often, that is due to the tradition of your group.

Cultural Considerations

How busy are you? Are you “stretching” to satisfy your each day or weekly aim as a result of you will have a lot particular person work? That’s an indication your managers assume in useful resource effectivity, not circulate effectivity. You can select to collaborate with others, however you would possibly really feel protected sufficient to take action, particularly for those who really feel that supporting another person would possibly negatively have an effect on your wage or bonus.

But you would possibly really feel unsafe for different causes. Sometimes, managers consider that 10x individuals exist. Then, managers enable supposed “superstars” to work as unjellers. The unjellers destroy potential teamwork and reinforce a nasty tradition. (See Management Myth #6: I Can Save Everyone or extra of a dialogue in Practical Ways to Lead and Serve Others.)

Consider Your Viable Options

I see these choices, particularly for those who really feel overwhelmed with work:

  • Keep your head down and proceed to work alone. Yes, it is a viable and affordable possibility. You’ll end your work, even for those who will not assist the group ship product sooner. Or assist your self study earlier. But you may shield your wage and bonus.
  • Raise the concept of collaboration together with your supervisor. Ask your supervisor how collaboration would possibly have an effect on them and their pay construction.
  • Consider peer one-on-ones to socialize the idea of collaboration. You can begin collaborating one-on-one.

You would possibly see different choices.

Solo Work Differs from Independent Work

Many managers consider that individuals can work solo as a result of every particular person’s work is unbiased of one other. That could be true for a workgroup, corresponding to Sales, Finance, or HR. But that is not true for product improvement groups.

While we can work independently, many people study higher after we work—a minimum of a bit—with others. Consider your choices for solo or collaborative work and what you’ll do to create your required tradition.

(I wrote this as a result of a number of individuals requested about when it was not affordable to have peer one-on-ones. When you’re employed alone, no, you do not want many one-on-ones. Although, you in all probability want many extra conferences to handle the interdependencies. This publication touches on a number of matters in Modern Management Made Easy, ebook 2, Practical Ways to Lead and Serve Others.)

Learn with Johanna

I’m nearly able to announce the Q1 2023 writing workshop. In the meantime, be happy so as to add your self to the e-mail record for those who assume you need to take that workshop sooner or later.

I’m additionally contemplating providing public administration workshops. Up till now, I’ve solely supplied them as non-public in-house workshops. If you are occupied with public administration workshops, check out that web page and add your self to the e-mail record. And, if you’d like me to carry these workshops to your leaders and managers, reply to this text and we are able to chat.

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© 2022 Johanna Rothman

Pragmatic Manager: Vol 19, #11, ISSN: 2164-1196

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