Attitude at work is everything. Heading up a lot of group projects, I get to interact with different personalities all the time. Here are some I always want on the team (in no particular order):
• The Problem-Solver: Deanna Castello noted this as a leadership trait in her post here, and I think it’s important to reinforce. A true problem-solver doesn’t raise a (non-emergency) issue without first thinking through a solution – maybe more than one. They take complete ownership of their portion of the project, and therefore feel ultimately responsible for making sure it works. Of course, nobody expects any one person to have all the answers, so when they do need to address a problem with the group, they also crowdsource a potential fix or two. That kind of initiative doesn’t go unnoticed.
• The Hard Worker: If they say you’ll have it by 2:00PM, you’ll often have it by Noon. If they commit themselves to a Dec. 9 deadline, they have no problem working past closing time if needed to deliver. And that doesn’t mean the work will be shoddy. On the contrary, it’s usually pretty impressive. These people don’t complain unless there’s truly an issue, and because of that their concerns are taken very seriously.
• The Relationship-Builder: They get along great with everyone and always know who to turn to for the most efficient solution. Whether it’s Debby in IT or someone they worked with in a previous role 15 years ago, the connections these people have forged and the general knowledge they’ve picked up along the way are extremely valuable to high-priority projects.
• The Motivator: Some projects are just plain challenging, so it always helps to have at least one positive force keeping the team motivated during dark days. This person reminds the team that the project is important, why they were the people entrusted with it to begin with and what could be if they don’t give up.
Group projects don’t have to be a nightmare. With the right mix of people, they can be very rewarding, fun and help develop professional relationships that last for years and years. Keeping in mind that attitude at work is everything, try to be someone your colleagues always want on the team!