A family of tortoises went on a picnic. They packed food and set out to a place they had selected… behind the hills. When they reached the spot, they unpacked their picnic basket. They realized they had forgotten to bring salt. Food without salt is tasteless. They had a long debate to decide who should go back and get salt. After a lot of discussion, the youngest tortoise was chosen, as he was faster than the others. The youngest objected on the ground that by the time he could come back the others might eat the snacks. But they assured him they would not touch the food until he is back with salt.
Six months passed, but the youngest tortoise did not turn up. So the rest of the family decided to open the basket and eat the snacks. When they opened the snack basket, the little tortoise jumped out of the bushes and screamed, “Look, I knew you would not wait till I came back. For six months I have been hiding in these bushes as I knew you guys will not keep your promise. Now my suspicion has been confirmed, and I am not going to get the salt.”
Like the little tortoise, some of us are also build too many assumptions about people or new team members whom we hardly know. Once we believe that a particular team member is of a certain nature, we wait until they live up to our expectations. We waste our own precious time in simply waiting, just to watch them bite the bait, and once they do, bang comes our cheer “look I told you so, he is like that only.”
That’s in some manner human nature, somewhere inherently we want others to fail so that only we can remain victorious, but that’s completely unhealthy for a team environment. In a team you will find people with different motivations, style of working, some skilled and many unskilled, some honest to core and some completely dishonest. Some lie to protect their turf, some do because lying has just got into the habit.
As a leader or even a team player, if you presume your team members has of any of the above characteristic, you will build an opinion and that opinion over the period of time will become so strong that you will block your vision towards that person totally with what you assume.
Hold, don’t judge anyone with initial few instances, and accept mistakes without labelling. Don’t only correct or guide but coach. Do it yourself atleast three times before letting your team member do any particular task on their own. Decide a time frame to see an improvement or a turnaround and they make your decision.
It is also important for the team players on the other side to guard their reputation, to be cautious about what image they are building about themselves within the team. Insincerity cannot be hidden for long and reputation gets stuck to you forever. It’s the small world; you may never know when you would cross your paths with the same people again in your career.
Value your time and of others as well.
Vikypedia Nuggets is an attempt to bring forward some of the old wisdoms that we had once learnt and accepted but have forgotten in our daily rigmarole. We will be happy to know your feedback.