Team Member Challenges: Are You the Problem?

Team Member Challenges: Are You the Problem?

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses unhealthy team member dynamics, and how to tell when you’re contributing to the problem.

 Working collaboratively can be a challenge for many. When teamwork is essential to project completion, it is important to have strong interpersonal skills to facilitate the effort. Unfortunately, even those with great people-skills find themselves challenged with workplace drama and conflicts. Very often, the core problem isn’t what causes the friction; it’s a person’s response to it. Here’s how you can identify if you are contributing to workplace tension.

You don’t voice or address your concerns at the beginning.

When you see a project heading off track, do you stay silent rather than voicing your concerns?

Do you notice a colleague behaving in an inappropriate or disrespectful manner, but don’t say anything because you would rather just let the moment pass and hope that it doesn’t become a problem?

If you know that there’s an issue, do not be afraid to speak up in a compassionate and unambiguous manner. Quietly hoping that a problem goes away has never solved anything.

You behave in a passive aggressive manner.

Do you disagree with project directives, or with a coworker, or with anything work related for that matter, and do nothing about it except allow yourself to be irritated? You might not be the root of the problem, but you may be the fertilizer that allows it to grow and flourish.

You create complaint cliques.

It can be satisfying to air your grievances to like-minded coworkers, but you may only be exacerbating the problem. Don’t try to set your coworkers against each other or the company. Even if you don’t believe that you have bad intentions, your behavior could gradually erode confidence in the organization, create an unpleasant work environment and may even negatively affect other people’s opinion of you.

Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to technology companies and financial services firms. More business management insights can be read here.

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Managing Priorities: 4 Tips for Dealing with Stress and Getting Things Done

Managing Priorities: 4 Tips for Dealing with Stress and Getting Things Done

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses the importance of setting priorities.

 Feeling overwhelmed or run down is common in the world of accounting. Effectively dealing with stress and exhaustion can help you to become a more effective professional and avoid making mistakes; it might even save you from an early grave. Here is a list of strategies that can help you tackle difficult tasks more efficiently and thereby reduce your stress levels.

Analyze each task, and rank them in order of importance.

Just because a project is new, it doesn’t mean that everything else must be abandoned in order to address it. If you have a ranking system in place, then you can accurately assess the urgency of your tasks, and handle them accordingly.

Make lists.

Although this may seem obvious, it is nonetheless surprising how many accounting professionals fail to create comprehensive task lists. This is more than just creating a daily planner – draw up and actively maintain a project schedule with estimated times required for the completion of each stage.

Cultivate self-awareness.

Do not volunteer for projects that are completely out of your wheelhouse for the sole purpose of impressing senior management. There is a difference between challenging yourself, and taking on impossible responsibilities While being a “can-do” team member is important, it’s equally important to ensure that workloads are handled efficiently, responsibly, and correctly.

Set boundaries.

In high-pressure work environments, do not be too timid to advocate for yourself. Unreasonable expectations, unrealistic timelines and an overly aggressive workload must be dealt with timely and professionally. Do not be afraid to communicate in a clear and concise manner, to the powers that be, the reasons why the goals are unrealistic, the timelines improbable and the workload expectations impossible to achieve. In the end dealing with these issues up-front and honestly will prevent the stress and anxiety of dealing with these issues as the deadline approaches.

Lewis Daidone is Certified Public Accountant and serves as a consultant to technology companies and financial services firms. Learn more about his work here.