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be easy to work with

This is the second of two posts based on reading Daniel Pink’s book “To Sell is Human”.   In the first post, I talked about Dell’s consulting practice value of having a bias for action.  Their second value is:

Be Easy to Work with.

bookcoverjpeg-e1354078407704 This is like a serious one-two punch.  Being motivated to get stuff done, and be great to work with!  Are you kidding me?!  I want to work with those people! 

Why does this sound so refreshing?  When you are talking about the people I want to work with, of course I want them to be easy to work with.  When you are talking about me, it seems a little trite:  “Just be easier to work with.”  If it sounds refreshing to me, why wouldn’t it also sound refreshing to someone else who has to work with me.

I don’t often think about how easy I am to work with, I usually just fixate on how difficult other people are.  If being easy to work with were a value of mine, would I behave differently day to day?  For the people that I find easy to work with, what are the characteristics that I appreciate?  What is it about them that makes me want to work with them?

Here are just a few ideas:

Solution oriented.  Like I mentioned in the last post, are you a problem solver or do you just like to point out problems?  Coming up with answers puts you in the “easy to work” with category.  Being someone who likes to roll up their sleeves and figure stuff out makes you someone that people want to work with.

There is also a component of being solution oriented that involves learning how to give feedback well.  Sometimes an idea just won’t work.  How am I communicating that information?  Does the other person still feel like I am for them?  The people that I don’t enjoy working with, make me feel stupid with their feedback.  Their point might be accurate, but I generally don’t like working with those people.

Life is hard.  Have fun.  Normal, everyday life can be a drag sometimes.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could work hard solving problems and have fun along the way?  To build some margin into the schedule to leave some space for not taking ourselves too seriously.

Sometimes fun can take over and we aren’t getting serious work done.  I’m not suggesting we go that far, but when we say every weekend is like the Super Bowl, and every little thing is an opportunity to lose this big game, that’s just not sustainable in my opinion.  Let’s enjoy ourselves while getting some serious work done.

Common agenda.  For those of us a part of a larger organization, being on the same page is critical for being easy to work with.  I have worked with people in the past that have their own agenda.  Sometimes this would line up with the common purpose, but every now and then it would be very difficult to get work done because they had an alternative agenda.

For the technical artists amongst us, are you more interested in your own boundaries than the mission of your church?  Are you driving for the best equipment over any other concern your church has?  Does technical excellence matter above all things?

Having boundaries and driving for the best equipment aren’t bad things, but if they exist has your highest values above the common good, you might need to take a look at why you work there.  These things get in the way of being a person that others want to work with.

I love working with people that have a bias for action and are easy to work with.  Why wouldn’t I try to be one of those people also?