Can’t We All Just Get Along

No, we cannot all get along all of the time. It is unrealistic to think that all team members will absolutely agree with you or with each other all of the time. If every time you are together, there is never any disagreement, look out – you have problems. Sure, maybe the first time you meet you are on your best behavior. But if this persists, perhaps you have a tendency toward getting along. This means you value being agreeable over other traits. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being accommodating. Unless it is prohibiting you or the team from having real synergy, taking responsibility and meeting deadlines.

How can getting along get in the way of teamwork? If a team member agrees to all requests in order to keep the peace, they will soon find themselves over allocated. Imagine this scenario, your technical lead agrees to assignments from three of your customer groups, all due on the same day. It is probable that not all of these deadlines will be met.

Some team members will exhibit passive-aggressive behavior. They will agree with you to your face, but then walk away and purposefully disregard the entire conversation. When other team members boss them around, they quickly submit.

If you are addicted to getting along or you know someone who is, there is help.

  • Confirm and reconfirm commitments.
  • If you are asking them for their time and energy, ask about their current to-do list.
  • Do not be too aggressive when you speak to them.
  • Encourage them to speak up and share their true opinions.
  • Let them see you disagree with others, and then let them see the disagreement end peaceably.

By the way if you are the one who likes to get along, ask yourself, ‘Will agreeing now cause me more issues later?’ If the answer is yes, speak up NOW.