We have all completed a task at one point or another and said to ourselves, “wow, that was far more complicated than it had to be.” It is no big deal when we say that while doing something like trying to record a television show, but it is quite another matter when that complication cost you big bucks and trouble during your team project. Jennifer Whitt provides advice on what to do when projects just do not seem to be working out the way they should. First, Whitt suggests reaching out to any team member who is not present:
Missing somebody? Call them. Just pick up the phone and give them a call or text. Perhaps someone critical to your project team has not been around much and you wonder where they have gone. For whatever reason, if you miss someone on the team or in your meetings, find out what they’ve been up to. I remember a critical team member, Wayne, who was always early and always stayed to the end. He was the one who scribed notes, asked questions and always had his action items done. When Wayne started to miss meetings I just gave him a call one day to ask where he’d been, and found out he was going through a personal crisis which altered his behavior for several months. Only because I called was I able to find out how I could support him while he was going through his personal issues.
Other people Whitt suggests reaching out to are supplemental members such as stakeholders or clients. If you are not understood by the people you are reaching out to, take the time to explain yourself. In that same vein, if you are misunderstanding things, ask questions. If you pass on an opportunity to find an answer yourself, future misunderstandings will be your fault. The same is true if you find a part of the project dissatisfying. If you say nothing, you cannot complain later.
Another way to avoid confusion in the future is to tell team members how much you appreciate them. This will make them want to cooperate more with you in the future. The more team cooperation you have, the less complication you will be likely to experience. Sometimes it is impossible to uncomplicated issues, but you owe it to yourself and your project to prevent complications when and where you can.