Actions to take
- Communicate often
- Be clear about your roles and responsibilities
- Ask the right questions
You are working on a big project and you are aware of the part that you are working on but you find yourself clueless about what others are doing. Do you need to change something about the way you are working?
Ask your team
Ask questions without being annoying. The only way to gain clarity on something is to ask the relevant questions. This discussion of questions and answers will help you better understand the requirements and the goal of the project.
Don’t just dive into asking a bunch of simple questions. Try to figure out yourself before asking anyone else.
When should I ask? There is no perfect answer to this question because it will depend on how quickly you are expected to figure it out and how complex the task it. Make sure that you are not spending too much time on something that someone in the team has already figured out.
Once you are ready to ask questions, be clear in what you are asking. If it is something complicated, break it down into multiple questions and try to come up with an example that helps effectively communicate your understanding to the other team member.
Give the questions in writing. Sometimes it is easier to absorb written information as one can revisit it multiple times before responding.
Effective communication in the workplace is all about asking the right questions. If you master the art of phrasing the right questions, you are already communicating effectively. With a little bit of practice and conscious effort, anyone can get better at asking the right questions.
Try to get a bird’s eye view
If you don’t understand the topic clearly, it is good to get a high-level overview from the team member. How all pieces fit together and what is the role of each individual piece?
This is one important question in any project. Having some level of understanding about the project and how your role shapes the final delivery of the project is crucial. No matter if your role is big or small, knowing the overall picture of the project helps you connect with the purpose of the project.
There is a difference between assuming and understanding. Always be sure that your understanding is not a biased version of what you understand, but the actual understanding and you are on the same pages as everyone.
Plan out your goals and check for any dependency
If you are part of a task that is dependent on someone else’s work, make sure you understand what their responsibilities are and what yours are? Sometimes, not having clarity about the overall progress makes us procrastinate.
For sure, you need to avoid this unclarity. Having a clear set of goals will help you be more productive and contribute will to the project.
Start a friendly conversation
You don’t need to have very good communication skills to start a friendly conversation with the people you work with. There is nothing much to add here. You already know what is best.
Don’t overdo it. Having some light conversation that is not related to the project helps you connect well with the team. Having a good connection with the team members help when the project is in a difficult phase.
Don’t slow down
Even if you find that others are not working at the desired pace, don’t slow down to adjust to their pace. Do your part best and focus on what you can accomplish in the time you have.
You don’t need to lower down your speed or the quality of work at any cost. It is a habit, if you start being complacent about your work, you will fall into that habit of producing average quality work.
You need to look at every situation as an exercise that is making you better at what you do. Having personal improvement goals and achieving them keeps you more engaged. Make sure that you are not favoring personal goals over the success of the project.
It is easy to feel left out or low on motivation when you find yourself in a big project. It is important to communicate with the right people in the team who are responsible for the project. Effectively communicating will help you find your place and keep you engaged.
If you are the one responsible for the project, it is important for you to communicate with the rest of the team about the overall picture of the project. You need to lead by example by not just communicating but by listening to different team members.
Effective communication is balanced over communication.
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