It’s been over a year now since we started putting together Restless Minds. In that time, we’ve sold out of our first print run, and only have limited stock left of our second. The book launched on 9th October 2014, and the launch was one of the best nights of my life.
To get to that point, though, we had to jump a lot of hurdles. Here are some of the things that I learnt from the process of putting together an anthology:
1. You Can’t Work With Everyone
Just because you get on well with someone, that doesn’t mean you can work with them. We all work in different ways and sometimes those methods just aren’t compatible. Some people like a very rigid structure with tight deadlines, others prefer something more flexible.
However, sometimes you have no choice but to work with them. Instead of arguing with them, make sure that their opinions and feelings—as well as your own—are heard. The more you argue, the less you’ll get done. Take the mature path and you’ll get further.
2. There Really is No ‘I’ In Team
It pained me to write that phrase, but nothing else sums this one up better. When you start making the process about yourself and no one else, that’s when arguments start. Likewise when someone else wants to make it all about them, that’s when you have a problem. A team project should never, ever be about one person, and as soon as it starts to become about that one person, you need to talk to them. If you don’t, they’ll get the credit for things they didn’t do.
3. Let Others Pick Up The Slack
Struggling a bit? Don’t try to take more on, and don’t let things fester. If you’re struggling with something, talk to someone in your team (either someone you get on well with or the person in charge) and tell them. Explain the situation and what you’re struggling with, and come up with a plan. Which brings me on to my next point…
4. Don’t Let Problems Fester
Whether it’s someone irritating you, a poor leader or too much on your plate, do NOT let things fester. I repeat: DO NOT LET THINGS FESTER.
The longer issues fester, the harder it is to fix them.
5. Don’t Put Feelings and Emotions First
This sounds harsh, but in a professional environment, you shouldn’t put emotions and feelings first. If someone is doing a poor job at something, instead of thinking, ‘I know this will upset them,’ think about what their poor job is doing to the rest of the team. You’re putting one person’s emotions above a whole team. Come up with a way to address the situation in a factual way. Don’t bring emotions into the discussion—that’s when things get messy.
6. ‘No’ is Not a Bad Word
If you don’t like something SAY SO. There’s a very British thing of not wanting to hurt people’s feelings (see above) and going along with things that we don’t agree with. If you don’t admit to not liking something, you’ll regret it later on. Air your thoughts in a logical manner and teammates are more likely to listen to you. You never know, someone else might agree and be afraid to speak up themselves!
7. It’s Ok to Put Yourself Forward
Know you can do something but you’re too afraid to put yourself forward?
Stop. Stop right there.
Those self-doubts are going to stop you from doing a lot in life, and there’s no time like now to start ignoring them. You are awesome, and you can do it. So go do it.
So, to sum up:
1. You can’t work with everyone
2. Don’t put yourself first—or let anyone else
3. Don’t take on too much
4. Talk about your issues
5. Be professional
6. Be critical
7. Put yourself forward