Picture yourself in an office. (Which, if you’re reading this at work, shouldn’t be too difficult.) You’re working on a shared document and adding to each other’s comments, but when it’s time to hand it in to the boss you realize your coworker Joel didn’t contribute. Of course, he mentioned a few ideas during the meeting when your manager was in the room, but did no legwork behind the scenes. You’re left feeling frustrated and risk sounding petty if you complain to your boss.
Unfortunately, most of us can probably think of at least one coworker who doesn’t pull his or her weight on team projects. Worse still, we may find ourselves not pulling our own weight, even when we know we can.
What’s up with that? Why is it so easy to drop the ball? And how can we make teamwork work?