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Check your ego at the door, it’s time to work.

Craig BowmanDirector of Enterprise Technology Services & Security Officer
If you've ever had a coworker whose negativity was bringing down the overall morale of your IT solutions team, you've shared some of these same frustrations - perhaps some of these suggestions can help before the source of the negativity impacts your team.

A technician in the field will see many things in his or her career that will be shocking, surprising and often times very frustrating.  I have had my fair share of negative situations on the job.  Unfortunately I have experienced a lot of this frustration from the last place I thought I would see it, and that my friends is a fellow coworker.  

I have had a few confrontations with coworkers over my years as a technician, but only a select few.  I have tried my hardest to suck it up and deal with the things they do to me, other coworkers, and customers.  I understand that nobody is perfect, unconscious bad habits are normal for many people, but your coworkers may have a general consensus of your actions.  

Actions that effect one may be affecting your whole team.  The points that follow are merely my advice and opinion on a few key things that may affect an IT team from being successful.

Be a team player – We are all here for the same goal.  We are here to help the customer and trying to stand out is not generally a bad practice, but other coworkers will begin to get upset if you step on them enough times.  Work with your team towards the same goal, resolution to the problem.

Know who signs your check –a company hired you because they believe you can do the job and trust you in the role in which you were placed.  Telling a customer about your frustrations with the company you work for not only sets up a situation to lose business, but quite possibly your job position.  

Focus on the task, not the past – When and if you are in the situation where you might have to go handle a customer call that may have been worked on by a previous technician, don’t belittle that previous technician’s work.  I have seen several instances where a technician would question the steps taken by the previous tech and convince the customer that they should not rely on that tech to get things fixed right in the future.  I have been torn down like this right in front of a customer by a technician… only to hear that they didn’t find anything wrong with what they did.  This kind of behavior will keep a team from working together cohesively, and quite possibly make you an outcast from your whole team.

You were once new to IT – At one point in your career, you were new to the IT world.  A coworker may not be taking the same approach towards a problem that you would, but this is where you may want to diplomatically step in and give your advice… help them learn and become better at their job.  I can only hope that someone helped you when you were new to the field.

Share your knowledge – Another part of being a successful IT team is sharing knowledge on the issues your team encounters.  Unfortunately, this is another situation that I have seen too many times.  Techs keeping knowledge on fixes to make him or herself stand out or appear smarter (to whomever they are trying to impress) not only causes additional strain on the team, but once again feeds to that general consensus your team has about you.

If this isn’t what you want to do, why are you here? - Showing little or no interest in working as a team simply because IT isn’t what you want to do with your life will never help your team.  If you have a goal that is of a different career path, should your current position and team suffer?  If your career path is something that you see differently than your current position, don’t let your current job suffer, your team depends on you and what you can bring to the table while you are still here.  Don’t give up your team and don’t disrespect those who intend on making this their chosen career path.  

This article is based off of what I have seen in the IT field, and is written with the intent of helping others bring together a successful team.  
Craig BowmanDirector of Enterprise Technology Services & Security Officer

Comments (1)

Jenn PrenticeContent Manager

Practical reminders for everyone--no matter where you work! Thanks for posting this article!

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