Friends of the Water Cooler

31 August 2019

The enemies of productivity and those that hold teams back from achieving greatness:

  1. The mountain out of a molehill maker: that colleague that takes more time to complain about something not working than it takes to actually implement the workaround for that thing that is not working.
  2. The never available colleague whose calendar is perpetually empty but does not have time to meet or respond to your slack messages.
  3. The colleague who is here for the title, not the responsibility. They’re most likely friends with the pass the buck colleague who shuffles the blame around so it doesn’t land in their lap.
  4. The self absorbed colleague who is always unnecessarily loud and intentionally disrupts everyone else just so they are noticed and seen.
  5. The gossiper who has a full time contract but actually works part time in order to fit all the gossiping in.
  6. The managers who change the narrative to suit their agenda and lack consistency leaving their teams in a constant environment of uncertainty.
  7. The credit takers who take credit for another’s work or their team’s work (good luck fostering trust after that).
  8. Those that thrive in, and maintain, an environment that lacks transparency because it benefits them to do so.

There are probably more enemies to productivity I have not mentioned above, these are just some that I have encountered thus far in my career. We are not perfect people, at any point in time we could be one of these colleagues, but colleagues who are given the opportunity to always be these people ruin any chance for your team to be great. There is no “I” in team and no place for colleagues with these permanent dispositions on great teams.