Play Nice in the Corporate Sandbox

By Shane Caniglia

Technology teams mustcommunicate and work closely with all business departments in order to competeand be successful. Silos, or completely independent business units, are a thingof the past.

After years of workingseparately, complaining about one another and often showing disrespect for eachother?s deadlines and processes, it?s not easy to get everyone to play nice inone big sandbox. But it can be done, and it can create a happier, stronger andmore profitable work environment for everyone.

If you?re the type of employee who goes to work, focuseson a specific technology project, doesn?t communicate with co-workers, collectsa paycheck and goes home, it?s time for a wake-up call: The reason you haveyour job is to help solve problems and make things more productive for theoverall business.

Technology is a tool; how we use it is the key. You can?taccomplish company goals on your own.  Everyonein your company is connected, and each ?I? is an important part of the overall ?We.?

It?s essential to understand your role in the company andbe accountable and responsible for your area of expertise. It?s also importantto understand your co-workers? roles, so be patient, ask questions, listen andlearn.

The more you understand the overall business and itsneeds, the more valuable you?ll become?and you?ll learn invaluableentrepreneurial skills. These skills will separate you from your peers and yourcompany from the competition. It?s a group effort, and individuals must bewilling to expand beyond their current skill set, or there is no team.

Focuson team building.

To be a great company, you must put effort into makingother people great. But how do you do that when you haven?t worked together inthe past?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when starting theteam-building process:

    Get focused andbe mentally ?present? at meetings.

?        Do not allow outside vendors to infiltrateand drain your company of morale or money.

?        Develop a trust and instill a philosophy overyour need to control.

?        Set an example for yourself and others tofollow.

?        Check your ego at the door.

?        Don?t rely on just emails or text messagesfor answers. Talk to people.

?        Act like adults.

These may sound like simple ideas, but they work. Andremember that team building doesn?t happen overnight: It takes time to changebehaviors and create productive teams that can work together, but you?ve got tostart somewhere.

Communicationis key.

If you just want to stay in theserver room and not interact with other departments, you probably won?t haveyour job for long?and good luck finding a new position with that mindset. Anyonecan hire tech pros with specific skills, but that?s not what is in demand intoday?s business world. Instead, think about how ?we? can make this happen?

Remember, your priority isto solve business problems and to prepare the company for the next three tofive years. To do that, you need to think beyond your technical mind and learnwhat others need?and why they need it.

Educate yourself on what?sgoing on and try to look at things from different perspectives. Remember, youare one of many people who must work together for the greater good.

By taking the time and effort to improve yourcommunication skills, you?ll learn to share ideas and become a strong teamplayer. And when all business units can work together for the overall good ofthe company, you?ll enjoy both ?I? and ?we? success moments. More important,you?ll wonder why you stuck your head in the sand for so long instead ofplaying nice in the sandbox with everyone else.

Shane Caniglia is the director of technology at TheRich Dad Co., a financial educationcompany.

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