Thursday, June 21, 2007

FITTING IN THE TEAM AND THE DEBATE OF ASKING QUESTIONS

How do you fit in the team as the new intern with slight familiarity of your teammates and the culture of the organization?
Well, working in a team is a bit challenging as we all have different characters and we relate differently from each other. I believe its worse if you are an intern or new in the organization and you are not acquainted with the people around and your teammates. Thanks to the WOW training programme. This is the real situation where am applying the skills I acquired from the session on teamwork and how to fit in. I’m trying to humble myself and work on whatever task anyone from the team requested me to do. I believe that it’s a leaning process and that’s the only way I can fit in the team. I’m trying to be competent in my work and if am not sure I present it to the senior lady in the group to verify it before I submit.

How about the debate of asking questions? As an intern there is always resistance in asking many questions due to the fear of being considered to lack the confidence in yourself or knowing nothing. On the other hand, its important to note that you get the instructions appropriately otherwise you might mess-up the project. I’m trying to avoid asking too many questions. However, I do ask to clarify on some points where am not clear and ensure that I pay much attention to details to avoid asking more questions.

Hey folks! I need more help on this, could you please provide me with more ideas on how to fit in and avoid asking too many questions.

10 comments:

Valentin said...

Dear Beauty, I think that there is nothing wrong with asking questions.
At every job that I held, my employers told me that it was very important that I asked questions when I was not sure how to do something.
Well, you also need to listen carefully to what they tell you, but do not feel ashamed or frustrated to ask questions!
This is what I think!

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Beauty, I agree with Valentin that there's nothing wrong with asking questions. I think you are approaching the situation the right way. You need to be very clear about what you're being asked to do, the reality though as Susan A. rightly points out is that everyone is busy with their own tasks and may not be attentive to your need to clarify things. As you go along, processes will become more familiar but that's still sometime ahead. You must just ask questions when things are not clear to you, when you need to know what is expected of you and so on. There's a popular adage that the person that asks questions never looses their way.

Susan Arthur said...

Hi Beauty.

Thanks for raising this issue - I've also found myself facing this - to ask or not to ask? I think it's important to ask questions, but sometimes it's also important to show some initiative and get on with the task. It might be helpful to find someone in the office who you know will be receptive to your questions - someone who is more friendly, or someone who, if they are busy, will say 'just give me an hour to finish this and then we can talk' - or something like that.

I'm lucky as there is another intern in my office who understands where I'm coming from and I can often ask her if I'm not sure about something. There are other people who may get annoyed with too many questions, but don't take it personally if they snap at you because they are very stressed out- it's not about you.

As I wrote in one of my posts, its very important to communicate with whoever assigned you the task, so that you are both on the same page and you can manage their expectations of you.

So... ask questions, but also take some initiative! It's all about finding a balance, I think.

Thomas Blaser said...

Definitely, you need to ask questions. I mean you need to perform, do the job, provide a service and add value. Now, how can you do that if you are not clear what you are supposed to do? Yet, you want to avoid becoming a burden. One aim in life should be to make other people's lives easier not adding to their problems.

Lesley said...

Hi Beauty

Seems this is a concern for many interns here. So you are not alone – worth pointing out, I think, because sometimes it may feel very lonely as the novice on the block. Susan Arthur http://www.susanarthur.blogspot.com/
has a fellow intern to refer to. In Mbuso Moyo’s (June 19) post ‘My First Day at Work’
http://www.mbuso.blogspot.com/
He says: Let me share with you some wisdom that I begot from my mother. She said:“Look Mbuso, if you ask a question, you appear stupid for a very short time but become wise for the rest of your life.”
I’m with Mbuso’s mother. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

Susan Mwangi said...

Sissy, the only thing I can think of that is worse than asking too many question is presenting work that is completely off the mark. And just to thicken the gravy, after spending lots of time ploughing through this futile task, you proceed to miss your deadlines...(Murphy’s Laws at work here!)

I have found it useful to take notes while receiving instructions. If I am still not clear on the way forward, I often read my notes back to the other person who usually gives me a 'clearer' interpretation of the task at hand. So far, this method has served me well.

Susan Arthur said...

hey mwangi, great advice to take notes when you are given a task. Once I was asked to do something and then forgot what exactly it was so had to ask the person again. I've since started taking notes on any instructions- it definitely helps.

Valentin said...

Hi, Beauty, it's Valentin, how are you doing?

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