All for One and One for All
By, Melody Delgado
We’ve heard the above phrase often. But is working with others a feat that is easier said than done?
As a writer, I definitely work better alone. But the reality is, I still need to work with others. In my case, it takes an editor, or three, or four, sometimes five, in order to reach the final goal: an edited book, ready for publication.
When I work as a vocalist, it is much easier to learn and perform a song as a soloist, rather than in a group. But I must still work with an accompanist since my basic piano and guitar skills hit the road eons ago. So I’ve got to listen to someone else’s suggestions on tempo, phrasing and even what to wear to the gig.
So, how do I manage to create things independently, while working as part of a team?
1. I try to align myself with people who are already on the same page as me. When I write books for children or teens, I try to write about topics that are appropriate for them. Since my publisher has the same viewpoint, there won’t be any surprises.
2. I try to align myself with people who have the same work ethic. If I’m performing a duet and a certain tenor hasn’t learned his part, I’ll work with an alto or a baritone next time. ;)
3. I try to be flexible on things that don’t matter, but firm on things that really do matter. In the big scheme of things, color choices or font usually won’t make or break a photo, cover, or article. So I give my opinion, but don’t make a big deal out of minor details. On the other hand, having something done by a certain date may make or break an event or project. That’s when I speak up.
4. I try to communicate, communicate and communicate some more. If someone knows my expectations and they have been kept in the loop before a project is started, and vice-versa, there is a much greater chance of success. Mix-ups usually happen when expectations have not been made clear at the outset.
5. I try to listen and be open to the opinions and expertise of others. I don’t know everything in my field and I’m not always right. Sometimes another person’s way is better. Sometimes I’ll explain my point and someone else will compromise. The important thing is that the end result is something that works.
‘Try’ is the operative word. Will every professional relationship run smoothly? Probably not. But by using the methods above, I’ve managed to maintain some great professional friendships. Hopefully, if you give some of them a try, they may work for you as well.
About the Author
Melody Delgado has been a published writer since 2000. Her YA/Adult novel, ROYALLY ENTITLED, was released digitally by Clean Reads in May, 2017. It recently won a Readers' Favorite award in the category of Historical Christian Romance. A humorous children’s novel, OOPS-A-DAISY, was just released by Clean Reads.
You can find Melody Delgado's "The Writing Life" column the 3rd Thursday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.
How do you feel about teamwork? Are you a team player in your life, among your family and friends, and in the workplace? Feel free to chat with Melody and comment below.