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Jun 10

Team Tensions

Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

photo(3b)Sunday our Spring Cleaning Team tackled our home. Amy is detail-oriented. Josh is an innovative thinker and a hard worker. Shannon is a team player with a great attitude. I work long and hard.

That all sounds like a great productive team, but it takes some work to cope with each person’s unique style.

Team Tensions

Amy sees chaos and wants to create comfort. I am a fast and efficient but not always detail-oriented cleaner. So when Amy asks, “Did you wash the bathroom walls?” “Did you wash behind the sconce (on the bathroom wall)?” or “Did you remember to wash the outside of the window?” Amy is being Amy. She’s careful, detail-oriented, well-organized and get things done the right way. When Amy asks questions I have to remember to silence my fears and insecurities and receive her reminders as opportunities to do a great job. And, she’s usually right; I’ve missed something.

Josh is an innovative thinker and a hard worker. He intuitively knows what needs to get done and gets to it. Josh sees opportunities and pursues them. He leads and challenges you to keep up. I, on the other hand, need time for buy-in, shared understanding and time for acceptance of change. Josh loves reorganizing and improving things. I don’t like change that makes things worse. Josh charges forward. I’m slower to jump on-board. Josh loves things to look nice. I have a lower appreciation for aesthetics.  Josh, with the support of Amy and Shannon reorganized the living room setting you can see in the photo. It looks great!

Shannon is willing to do whatever needs to get done. Shanon is kind and caring and challenges us to have positive attitudes. Shannon and I are similar in that we are not as driven, decisive or detail-oriented as Amy or Josh. So, for our benefit, I asked Amy for an exact and specific plan of attack. The list helped keep Shannon on-task and my attitude to stay focused and positive.

I’m often the slowest to start until I find a starting place. While removing a throw rug I stepped on some small pebbles in the entryway. That discovery led me to focus on the entryway and the front hall closet. No one complained that I wasn’t working in the living room side-by-side with everyone, but I was working hard on my own. Then I tackled cleaning the entertainment center. And, later the bathroom. I work long and hard, but when I’m done. I’m done for today. I’m not a completionist. And, of course, Amy is.


Spring cleaning, like all team-oriented tasks, is more productive when each person is commended for their strengths and rewarded for their accomplishments. Some people find cleaning to be a relaxing task, while others just seem to want to get it over with as quickly as possible. Each person has different needs when it comes to motivation. Thus belies my own idiosyncrasies. 

I prefer to work independently as part of a team.
They cleaned the living room.
I cleaned the entryway and entryway closet.

I work best with clear objectives and freedom to do it my way.
Amy naturally knows what to do. I don’t.
Now we have an 20-item checklist for Spring Cleaning the living room.

We all have our quirks. In a team setting, how do your quirks add value and how do they add drama?


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