Working Together

Same topic, different views

By By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

Working closely with others has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the type of work, we are either encouraged or discouraged from learning our fellow workers well. While some workers become friends through work, there seems to be less of that today. Let’s think about it.

No one wants to get “burned” by a fellow worker; that could lead to employment termination or thwart one’s career. It may cause embarrassment or rebuke. The better decision: keep your distance … don’t let people get to know you well, and vice versa. This creates a superficial and shallow relationship at work. Trust suffers; thus group synergy suffers. Selfishness increases. Social importance seems pointless.

It’s true that getting close to people at work has negative consequences, but there is perhaps a greater evil: not learning about human nature and relations. Wisdom comes from experiencing people and our environment. If our careers ignore what it means to be human, our careers will not enhance the quality of our lives, spirit and relations. Let’s encourage our social connectivity.

Of course, this means we must be honest and virtuous with ourselves and others. It requires responsibility and candor. It means learning to be diverse and open-minded. It means seeing the importance and value in others, recognizing how others improve our lives and admitting we don’t have all the answers.

Let’s be more human and get to know our neighbors.


By Joe Carbonari

I confess: I am a schmoozer. I talk to people. I like talking with people. I like talking with people that I meet socially, and I like talking with the people that I do business with. I particularly like talking with people that I would like to do business with. It is the way that I work.

I use text messaging, and I seemingly live by email. I prefer, however, to meet in person, or at least to talk by phone. It is the way that relationships are built. I grew up playing ball, and I believe in teamwork.

To work as a team you need to have trust. To have trust you have to know the people that you are working with. You have to know their strengths and weaknesses, their reliability and their “distractions”. The best teams are built by those that like people.

Dale Carnegie said “Give me a person who can work with people, and we’ll hire all the experts that we need.” I agree with the approach, and suspect that it’s based on an understanding and appreciation of the “irrational.”

Our inner motivations guide us. We are all different. Get to know, really know, those that you have important dealings with. Take the time to fraternize. It will help you pick your “experts,” and those that you can trust.

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