How to Enlist Colleagues in a Project When They Aren’t Into It

Let’s say you’re working on a project and need to enlist the help of others. The team effort isn’t exactly going as planned since everyone isn’t on board.

Well, according to a piece on Brazen Careerist, there are a few strategies to get them rolling up their sleeves in no time.

1. Make friends before you make progress. Similar to how you should always be networking so when you want a new job you won’t have to start from scratch, the same can be said about teamwork.

The piece says the time to “get to know people genuinely is before you need their help.”

It’s rather simple: Be nice! Take an interest in them, smile, take them out to coffee, ask them questions about themselves. Don’t do it thinking you’ll need their help later on but do it just to be nice. That’s it. Be friendly and form alliances.

And then when you’re working on a project and need their assistance, they will hopefully rally behind you.

2. Extend the first favor. That’s right, go ahead. Do favors for others first and then ask them to do favors for you. Easy math, right?

The piece reminds us to only ask for favors if you’re already in the habit of doing them.

3. Ask, don’t tell. If you really want people on your side, don’t tell them what to do. Make it a collaborative journey instead. Avoid walking into a meeting with an agenda in hand with specific deadlines and color coded tasks.

As mentioned in the piece, ask some questions like, “What are we trying to accomplish? What does success look like?”

The questions will serve as food for thought and when people think of the answers, they’ll start owning them, too. And once communal goals have been set, there’s a sense of teamwork.