Have you ever heard the phrase, "The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease?" What does that really mean? Well it's an American proverb used to convey the idea that the most noticeable (or loudest) problems are the ones most likely to get attention. Recently, I had a conversation with some colleagues that could be categorized under this context. So here's the deal, if everyone is following through with the process, the expectations, the "rules" persay, then the one person who is not will be noticed first.
Personally, I am not a fan of the "Squeaky Wheel", I mean who would be right? I do not want to be that person and honestly I feel bad for anyone that would fall under that category. If he/she is considered a troublemaker or a non-rule follower.
In a team we must all do our part. We should do our part to create our expectations and then be consistent about following up with said expectations. It is an amazing accomplishment to be able to work with a team who can share the same vision of success for the entire team. In my mind if one of us wins then we ALL win. At the same time, if one of us fails, we all fail; nobody, including me, wants that. In order to support the "squeaky wheel" it is important the leader models and communicates with all team members to monitor and encourage support in the processes and procedures put in place.
If you find yourself being the "Squeaky Wheel" of the team, here are some tips you might find helpful:
1. Choose your battles. If you're not following a process because you don't agree with it, ask yourself, "Is it worth me standing out and other perceiving me as a trouble maker or a non-rule follower?"
2. Be a professional. Communicate your perception or opinion in a professional manner, such as a proposal or presentation.
3. Talk to your leader. It's always best to maintain a positive relationship with your leader. Don't cut communication or burn bridges by discussing the issue or concern with others before your speak to your immediate leader.
If you're a leader, be sure to remember when you communicate with the "Squeaky Wheel" that you listen. Listening is the most important variable in communication. Also remember that there are times that the "Squeaky Wheel" may not be a troublemaker, but more of a game changer. As we know change or growth can be uncomfortable, so be sure to evaluate all sides. Afterall, we wouldn't want to diminish a good idea.
"Team Work Makes the Dream Work!"