We Are All In This Together

July 26, 2019
Conflict Management
Read time: 2 mins

“We are all in this together.” No truer words have been spoken when considering the crew of Apollo 11. Here you have three guys in a cramped spaceship (roughly the size of a roomy large car) for eight days, working toward the same goal. The ability to trust each other and resolve any differences together were really (really) important.

Apollo 11

We’ve heard a lot lately about the history-changing Apollo 11, the first spaceflight that landed humans on the moon 50 years ago this month. Fast forward to today and imagine translating their work relationships into a modern-day work setting. At least in most jobs people can escape for a bit and come back to the group, but not these guys. So, this week with our minds on the astronauts, here are some tips for people who work as a team in close quarters.

  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Be respectful of your teammates' personal space. Have boundaries. Clean up your clutter like coffee mugs and papers lying around that you don’t need. Be tolerant of personalities that differ from yours. There’s no “i” in team.
  • It may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Keep the smells to a minimum. Cool it with the perfume or cologne. Don’t bring your leftover spicy chicken curry for lunch. And a breath mint or tic tac can go a long way. Some scents can be really distracting.
  • Speaking of distractions, things like extra noise (talking on speakerphone or listening to music) and air drumming your favorite Van Halen song are super disruptive. Earbuds are your friend.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Germs spread like wildfire in tight spaces and soon everyone will have your nasty cold if you show up to work under the weather. By taking care of yourself, you’re taking care of your teammates too.
  • Act like the awesome team that you are. Don’t gossip about someone or grumble about petty stuff. Make time to have team meetings (even though you are in the same room all day) to talk about projects and goals. Your office may be small, but your team is mighty.