Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tips on how to work with others; write together or to co-authour papers together

They say - when I say they, I mean people in the academia fields but I think this can hold true for other fields of work - that once you work with someone else it is likely that you will become enemies. If you don't become enemies, then you or the other person is quite generous, acceptable and overall a VERY nice person - or just WEAK!
Whichever the case, working with people is probably one of the hardest thing to do, especially to those of us stubborn f*cks who do not like to "settle" for anything less, and think we are almost always right- unless proven otherwise- and even then its hard to admit to it.

While working with people, I realized that I can really be bitchy, seriously. Well, I do not go and shout obscene things to a person or make rude gestures, but on the contrary, I shut down, making a face- which I thought was just a plain face, but from others comments and a couple of photos of myself I realized was extremely intimidating and scary - which looks as if I am saying "F*ck off or I will kill you" - actually this is what one of my friends said it looks like, on a nice day. And up till now I thought I had a nice sleepy harmless face... well...

And then there is no negotiation... you have crossed the line... and it will be time since I ease out or you actually die.

whichever the case, I have done this again a couple of days ago, and realized this is not good... I must try to work with people, because this is really a reputation. HWA- not Hoes with Attitude but my friend hwa, had once told me how in the communication design Internet site design etc whatyoumacallit industry, because you always have to work with people, such as programmers and the sort, it is very important what kind of reputation you have, because even if you are good/well not great but good/ and have a bad reputation concerning working with other people, then you can't get far... because nobody will work with you.
Of course this might not be the case in Social Science, but still I do think it does make sense to make friends not enemies while working with people, cuz more and more the consensus is that you have to work with people, to various degrees - co-authouring articles, writing books together, being in the same research network etc. it is all about networks these days.

Ok so here are some tips you can use when you have to work with people...
there are some strategies you can choose from.

One is to become extremely passive- do whatever the other person(s) tell you to do... this is hard because it is your baby- the paper/project I mean and you just cannot let it go that easily... but if you can, this is a good idea, and if there are problems and if you can't get into a journal just blame the other person.

Second is to own the project from day one, make sure that you are in charge and make sure the other person knows it too,(in other words, make them yo biatch) so in other words making the other person the first example.

Third, when both don't work is trying to find a dividing point, so for example, chapter 1,2 is yours and 3 and 4 is the other person- or divided by tasks or is more or less independent from one another, although you give each other comments - but just constructive criticism.. not more not less - you need not have to make decisions together.

If this is not the case, another good way to tackle this problem is not to have face to face conflicts but work via internet-e-mails. (using track changes mode) This is good in the sense that you do not have direct interaction with the person, thus you have lesser chances of strangling the person to death because you get frustrated talking to an ignorant wall.

Another good tip is do not write with a person who you are shagging.. this will bring problems in every direction possibly imaginable.

But I have to admit, co-authoured work can develop quite quickly and can result to better quality work, because you get good/quick comments about things easily. However it can lead to end of good friendship extreme stress cancer cells murder and imprisonment.

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