Trying to find someone with who you can work is not easy, and the thing is, I don’t think one size fits all. I work with different people across different projects, and sometimes the project goes well, and it seems great, and other times it feels like something is not working. Before I start my projects, here’s what I look for when trying to find a good fit. Maybe you have some of the same?
Flow is one thing that I usually pick up on within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. It isn’t easy to put into words, but you know the times when you’ve just met that person, and something clicks with the conversation; it’s easy from the get-go. You can crack jokes, and it’s reciprocated. You share stories about your childhood or family when you’ve only just met. It’s that feeling you have when you meet up with old friends, and it feels like you’ve never been apart.
Flow means the conversation and the environment without sounding too corny is such that you believe anything is possible. The atmosphere is just right. Ideas are brought not down but lifted, and there are no barriers to creativity.
Let’s face it, some relationships are tough or maybe a bit too high maintenance. Yes, you can work with anyone, but some relationships require more effort, and you might have to change your working style.
With efficiency, there’s a connection like a jigsaw puzzle. You find that you’re not picking up the slack nor working over each other. Conflicts are resolved quickly and work out for the best of the project with no resentment. With efficiency, you can get things done faster.
Your working styles fit together that well everything is covered, including your back, you don’t feel like you have to look over your shoulder. When you have your next checkin, what was agreed has been done, and tasks are complete. When you find the efficiency sweet-spot, you feel like your work together is 5X (10x is just unrealistic, but that’s another story)
My last one could be fun, but the fun comes when you have the Flow. The last one for me is focus. There have been times where I’ve worked with other people, and it’s just impossible to get anything done either they’re chatting too much or constantly distracted with the next project, ‘Magpie Syndrome’. It’s challenging to get anything done, and you don’t feel as productive; you might even feel tired. You lose focus when you’re around them and might forget what you were working on.
It’s a delicate balance between focus and fun when you’re working with others. While fun is necessary, you should feel supported to focus. Those around you should help you focus on the current task and help you drive it to completion. Some of us are starters, some finishers, some maintainers when you all find a unified focus. Projects get nailed.
So there are my signals for a potential business or project partner match, Flow, Efficiency and Focus. When something just isn’t clicking, it’s usually down to one of these for me.
What are your three things?