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How To Make A Lone Worker Work In The Team?

A lone worker

Lone workers are the ones who work alone most of the time. But, how to make a lone worker work in the team? What are the steps he needs to follow? Let’s find out.

I would like to share an incident with you about one of my colleagues in the first year of college who was a lone worker. He was a smart and intelligent guy with a lot of creative potential.

In the initial months, I was so curious that I started asking others about him. My curiosity helped me gain a lot of valuable info about his identity and his lifestyle.

Unsurprisingly, most people only knew about his studies and his performance as a highly studious person. But, that was not enough for me as I wanted to know about his preferences. I wanted to collaborate with him on a creative project which required his intellectual prowess.

I decided to approach and discuss it with him. However, after meeting him, I got to know that he was a lone worker and liked his solidarity without any interruptions or people telling him things to do.

He was direct and blunt. Besides, he wasn’t much of a people-pleaser, which according to me, is a good thing. If you want to know why then read here. So, I decided to help him work in a team by following some simple and easy steps.

So, “How did I do it?”

“How to make a lone worker work in the team?”

Let’s find out.

You can also watch the video below to know about smart and clever ways to make a lone worker work in a team:

Why do lone workers struggle to work as a team?

“Have you ever thought about why lone workers don’t like to work in a team?”

“Why do they always stay aloof and distant working on the same things others are?”

Well, not every person is a loner by nature. There are two types of loners, the one who is staying alone by default and the other one who stays lonely and learns to deal with his loneliness to become a loner. 

Now, loneliness and being alone are different in the sense that being alone is the comfort zone of a person while loneliness is not. Loneliness is somewhat forced, and the person has to deal with his solidarity.

So, “If lone workers are alone, and not lonely, then what is the need to work as a team?”

“Why should they even care?”

A man who struggles to work in a team.
Photo by Nate on Unsplash

Because working alone has its limitations. For instance, you cannot handle the finances alone or other important resources that require a team to work with. Hence, working in a team is important.

But, due to their reserved and withdrawn nature, they can struggle with some challenges in working as a team.

“What are they?”

Well, here are 3 reasons why lone workers struggle to work in a team.

1. They seek freedom with their ways of work:

I think it is obvious.

Any person, no matter how agreeable or pleasing he is, ends up doing his own thing, and it is not something to be ashamed of. Besides, everyone seeks novelty and creativity in their ways of working.

However, when you work alone in a solitary environment with no one to influence your work, you begin to like the freedom you get as a lone worker who can do whatever he wants with his ideas and inputs.

Hence, their desire to be free and independent can pose a struggle to work in a team.

2. They do not mingle well with others:

Lone workers have another huge problem.

They do not interact well with others. It is often accompanied by miscommunication and misrepresentation of things. The root of all causes is the expectations of the group on a person.

Now, not everyone is the same, and people know it. However, they do not understand it very well. It gets more complicated when the lone worker does not interact with other members of the group.

Therefore, miscommunications can be a great hurdle in the process of working in a team.

3. They find working in a team stressful and exhausting:

Working in a team is not at all easy. When the lone worker has to deal with the pressures of working in a team, he realizes the stressful things he has to deal with, especially dealing with his co-workers.

It is fair to say that when the lone worker somehow becomes a leader of the team, he has to face backlash and criticism for failures or inept working tendencies, which makes things even more difficult to handle.

Hence, they find working in a team stressful and exhausting due to a chaotic work environment.

So, these were the three reasons why lone workers struggle with working in a team.

But, “How to make a lone worker work in the team?”

Let’s find out.

How to make a lone worker work in a team?

A lot of people who like working alone have this tendency to mistrust the irrational decisions taken in a group. Now, this is not to say that they can’t accept them, but they have a hard time wrapping their head around it.

Lone workers are not easy to put in a team and it is far difficult to expect anything from them in return for their cooperation. However, even the most demanding and reclusive types of loners can be made to work with others.

But, “How?”

“What are the things you need to get the lone worker on your side?”

Well, here are 6 smart and clever ways to make a lone worker work in a team.

1. Accept what he has to bring to the team:

A lone worker is very dedicated due to his loner tendencies while doing all the work singlehandedly. A lot of times his dedication is not taken seriously and is misunderstood by the team members.

But, as a good team member, if you want a lone worker to stay on your side, then accept what he has to bring to the team even if it’s insignificant. He needs the support and understanding of everyone around him, especially his coworkers.

Hence, accept the benefits he can bring to the team no matter how eccentric they are. It will be useful in the long run.

2. Try to follow his possible list of suggestions:

A lone worker has a lot of time to ponder over things that could go wrong in a situation. For example, frequent quarrels between team members or an unhealthy attitude towards the team can be some key drawbacks.

Working alone in stressful environments, he eventually learns to notice things that can affect teamwork. Now, this is only possible when he is ready to work as a team. In that case, his suggestions and guidelines are valuable to his and his coworkers’ significance in a team.

Therefore, try to follow his suggestions and, if possible, incorporate them.

3. Do not force him to change his ways:

I guess this is just an indication of how complicated things can be under stressful situations. Not only does it hampers teamwork but also the lone workers working in a team.

Under such circumstances, do not force him to change his ways. Instead, explain to him the problems calmly and allow him to process them alone. He might like dealing with his ways, but he can understand that change is necessary if things aren’t going as planned.

Hence, it is better to not force him to change his ways and give him space to think about them calmly.

4. Empathize with his needs as much as possible:

Teamwork also requires mental and emotional resilience when things go wrong. But, it is not easy to maintain an emotional balance every time, and the lone worker is no exception.

It is important to empathize with the needs of the lone worker as much as possible, along with other team members. It helps in solving many problems beforehand, and the person does not have to suffer later.

Therefore, empathize with his needs as much as possible.

5. Be diplomatic and establish harmony:

There may be times when you, your coworkers, and the lone worker might engage in an unhealthy argument, which can very well hamper the teamwork between members.

Especially, the fight with a lone worker can result in him leaving the team altogether. To prevent it from happening, you have to be diplomatic and work hard to establish harmony between the team members. Being diplomatic is the best way to maintain teamwork, and you can also resolve arguments with the lone worker without engaging in an ugly fight.

Hence, be diplomatic and establish harmony between team members.

6. Lastly, be kind to him:

You have to understand that the lone worker has left his solitude to work with you as a team. It is a compromise on his part where he is leaving his comfort zone to accept the team environment.

It doesn’t mean that he is special or unique, but still, he has contributed himself to your team. So, try to be good with him and his situation. If he feels uncomfortable then be kind to him and help him understand.

Therefore, be kind to the lone worker to alleviate his discomfort.

Final Words:

Working as a team is not easy and one has to look at a lot of things that could affect his team’s performance. The lone worker will always feel uneasy working in a team, especially if there are huge differences.

But, approaching and encouraging him with a clear and sound mind can help him deal with it, and you do not have to force him to work as a team member.

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