Admittedly, I’m a pretty opinionated person. I think my friends and family have just come to accept that about me. While I don’t always fight tooth and nail to protect my ideas, but if I’m not careful I can be dismissive of others’ thoughts. It’s especially hard in public relations, where a big chunk of your job is brainstorming with your team and collaborative work for the client. If you’re more of an independent worker (like I am), sometimes you can feel backlash or get a bit uncomfortable working in a teamwork environment 24/7.
What I’ve come to learn is that it’s more about finding a way to agree with your teammates, even when you disagree, without them knowing that you disagree (do you follow me?). While you may think it’s silly to keep your thoughts to yourself or not voice your opinion, in some ways it can be a life saver. Here are a few ways you can play nice in the sandbox, even when you know/think you’re right:
Accept that everyone voices their thoughts in different ways – Some like to shout, some like to vent, some like to pass it off as a joke. I had to learn this lesson the hard way many times. Once you figure out how people communicate, you naturally become more empathetic and listen to when they have real ideas and feedback
Keep quiet, and carry on – Sometimes the best reaction is to keep your mouth shut. Unless your co-worker or client is about to do something DRASTICALLY AWFUL, nod in agreement and look at things from their point of view
Then write it out – If you have a “better idea,” or a different way to look at things, sometimes it’s easiest to talk it out over email. Then set up a separate meeting to discuss the issue at hand again if you think you can work things out.
The overall take away is that everyone’s voice is heard – The best PR teams work as a family, and have everyone’s thoughts included in the process. The key here is to LISTEN. Even if you don’t move forward the way you expected, the end result will turn out better for the care you put into it as a team