f you’re working with other teams outside your own who are not involved in your daily meetings, they’re not always on the same page as you regarding priorities — and sometimes they can become a roadblock to your team’s progress. How can you address that without causing additional friction?
Here's my advice:
Getting through organizational roadblocks, or simply trying to persuade a colleague to come over to the side of your priorities, is a rite of passage in the business world. People are so busy and things move so quickly that just being a nice guy isn’t going to cut it. People who don’t share your to-do list aren’t going to adhere to it simply because you ask them to. If you want other teams to cooperate with you, you have to make them want to do what you’re asking. In other words, you have to take the time to consider: “what’s in it for them?”
In order to find out what another team’s agenda is, start by asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. What is the team evaluated on? To whom do members ultimately report up to? What is THAT person’s strategy? Then, begin looking for ways that your project can help another team accomplish what they are trying to do anyway. Actively communicate this when trying to lift your project off the back burner.
While it’s sometimes effective to appeal to the greater good (i.e. in the best interests of the organization) when making your requests, you’ll get better results the more personal you go. Don’t think of another team as “marketing,” for instance, but instead as a group of individuals who each have their own set of priorities. By going out of your way to establish rapport with each team member before you actually need something, you will be able to appeal to their needs in the future. They’ll also be more likely to help you because you’ve built a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
Although it might be easier, I don’t recommend complaining to the other team or a higher-up about the lack of synergy. This will only serve to annoy and cause the additional friction you are concerned about. Even if this approach results in short-term compliance, the other teams will resent you and future efforts to work with them are likely to be tainted. Remember the old adage: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!
For answers from three other amazing career experts, check out the full post at Intuit's Fast Track blog.