Tips for Success on a Fast-Paced Team

By Kaitlin Hurtado on August 14, 2020

Regardless of the industry you are working in, you are more than likely to be on a team where working at an efficient, fast-pace is always desired. That being said, it is all too easy to feel overwhelmed in a fast-paced team, especially if you are new to the change of pace. Rather than getting lost in the rush or not meeting expectations set by yourself and leadership, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success on a fast-paced team.

fast paced team

Photo: Pexels

Understand that fast doesn’t automatically mean better 

When it comes to working on a fast-paced team, it is easy to find yourself constantly comparing yourself to your peers. You may find yourself looking at your coworkers, noticing how one coworker always manages to get a certain task done faster than you can, or how another coworker can take any instruction and run with it without any further questions. With these examples to look to, you might find yourself wondering why you aren’t being able to do the same things at the same pace.

Instead of setting yourself up for internalized disappointment with constant comparisons, evaluate what issues you are having. Is there a process you aren’t exactly sure how to follow? Is there a step you commonly have trouble with? Try to figure out what exact struggles are keeping you from being more efficient and find solutions. Maybe a certain task takes you longer because you still have trouble navigating specific software. Or, completing a project may take longer than you anticipate because it is your first time attempting something like it.

Once you identify the issues that are setting you back, start working on how you can overcome them. This may mean reaching out to a coworker for some tips on how to work with software giving you issues, or reaching out to a superior for further guidance on how to complete a project. You may feel like you are holding the team back, but working to getting up to speed will benefit everyone in the long run.

There’s no use in rushing to get a task done and then having to go back and spend even more time to fix small mistakes. While you do want to keep up with your peers, you still want to be doing things right along the way.

Be ready to switch things up, fast 

Part of being successful in a fast-paced team is being flexible and ready to accept and adapt to change as it comes. While you may be well-aware of an established process or structure, things are bound to be shaken up from time to time. Rather than dwelling on what you are used to, be ready to apply what you know and your abilities to your new task at hand.

Being flexible also means you may be taking up tasks typically assigned to others or sharing responsibilities with others. Part of a successful fast-paced team is everyone’s willingness to be a team player, regardless of their assigned role in the team. It’s not always a matter of having to “pick up someone else’s slack,” but being able to support everyone so that essential tasks can be completed in the right way. This may mean diverting some of your attention into helping a coworker with a task they are struggling with, or taking on someone else’s task entirely so that they can complete another task themselves.

Communication is key 

With all this being said, communication is key to success in a fast-paced team. While leadership may trust that everyone is keeping up with their assigned tasks to meet a designated goal, everyone may be running into their own, unreported problems.

In a fast-paced setting, it’s fairly easy (and common) to become fixated on your individual tasks rather than a larger goal. With the expectation to get things done as quickly as possible, you may be more likely to try to get through your own tasks rather than checking up on everyone around you. While you may not be in a leadership role, paying attention to your peers and how they are doing also may affect you in a fast-paced setting more than you think.

If you feel like your responsibilities have been piling up with no end in sight, relay that to your team. Where you may not see a solution or remedy, another teammate can look at it from a fresh perspective and offer a solution that will benefit you. Or, if you feel as if you are falling behind in your tasks, tell your team so that work can be shifted and delegated accordingly. Don’t let the fear of falling behind cause you to actually fall further

A fast-paced, efficient team doesn’t mean that everyone can work solo without any intervention, but are constantly aware of what’s going on. Setting up regular check-ins, whether they be routines chats over Slack or a daily meeting to see where everyone is in terms of work, can be extremely beneficial to everyone’s success in a fast-paced team.

With these tips in mind, you can help set yourself up for success in a fast-paced team.

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