Pait Group Blog

Maybe Your Coworkers Aren’t Telling You Everything

Posted by: Stephen Wilson on November 30, 2023

If you really think about it, is it possible your coworkers aren’t telling you important information about your work world? When we meet with customers, we have encountered an odd phenomenon: we send the invites, we announce our roles within Pait Group and how we hope to help with their project. Then we spend the next hour listening to the customers being completely surprised by everything their coworkers say.

My friend and fellow consultant, Allison Roney, has described us as “Modern Workplace Therapists.” We go through some calls just facilitating conversations between people who work two cubicles apart from each other as they share opinions about the day-to-day operations from the perspective of 2 different departments.

Our presence as “experts” gives everyone license to question whether or not they are using their tools to the best effect. Is it possible to build a project calendar that would make it easier for everyone to see the current status in one place? Is there a better way to share documents with everyone in the team besides emailing them updates and documents each morning? Occasionally we drop a comment like “Well there is a way to automate that step if it would help,” and the group will quiet as we propose a workflow or recommend a list view that could make things more easily visible.


Credit: RosZie,, via Pixabay

But for the most part, we just let people talk about what they are trying to achieve. They invited us to say there is a way to make things better. Our role is NOT to know their business better, but we hopefully know the tools better and how other companies have used them to do things similar to what they are hoping to accomplish.

People often come to us when they make a big change, moving from a file share to SharePoint Online, or figuring out where Teams fits into their new workplace since they just moved to Exchange Online and figured out that this “Teams” thing came with the licenses they purchased. People who were hired only 3 months ago know from work with their previous employer that some things were automated where they used to work. They don’t know the details, but they are happy to mention it when we are on the call to confirm that automation is possible. Alone, they are often hesitant to mention things they know may be possible, because they don’t know enough to present an entire solution. But with us on the call to back them up, their confidence gets a boost. 

We talk to customers who are storing files in 3 different systems because the group hasn’t discussed the overall strategy for their organization. It is almost common to find customers who are using a second online meeting platform because their IT folks limited the features in Teams. They are hesitant to discuss their needs with IT; they avoid that conversation and go "rogue," adding another platform, unofficial and unsecured.

If some of these issues sound familiar to you, we can help get these conversations flowing. Call us. You and your coworkers may need some "Modern Workplace Therapy." 😊

Topics: Communication, Microsoft 365

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