5 Tips for Working with Other Sociologists

Sociology itself is a team-based, people-based field of study, which means that cultivating skills in working with sociologists is a key asset. For many new sociologists, freshly graduated and with heads full of textbook knowledge, it can feel like an abrupt transition to leave the classroom behind in favor of a hands-on application of knowledge. However, this can also be the most exciting time in a young sociologist’s professional life because there is the chance to choose a personal focus of study, select team mates and pursue interesting real-world research. In this post, learn 5 helpful tips to make the most of working with other sociologists in a professional setting.

1. Interactions with other sociologists hold their own intrinsic research value.

While working with other sociologists, if you are experiencing conflict, it can be helpful to reframe that conflict as its own source of study data.

This tip can not only shift the conflict into a less personally sensitive (and thus more readily resolvable) arena, but can also place you and the other sociologist on the same side in attempting to resolve it from a sociological perspective.

2. Understand how social identity may shape other sociologists’ work approach and life view.

While it is only reasonable to assume other sociologists on your team will bring a professional focus and work ethic to any project, each is still first and foremost a person. As such, each sociologist – yourself included – brings a unique perspective to the table. This can include a strong social, gender, cultural and class identity, each of which may inform how one sociologist relates to another.

Staying mindful of these underlying personal perspectives can inform your approach when working with other sociologists, especially if there are many very different backgrounds represented within your team.

3. Listen first and then speak.

On some level, working with sociologists is really no different than working with any group of professionals. Having good communication skills is a fundamental requirement for success in any team-based field of study. This holds true whether you are the project leader or a member of the team or even an intern or assistant.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to interpersonal communication is to listen first and then speak. By focusing on listening first, you are able to be clear about what the other person is communicating before responding.

4. Pay attention to process.

Working with sociologists can be greatly aided by the underlying structure of the field itself. Sociology as a research discipline is founded on sociological process. As such, it is very measured and orderly.

Many team-based communication issues can be avoided by slowing down, following process and taking time to discuss and communicate fully at every step along the way, whether a study is newly in development or nearly finished.

5. Develop your own trusted mentoring circle.

As in any profession, there may be times when conflict is simply unavoidable in working with sociologists. In these cases, having a trusted mentor or coach to turn to for guidance can be an invaluable source of support in resolving conflict.

You may want to select former professors, clinical supervisors, colleagues, career/life coaches or close friends as part of your inner circle.

As a sociologist, you have chosen to enter a social-based field of study where collaboration, teamwork and communication will form the foundation of your professional success. In working with sociologists along the way, you will have a chance to study sociological process from every angle while developing in your career.

Related Resource: Best Top 10 Online Sociology Degree Programs