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I am an intern and at work I feel like the largest pitfall of our project is the communication between the team leaders.

I am totally comfortable to talk with my direct superiors and my direct team leaders about this and I have done it several times. However, the group is relatively large and even though I often suggest "feedback meetings" where people would be able to discuss group dynamics, this level of conversation simply does not happen and it feels like its a always a problem "larger than everyone".

I feel like I am very respected and whenever I touch that subject, workmates seem to agree with me. However, I am unsure of how much should I push for the solution of this kind of high level problems since I am an intern.

How far should I push it? If I feel that people are already aware of the problem but they do not seem to be willing to solve it, should I try to show them possible solutions or should I just accept it and let it be?

This could also be phrased as:

As an intern, what are the signals that I should look that would tell me that I should stop trying to solve a team organization problem?

  • one thing to keep in mind is that you are an intern -- you leaving this job is no big deal. Your coworkers are not. They may not be willing to risk their jobs by complaining about something that, while imperfect, isn't awful enough to put your job on the line for. This may be why they don't share your sense of urgency: they have more to lose. – Kate Gregory Jul 5 '18 at 1:35
  • As an intern solving a "team organization problem" is probably way outside your job description, so you should probably just focus on learning what you can rather than enacting some kind of change. The signal is that your an intern, not a regular full time employee. – Mark Rogers Jul 5 '18 at 1:52
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As an intern, what are the signals that I should look that would tell me that I should stop trying to solve a team organization problem?

  • Signal 0: If your responsibilities don't include team organization or communication that would be the first sign that this is something that does not correspond to you, and most likely is the job of someone else (that perhaps is not doing such a good job on that).

  • Signal 1: After suggesting it a few times, and not getting feedback or the idea is dismissed, that would be a sign that this is not a priority for them at the moment, and further insistence could prove ineffective.

  • Signal 2: If you still decide to go on and prepare some example or implementations, and it is again dismissed or rejected, that would also suggest this is not a priority for them right now. Further examples or implementations will most likely have the same effect, plus spending work-time doing things that aren't your responsibility may not be to appealing to your manager.

  • Signal 3: A direct request asking you to stop suggesting these things and spending time doing tasks that are not part of your role.

To phrase it differently... It's nice to see that you are interested in the well-being of the company beyond your job role, and suggesting things is good up to a point. However, sometimes it's best to let your manager do the managing.

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