4 strategies for creating a better environment for teamwork

blue cartoon people working together

 

Working as part of a team is something that most people are familiar with. There are times when things get in the way of cohesive working for those of us who are team leaders or some of us may be managers of larger groups.

I will discuss four strategies: conflict resolution, having difficult conversations, simple problem-solving plans, and introducing change.

Conflict resolution

We can't always get along with everyone, so when someone annoys us, we have an emotional reaction that results in behaviour. These emotional or angry reactions are counterproductive and can lead to situations such as relationship breakdown. Anger and resentment can fester beneath the surface for years, causing friction. This can make it difficult to form healthy relationships.

This resentment causes arguments at home and can harm spousal relationships. This can impact other associations, such as those with children, parents, or grandparents.

This may imply that good ideas and best practices are not shared in the workplace. A blame culture may develop, resulting in low morale and high staff sickness levels. It will have an impact on the service provided to customers.

Great leaders bring their teams together to work toward a common goal. They take steps to manage conflict and its causes effectively. We usually only see our own point of view and miss what motivates the actions of others. The role of the leader is to help the teams stop blaming each other and start working together.

Each party must comprehend the situation from the other's point of view. Each viewpoint must be explained in a positive and productive manner. To clarify each point of view, exploratory questions should be asked. An action plan can then be created outlining how and when the situation will be revisited. This works because it focuses on both parties increasing their awareness and understanding of the other party's concerns and then working together to find a solution.

Difficult conversations

As a leader, there may come a time when a difficult conversation is required. This could take place at work or at home. One concern you may have is that having the conversation will aggravate the situation. What you need to ask yourself is whether having the conversation will solve the problem. If this is the case, a strategy must be devised. You may be concerned that a lack of confidence or a dislike of conflict will prevent you from having these conversations, which is especially true if the person is highly strung and prone to taking offence. These conversations are more likely to be fruitful if they are planned for and approached objectively. Consider holding the meeting somewhere discreet and private. What will you need to get out of the meeting? Understand your needs and why they are important. Prepare to listen and ask open-ended questions to better understand their points of view. 

The difficult part is usually determining how to bring up the subject; use the following phrases:

I need your assistance with... Do you have time to discuss it?

I believe we have opposing viewpoints on... I'd like to hear your thoughts.

remember:

be ready to be positive and constructive

A simple plan for solving problems

How do you solve problems when working in a group?
  • Determine the problem and its underlying causes. How will the success of any solution be measured?
  • Brainstorm solutions to problems. Get creative and let your ideas run wild.
  • Determine which ideas you want to pursue further. How are you going to make that work? What other way could we do it? How could we modify that concept? How can we put this concept's spirit into action?
  • Determine the best solution options. This could include utilising a SWOT analysis or a matrix based on predetermined success measures.
  • Put a solution in place. This could imply testing it first. Who will be affected, and how will this information be communicated to them?
  • Examine the success of the solution and its implementation.
  • What went well and what could be improved the next time the process is used was discussed and reflected upon with others.

Inspiring change

As a leader, you must be able to inspire change. There are two basic approaches:

  • make the current situation appear extremely bad
  • make the future situation look fantastic

The first method implies that the current situation will only worsen and that change is required. You must demonstrate the implications of things remaining the same. Without a plan, people may seek to protect their own interests, undermining teamwork.

The second method entails motivating your team to work toward a brighter future. Make sure your team shares your vision, which includes involving your team in the creation of the new vision. Check that your vision is SMART:

  • specific
  • measurable
  • achievable
  • relevant
  • time-based
Make certain that every success is celebrated and that every mistake is learned from.

Hopefully, this post will give you some insight into how to better work and manage a team. 



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