Work Team Variables
Other things being equal, work teams have a greater probability of being cohesive than larger one. In larger groups, the necessary interactions are inhibited, communication between members is reduced to a feeble walk and there is the danger of formation of subgroups. Work teams offer frequent interaction opportunities leading to better understanding between members.
People who work closely together in the same geographical location have numerous opportunities to interact and exchange ideas resulting in highly effective and cohesive teams than do people who are geographically separated.
A favourite topic of novelists is to describe the plight of two warring individuals who, through some quirk of fate, find themselves dependent on each other for survival or gain. External threats create higher bonds between members. When the members perceive that the team is threatened by an external force, they strive together to combat the collective threat. In the face of a common enemy, members forget their common differences and become cohesive.
Status of the Work Team
A high status work team that is successful in achieving its goals tends to have greater cohesiveness. Membership in such a team is highly rated than membership in a group widely denounced by all. It is better to be a “big fish in a little pond” or “a little fish in a big pond” than remain unnoticed as a “little fish in a little pond”.
There is nothing like success to increase group spirit and cohesiveness. A near universal finding is that cohesiveness generally increases with success.
Goals of Work Team Communication
A team is formed when individuals with a common goal come together on a common platform. The team members must complement each other and communicate effectively to avoid impractical conflicts among themselves.
Communication plays a very important role in team building and extracting the best out of the team members.
- A team member must clearly understand what his fellow team members are up to. He should be very clear about his roles and responsibilities in the team. It is the duty of the team leader to delegate responsibilities as per the interest and specializations of the team members without imposing things on them. Communication plays an important role here.
- Verbal communication sometimes may create misunderstandings and confusions, thus it is always better to rely on written communication for better clarity and transparency. Communication is effective when the information is passed on through emails. Emails are more reliable.
- Also invite suggestions from the team members. The members should participate in discussions. This way, they feel motivated and indispensable for their team and as well as the organization.
- The goal and the objective of the team should not be set only by the team leader itself. Every employee should contribute equally and give his valuable inputs. The team members must not fight among themselves and try to reach to a conclusion best suited to all.
- The goal must be very well communicated to all the team members and they must be very clear from the beginning what they are supposed to do to avoid problems later. The goal can never be achieved unless and until all of them work hard together and contribute their level best.
- Every individual should have the freedom to speak. If you feel that your fellow colleague is going wrong somewhere and needs to be corrected, you should point that out.
- Effective communication reduces the chances of conflicts and fights among team members. Communication improves the relations among the team members and they feel fresh and motivated the whole day at work.
When people are working in teams, conflicts are bound to happen. There may be differences in opinions, ideas or way of working. But conflicts are good only when they are constructive and benefit the team in future. Conflicts, however, should be resolved as quickly as possible.
- Conflict usually engenders strong emotions and even anger but, in such a state, you are unlikely to be particularly rational or in the mood for compromise. The critical reason for this is because nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves. So if you start with the assumption their “stuff” has something to do with your “stuff” not only is that self-centered but is a big waste of energy.
- Be impeccable with your word. Words have immeasurable power, so use them with care. Say only what you mean, and remember your opinion isn’t fact. Silence is better than saying something you’ll regret.
- Always show respect. However much you disagree with someone, attack the argument, not the person. In truth, most conflict is over matters of little substance and often it is mostly pride or status that is at stake. Consider conceding the point to your opponent.
Conflict arises in work teams often because individuals feel more exposed emotionally or perhaps perceive that they have been pushed into a category or marginalized in some other way.
- Change the environment. Resolving anything in the middle of a team can be impossible. If the conflict is between you and another person or people present resolving it in the presence of others will normally not be helpful.
- Control the flow of discussion. When the conflict does involve the entire team it best to have established beforehand a way for handling debate in an organized fashion.
- Let the other person do the talking. He or she will soon grow tired of it. Sometimes that’s all they want. To be heard. To feel important. Everyone wants to feel important. Some people just express it in ways that are counterproductive.
- Be aware of displacement. Especially where anger is concerned, sometimes the source of a conflict is not what it appears to be, as anger is displaced.
- Seek mediation. This is a process whereby a neutral third party consults with those involved in a conflict to see if the problem can be presented in a way which facilitates a resolution.