How to Improve Teamwork by Avoiding Conflict

This is a guest post by Utibe Akpan.

We all know a team consists of two or more individuals working together to achieve a common goal. It is also known that the level of productivity of any team's project depends greatly on how well said teamwork together.

It is no surprise that there are disagreements or conflicts amongst team members. A gathering of various individuals with their different views and ideas...of course disagreement was bound to arise.

Whether due to differences in opinions or personal reasons, the outcome of any team unable to work through its conflicts are always the same…poor. Some or most people actually believe they don't need to get along with their teammates, as long as the work gets done. Truth is, you can solo the projects and tasks given, but whatever you turn in on your own might not be nearly as good as what you could have turned in as a team.

The key part of Teamwork is the TEAM. Basically human resources available to each other, who wouldn't want to use that!?

However, most times we tend to forget key factors which makes the TEAM in TEAMWORK:

  1. Communication: Communication is practically the most important factor when it comes to any group. The ability to communicate with others helps them understand the message you are trying to get across. There's no point in having ideas if you can't get it across to others.

  2. Understanding: Just as communicating to others is important, listening to and understanding them is equally important. Understanding your fellow members and understanding the group itself helps yield better results. We might think we know it all, but nobody knows it all.

  3. Be open to other opinions: You might have a great idea for the project but guess what? So do others, and listening to what they have to say could show you a new angle you never thought of. If you are the type who believes that 'their opinions are the best or nobody is smarter than you. ' I would advice you to get rid of such a mindset because they are chains that limit you. If you believe you are above everyone else it leaves zero room for improvement.

    There is always room for improvement.

  4. Logic: Now in most cases where group members throw their ideas on the table to discuss, there is often that one idea (or two) that won't work or rather won't give the best outcome. The best way to handle such ideas would not be to just disregard them but rather make others understand why you believe it won't work. Make them see the logic in your argument otherwise, without good reason friction may occur amongst the members. Logic is a factor which makes use of both communication and understanding.

  5. Don't be condescending: Patronizing others' work and opinions is the perfect way to start conflict, so I strongly advise against it. Members of a team help each other out where they can, and criticizing the efforts of others affects the overall efforts of the team. ' One goal, many people working together to achieve it. ' In other words, when one falls, you all fall.

  6. Boundaries: Personal reasons should not be involved with work. You don't have to like anyone (though that would be best), but you should understand that you all have the same goal and need to work together to achieve it. If you can not work with others without involving personal feelings involved, then it would be best you leave that group to another.

  7. Roles and Responsibility: Division of labour is the best approach in every teamwork. It is very important that members understand the roles they have been given and the responsibilities that come with them.

    In simple terms, lack of communication + lack of understanding = low productivity.

Lack of rational thinking + lack of communication = conflict.

Conflict will always reduce productivity. So to best avoid conflicts within groups, take note of the factors listed above and try to apply them as best as you can.

*Over 60% of young individuals in Nigeria between age 15 – 23 are unsure of their future and how to advance into the World of Work.

To this end, Gradrange seeks to bridge the gap between the classroom and the rapidly changing labour market by educating young individuals about the culture, opportunities, challenges, and future for employment in various fields.*

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