Do I have to like everyone on my team? Should all my team members like each other? The answer leads to team conflict resolution.
Bad team conflict is to be expected and we’ve written about it before. That conflict comes from the fact that each one of us is a unique person. The fact is every so often personalities clash. Or perhaps someone on the team has views or personal habits we find objectionable. Sometimes, for unexplainable reasons, someone just rubs us the wrong way.
Although it would be terrific if everyone on the team considered their fellow team members to be good friends, that will not always happen. But, there are some steps you can take to overcome personal issues, and build a cohesive team.
- Make a real effort to learn about the people on the team. It’s possible that as you learn more about team members you’ll overcome an initial dislike. In our leadership development programs we use the My HardWired™ Leadership Styles Assessment to help the team understand how each member likes to interact and communicate with others on the team. Better understanding helps overcome dislikes making a more cohesive and effective team.
- Rise above the petty issues. Yes, Jack has some opinions that you think are crazy. Yes, Jill has a really strange way of doing her hair. So what! How does that affect the team’s efforts to achieve its goals? Remember there’s probably something about you that others don’t care for.
- Don’t take disagreement personally. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they don’t like you. In fact, if you don’t have disagreement among team members, at least some of the time, you probably have a dysfunctional team.
- Remember, like and respect are two different concepts. You don’t have to like a team member to respect what they contribute to the team.
No, you don’t have to like everyone on your team. But you do have to work with them. Team conflict resolution starts with learning about team members and respecting what they contribute to the team. Who knows – maybe over time you’ll even begin to like them.
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