In today's corporate climate, it's very common to see less individual work being produced and a lot more group work taking place. Of course, this depends on the industry, but it makes sense to pool resources together and get a single hybrid project that's built on everybody's best work. While many people are likely glad to be sharing the burden of a project, it can be difficult to work with other people, especially in high-pressure situations.
As members of a team, it's not important that you are all friends outside of the office, you all just need to create an environment where you can be productive and feel safe expressing your ideas. Unfortunately, when personalities and thoughts clash, a project meeting can quickly become a mess. Obviously, this is not conducive for work and the team should resolve its issues so the members can get back to the business at hand.
Clashing personalities don't have to be a detriment to the team. In fact, sometimes the most successful groups are comprised of different personalities and backgrounds that come together and collaborate to create something interesting. Don't let them get in the way of fruitful teamwork.
1. Be open to other people and their ideas
One of the worst ways to foster a healthy group experience is to shut down everyone else's ideas. Being too close-minded and uncompromising won't get anything done, nor will it inspire others to respect you, as the Harvard Business Review noted.
2. Be kind
In order to be a successful team member, you must be cognizant of other people's feelings, which requires a good deal of emotional intelligence, the source continued. Reading the room and recognizing what is OK to say and what isn't might mean that a person needs to rein in his or her true feelings, but that's just a part of working with others. If you don't like an idea, don't shut it down immediately. Instead, work through it and offer an alternative that might be better suited for the project at hand.
"Work through issues and offer alternative ideas."
3. Communicate with one another
One of the most common problems that teams encounter is when people fail to communicate with each other. Letting a problem stew and fester is not only unhealthy for the person withholding his or her feelings, but then that individual runs the risk of unloading his or her issues in an unproductive manner. Although conflict and confrontation may feel awkward, it's better to get everything out in the open so it can be dealt with, and then everyone can move on to more productive ventures.
4. Touch base to stay on track
If each person in the group has a different view of the outcome, no one is going to be on the same page for how the rest of the time should be spent. Not only can this be very frustrating, but it's entirely unproductive and a waste of everyone's time. Project meetings should not just be a place where people spout their ideas, but to also ensure that everyone is on the same track and working toward a common goal.
Teamwork has the potential for problems, such as team members failing to do their share or the entire team being unable to decide on anything, as Boundless reported. However, this does not mean that teams should be shelved. Working with different people is an important skill for employees to have and hopefully the outcome makes them better problem solvers and more inclined to work with different groups of people in the future.