Teamwork: Leadership and Team Members Essay
Being able to work in teams is becoming more significant in modern workplace. Employees are basically expected to work well in a team which consists of co-workers possessing distinct backgrounds, knowledge and skills. (McCormack & Slaght, 2011) It is generally thought that a group of people with complementary skills is likely to outperform individuals in a task where multiple skills are required. (Armstrong, 2008) However, working in a team may bring about relationship conflict which refers to interpersonal incompatibilities between team members. Curseu, 2011) Accordingly, some measures ought to be implemented, so as to attenuate the problem. This essay will focus on the relationship conflict problems induced by teamwork.
It will then discuss several solutions to the problem and evaluate their feasibility. Interpersonal conflict within team members can be caused by various reasons. One main cause of interpersonal conflict is the discrepant views of team members owing to their diverse backgrounds, cultures, values, needs and knowledge. Whetton & Cameron, 2011) The gulf between the parties entangled in a dispute may result in tension and indignation which could be detrimental to the teamwork quality. It is because the focus of the team members is likely to be distracted by negative emotions amongst them. (Curseu, 2011) Moreover, the quality of communication between the team members will probably worsen. As a result, the team performance is very likely to deteriorate. Interpersonal conflict seems to be an obstacle to ideal team performance, yet it is not inevitable.
A team leader who is relation-oriented would be crucial in solving interpersonal conflict as they concern not only about the task work but also how to maintain harmonious working atmosphere amongst the team. (Curseu, 2011) Developing an understanding for each member in the team will probably be a fundamental step to resolve the problem. (Anderson) Team meetings and team building activities can be held in order to achieve a better understanding of each other. Through the process of understanding, the team members will be able to build mutual respect for each other, thus the interpersonal conflict between them could be mitigated.
At the same time, the team leader can know more about the backgrounds and skills that their team members possessed which may help them on delegating responsibilities evenly and accordingly. (Anderson) It may help prevent interpersonal conflict since unequal work division could make some team members feel they have less contribution than others which may lead to a quarrel between them. However, if the important tasks are always distributed to the same team members because they are more experienced or knowledgeable, it may make other team members feel that they are incapable. Anderson) As such, the team leader should let different team members to handle different important tasks.
Furthermore, when there is interpersonal conflict between team members, the team leader should actively communicate with the involved parties and try to settle the dispute between them. To conclude, if the above solutions are implemented, it would help the team leader to coordinate their team and the interpersonal conflict between team members is likely to be attenuated. In extreme cases, team leader may have to dismiss the prejudiced parties in order to solve the conflict. Anderson) However, the team leader should take this measure as a last resort.
Anderson, A. , n. d. Chron. [Online] Available at: http://smallbusiness. chron. com/teamwork-conflict-resolution-11722. html [Accessed 12 October 2012]. Armstrong, M. , 2008. How to manage people. s. l. :Kogan Page. Curseu, P. L. , 2011. Intra-Group Conflict and Teamwork Quality: The Moderating Role of Leadership Styles. McCormack, J. & Slaght, J. , 2011. The Importance of Teamwork. Whetton, D. A. & Cameron, K. S. , 2011. Developing Management Skills, Eight Edition. s. l. :Pearson Education.