Most descriptions of High Performing Teams focus on the ideal – where everyone gets along with and supports each other, where conflicts are minimized or even prevented altogether, where teamwork prevails and a smooth flow exists in the patterns of communication between team members and with other teams.
Yet in reality, most teams that are considered “high performing” would not immediately impress you as so. That’s because they exhibit the tendency to be in conflict. And being in conflict is what contributes to making them high performing – it’s HOW they deal with the conflict that matters.
Team members will have their differences of opinions. In fact, having opinions in the first place is one of the key characteristics that separates high performing teams from all other teams. These differences of opinions are essential to ensuring that your team does not engage in “group-think” which can be disastrous for a team or organization. Differences can occur in any of the following areas:
Think of the acronym GRRRRRR to remember the above. Is there enough “GRRRRRR!” in your team?
Effective team processes that you can employ for dealing with these differences include planning, problem solving, consensus building, decision making and conflict resolution. The alternative to using these is to allow your team to engage in all out warfare or conflict avoidance. Which would you prefer?