Do Team Members Have to Like Each Other to Work Well Together?

One huge question that many people have about teams is this: do team members actually have to like each other to work together? The short answer is no, they don’t. However, a simple “no” doesn’t acknowledge the more complex parts of this problem, so the article below will be addressing this question in more depth.

Do Team Members Have To Like Each Other to work well as a team

Personal Feelings Versus Conflict

First and foremost, it’s important to recognise the difference between active conflicts and people simply not liking each other. Conflict is when two or more parties are actively being hostile to each other because of a specific disagreement. This could be a short-term disagreement over how work should be done or a long-term disagreement between two people that feel differently about how things should be happening with the team.

Personal feelings are all about how people relate to one another on a daily basis. Conflict can arise out of extreme dislike of one another, but it doesn’t have to. It’s possible to work together without conflict, even if you don’t personally like someone else you’re working with.

How Do Personal Feelings Affect Your Team?

Interpersonal relations of team members aren’t really the business of team leaders as long as those relationships are not affecting the productivity of employees or the work being produced. If personal feelings start to get in the way of work that needs to be done, then and only then should a leader step in to try to bridge the gap.

It’s impossible for everyone in the world to get along well with each other. Differences in personalities, beliefs, ways of life, and more will always exist. These differences are what create a diverse workplace. Diversity might be difficult to handle at first, but it’s worth the effort in the end despite the risk of conflict between team members.

Creating A Standard For Interpersonal Relations

Conflicts between team members should be avoided when possible and dealt with openly when they occur. It’s the job of a team leader or manager to stress that employees must treat each other with at least a minimal level of respect at work. Professionalism demands that team members show some courtesy towards one another and work pleasantly beside each other.

If teams get along well with each other, these types of professional conduct rules will not have to be enforced or emphasised. However, in a case where any number of team members don’t like each other, it’s essential that everyone involved understands that their job is not to like each other but to get work done as a team. This requires civility and professional courtesy at the very least. Teams that have interpersonal problems need to have standards of behavior set for them to follow just like any other performance standards at work.

Liking Someone Versus Trusting Someone

The major difference between teams that work well together despite poor interpersonal relations and those that don’t work well together is trust. As long as members of a team trust that each person will be able to do their work properly and contribute to the team goal they will be able to work alongside one another. Without trust no team can function well.

Trust requires some level of respect between employees. They don’t need to respect each other as individuals, but as professionals. As long as two employees who don’t like each other can acknowledge that each one of them is a capable professional who can add to the team at large, they will be able to get work done. Without this basic respect, no trust will exist between employees and the team will eventually start to fail.

The Bottom Line

Whether or not people like each other is not really a concern for a team leader to focus on. The bigger issue is how they treat each other at work despite that dislike of one another. If employees are working well together, treating each other professionally and courteously, and accomplishing goals then there is no real need to delve into issues of interpersonal relations. However, if personal feelings are getting in the way of work performance, it’s necessary to remedy the situation before it gets out of hand.


Team Building helps build working relationships and trust?

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate a range of fun based team building activities that help build team morale, trust and an appreciation for the differences within a team. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you contact us today.

Common Areas of Conflict within a Team

Team conflict is not an inevitable occurrence, but it is quite common whenever people end up working together. What causes conflicts at work? There are a variety of sources, and each has a way they should and should not be addressed. It’s important to recognize the source of any conflict in order to deal with it properly.

Common Areas of Conflict within a team

WHAT CAUSES CONFLICTS?

In general, all conflicts stem from one or more people perceiving the actions of another as hurtful, incorrect, wrong, or unhelpful. People who are involved in a workplace conflict with one another cannot see things from the other’s point of view; therefore, they feel as though they have been wronged and that the other is responsible for fixing that wrong.

This sort of issue can arise from almost any situation as all that’s needed is a difference of opinions. Many conflicts in the workplace come about from similar occurrences. Here are a few of the most common reasons for team conflicts.

COMMON REASONS TEAMS HAVE CONFLICT:

  1. Competition

A little bit of competition might help the team work well together, but it can also increase friction between team members. Conflicts can arise from all different types of competition. Whether employees have conflicting interests that make them compete for different goals from the team’s goal, there are conflicts over limited resources needed for different jobs, or if team members want their own individual recognition instead of team recognition, conflicts may arise.

  1. Differences in working behaviors

Someone who naturally has their own habits and behaviors at work will normally be opposed to another team member coming in and messing up those behaviors with their own different ways of working. This happens more commonly with new teams, as members get used to working with one another.

  1. Ignoring normal team practices

If at any point a member of the team starts to act in a manner that’s inconsistent with normal team behaviors and expected actions, conflicts can come about between members. Over time this sort of conflict can quickly spread around to encompass the whole team, so if this is the source of your own team’s conflict you will need to address it quickly.

  1. Failure to perform well

It can happen that a team member does not contribute equally, gives consistently bad work, or generally is unmotivated about getting anything done properly. In this instance it is easy for others to become frustrated at that person and conflict can arise.

  1. Vague work scenarios

Teams that don’t have clearly defined goals will often find themselves fighting about what exactly they are trying to accomplish. It is up to management and leading figures to make sure goals are laid out in a way that all members of the team can understand.

Another vague working scenario that can cause problems is when team members have different ideas about how the goal should be reached. This sort of ambiguity about what should be done that comes about when clear actions are not laid out is a very frequent source of conflict in many working teams.

  1. No team accountability

Lack of individual and team accountability can make any of the above listed issues worse and can escalate any situation that may not have caused conflict into a full-on team conflict.

HELPING TO NAVIGATE THROUGH TEAM CONFLICT

While team leaders and managers cannot fully avoid conflict, it’s important to learn how to help your team get through instances of conflict before the team is torn apart and rendered use less. Learn how to recognise the source of the conflict and respond to it before it gets out of hand.

 


About Total Team Building

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate team building programs designed to enhance teamwork, team culture, leadership, communication and collaboration. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you and your team contact us today.