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.

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8 Ideal Brainstorming Ideas For Teams

Ideas are the lifeblood of any organisation or team. Without creative ideas about how to accomplish the set goals, how do you expect to make it there? Even though ideas are so vital to organisational progress, it can be exceedingly difficult to come up with new ideas.

brainstorming methods for teams

Team Idea Generation

Idea generation isn’t a natural process for most people. A lot of your employees are probably content doing the work set before them and little else. Most people do not take on extra responsibility without some sort of stimulus.

In most cases you can work together to come up with ideas for the team. It’s not a good idea to wait for employees and team members to come individually to suggest ideas or to always push your own ideas onto your team. Instead, involve the team in idea generation. This will probably result in better and more creative ideas and will definitely improve employee acceptance of the idea chosen.

Finding Successful Ideas Together

How can you do effective group idea generation? This is a question that’s been asked for decades in the workplace. Hundreds of studies have been done on the subject and many professionals have their own opinions on best practices.

These are some of the most commonly agreed on techniques for idea generation that are appropriate for a working team and useful at producing new and creative ideas:

1. Brainstorming/Brain-writing

Traditional brainstorming involves gathering people into an open space and having people give ideas out loud. One person is responsible for writing down ideas spoken by the group. No one should elaborate on the ideas in the beginning, and everyone should be contributing as much as possible. Once a list of ideas is taken down, you can explore whether they are feasible or not.

Brainstorming has a lot of mixed opinions on how effective it is. Some say it’s one of the best idea generation methods because you can build on each other’s suggestions while others will say it’s not effective because the earliest ideas given will usually affect the quality of all the later ideas.

Some variations to try are brain-writing, mind mapping, or SCAMPER techniques. Brain-writing is exactly the same as brainstorming except employees should be writing their ideas down instead of saying them out loud. This is said to eliminate the influence that the first few ideas have over the rest and to set the pace for more creative and out of the box ideas to come through.

Mind mapping goes with brainstorming. Write ideas on a whiteboard in random positions and draw connecting lines between all the ideas in no particular order. See if you can make any of the connecting ideas into something useful and novel or if you can gain inspiration from the map.

SCAMPER stands for substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate, and reverse. These are all actions that can be done to a product or service offered by your organisation. If you need to change your existing strategy with products and services, try this technique instead. Take a short time to have employees write or say ideas for each action word when associated with your company products and services.

2. Storyboarding

A technique like this works best within creative organisations that deal more with visual or artistic offerings. Ask people to put some idea into a short series of words, a picture, or anything else like this. Try to fit pieces together to see how peoples’ ideas can work together to tackle a certain problem.

3. Role Playing

It might seem silly the first time you do it, but role playing can generate a lot of really good ideas. Assign different employees a role to play, such as acting like a customer, an executive, a team leader, a failed sale, or any other role that you can think of which might be present around your organisation.

When employees are in these roles, they are told to try to think as that person would think. It can time a little time to adjust to this way of thinking, but once the employees start to get into the activity they will be able to come up with problems and concerns from each side of the scenario. You can then work on how to solve those issues as well as taking ideas from each viewpoint.

4. Forced Relationships

In an effort to find novel solutions, some teams engage in what’s called forced relationships. This is where you take new or existing ideas and connect them together in no particular pattern. By forcing ideas to come into contact with each other you can evaluate if they would be effective together or not, thereby coming up with a lot of different ways to get something done uniquely.

5. Reverse Thinking

Many teams have found this method particularly effective. One of the truths that’s present in most people is that it’s easier to think negatively than positively. So, instead of having people come up with ideas to solve a problem, have them think up ways on how they could absolutely ruin a project.

Examples of this would be someone saying you could ruin customer service by refusing to talk to any customers. Once you have your bad ideas, you can try to understand how to reverse those into a useful idea to take hold of. In other words, if you can ruin customer service by refusing to interact with customers, can you make it better by always interacting with current and potential customers?

6. Questioning Assumptions

It may sound a bit like rebellion or anarchy, but by questioning any and all assumptions made by the company in regards to a product or service you may actually find a great way to make something better. Question why different decisions were made about a product. Were decisions made from fact-based research or from assumptions made by leadership or designers?


Choosing the Most Appropriate Idea Generation Method for Your Team

All of these listed idea generation methods have worked for teams in the past, but that doesn’t mean they are all appropriate for your team specifically. You can use trial and error to find out which ones work best with your employees and which to completely avoid.

Once you find a great way to generate ideas, you’ll see a lot more creativity coming from employees all around as well as an increase in team involvement in a project, as all the members were part of creating the idea.