In business, we inevitably are often part of a team, and how the OWIT Global team members interact, share, and consider ideas beyond their own will determine how effective the team is, and how well our entire organization comes together to achieve a common goal.
The OWIT Global team, like all teams, is comprised of a variety of skill sets and personalities, and this diversity provides a landscape with a range of views and approaches to solving a problem and completing a task. A key objective when establishing our team was to create an environment that requires interpersonal processes and fosters collaboration and interaction among the team members. Conflict is inevitable since differing personalities, experiences, and skillsets will produce differing perspectives and resulting opinions.
But this conflict can be healthy and bring value to our collaborative efforts – assuming all our team members are open to the discussion. Conflict may arise even when the messages or ideas are not that different. The issue is often how an idea is presented or articulated. I’m constantly telling my kids that it is not always the message that you present to someone, but rather HOW you present that message. This holds true for team members in conflict.
If despite having the discussion, there remains an issue the team is unable to agree on, facilitation by a OWIT Global team leader can move the process forward.
Arriving at our best answer is usually accomplished with a mix of perspectives as a starting point – making it beneficial for members to voice an opinion to provide several vantage points. On the flip side, it is just as important for our other team members to HEAR that opinion with an open mind and discuss the possibilities. However, the tone of and approach to this ‘voicing an opinion’ and ‘hearing with an open mind’ exchange are key to the success of constructive conflict.
When I was new to business and considered a young corporate team member, I often considered the opinions of other to be threatening, perhaps “competitive conflict.” It took the experience of weaving another’s ideas and suggestions into my work that made me realize that I didn’t always have the best answer and that it was ‘OK’ to not always come up with the solution on my own. I came to learn that the benefit of the team was to create solutions that were well-rounded.
As a seasoned professional who now has the benefit of both team successes and failures, I always emphasize the importance of hearing, considering, and discussing the ideas of others. No single OWIT Global team member – not even our most experienced – has all the answers, so learning to leverage everyone on the team will most certainly lead to our best results.
We know that there is a powerful, positive impact when we share ideas. Our team leverages multiple perspectives when solving a problem including outside specialists when necessary.
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