You should expect conflict on your teams. Everyone isn't always going to agree. It's perfectly fine to disagree with your teammates. You just don’t want to be disagreeable. Instead, effective teammates are polite and respectful in sharing their opinions, especially when they disagree. This requires active listening, honesty, and regularly giving constructive feedback to your teammates.
- According to Dr. Maya Angelou, people will forget what you say, and they'll forget what you accomplish. But they'll never forget how you make them feel. It seems really obvious that in building healthy working relationships we should be respectful. Unfortunately, that's often not the case. A good teammate is polite and respectful to his or her colleagues, respectful of their time, boundaries, and their ideas. Let's start with being respectful of time.
Today's work culture is so busy. Often, it seems that time is our most valuable commodity. This is why people quickly get frustrated when they feel as though their time is being wasted. I once coached a junior executive who was constantly frustrated with a teammate because she was inconsiderate with his time. We'll call him Kyle. Kyle called me from the road one morning furious because he was in the last 20 minutes of his two-hour drive before he received a call from Janine that their meeting needed to be rescheduled.
The part that made this so upsetting was his teammate Janine knew he was driving two hours for their meeting, and could have easily rescheduled it the day before. What's worse, this wasn't the first time Janine did this to Kyle. This really put a cloud over his relationship with Janine. She disrespected his time, which put their working relationship on shaky ground. Time is a precious commodity we don't want to waste. Keep your working relationships on solid footing by showing you respect boundaries for your teammates, recognizing that each person will likely have different ones.
What do I mean by boundaries? Well, quite literally, a boundary is a line that shouldn't be crossed. If a teammate shares a boundary with you, be respectful of it. By violating that line, you send a clear message of disrespect to the person who shared it with you, which can completely erode trust. You aren't going to agree with your teammates on everything. Whether it's personal, like politics or religion, or on a strategic approach you take with a client, it's unlikely everyone on your team will see things the same way, and that's okay.
In fact, some healthy disagreement on a topic can often force teams to consider multiple perspectives, and develop a stronger outcome. It's important, however, to make sure you're respectful of ideas, whether or not you agree with them. Try not to belittle or diminish viewpoints you disagree with. You can argue, just don't alienate your teammates in the process. Remember to separate the person from their ideas. You could have positive relationships with people you disagree with if you're willing to prevent allowing a difference of opinion to get in the way of an otherwise healthy working relationship.
You should expect conflict on your teams. It's perfectly fine to disagree with your teammates. You just don't want to be disagreeable. Instead, affective teammates are polite and respectful of their teammates, particularly of their time, boundaries, and ideas. By being respectful of your teammates, they'll remember how you made them feel for all the right reasons.
- List benefits of putting your team’s needs before your own.
- Name the qualities of a teammate who is considered to be reliable.
- Explain what it means to be proactive.
- Recognize the importance of adjusting to the collaborative decision of the team.
- Recall the attributes displayed by a strategically focused team member.