1. A clearly stated mission sets important margins that enable leaders to delegate responsibility and authority. A mission to an organization is the same as a compass to a ship and its crew because it determines the direction of the company, helps the teams to establish their main objectives and guides their decision-making. A good mission “establishes the distinctiveness and importance of what the organization does and its value to the communities it serves” (Skramstad & Skramstad, 2012, p. 66). A mission is a common purpose without which a group of people cannot become a team. It serves as a reminder for team members why their organization exists in the first place and why they are performing their duties.
2. It is important for team members to know their roles in a team because role clarity directly influences individual performance and the organization’s efficiency and success as a whole. “Understanding and accepting your role and responsibilities is important in a collaborative … environment” (Maw, 2015, p. 44). It helps to avoid conflicts among team members. When people know their boundaries and what outputs are expected from their efforts, they can execute their roles and work together effectively.
3. Competition among co-workers is a natural impulse which can develop into either a cooperative attitude where collective work toward a common goal is preserved or a negative attitude where everyone is on his or her own and has little motivation to focus on the organization’s objectives. Competition within a team is a good thing when it is positive and cooperative. In positive competition, team members compete to improve their own position within a team with mutual respect and without jeopardizing the work of other team members. This form of competition does not require the success of one party to depend on the failure of the other one. Its advantages include higher productivity and quality of the team performance as every member is motivated to improve his or her results while cooperating with other team members and is not trying to damage their efficiency. Therefore, “competition must co-exist with collaboration to consistently promote effective, productive accord” (Suber, 2014, p. 5).
4. Setting short- and long-term goals before a meeting regarding conflicts is important for developing an inter-team problem-solving program that aims to “reduce the existing dysfunctional team interaction” (Dyer, Dyer, & Dyer, 2013, p. 171). For example, one crew from the ElectriGov sets a short-term goal, which is to come up with a mutual approach to managing a particular job in order to avoid accidents similar to the recently occurred one while the long-term goal is to develop a crew member rotating system in order to improve relationships and minimize conflicts between the teams. During the meeting, each crew can present their goals and see if the others are on the same page. If they are, the teams can start the discussion in an open session on how to achieve the set goals. If they are not, the crews have to determine which goal is the most important at that time under the given circumstances (Dyer et al., 2013, pp. 177-178).
5. An unhealthy agreement arises when the team members pretend to agree while they disagree with the ideas of the other member. This may happen because they are trying to be friendly and cooperative. Group members adopt the proposed position because they believe it is what other members want. They fail to challenge each other as they want to avoid conflicts or quickly achieve consensus. Eventually, the members support a decision no one really wants. It is significant for the leaders to understand how to avoid unhealthy agreements, because such searches for quick solutions and avoidance of conflict can lead to poor decisions that cause problems and delays later in the project. Management of conflicts is an important factor that impacts the team performance. Conflicts, when managed properly, can bring high quality solutions, team integration, and reasonable considerations.