The Implications of Teamwork

16.06.2010 01:00

Teamwork and Conflict Management, the Relationship (Chart)

The wordcommunication has a huge scope; it encompasses the extent of human interaction.There are hundreds of ways to communicate a thought, and equally, manymiscommunications result in the poor transference of messages. As a consequence,that word constitutes both the title of one of our modules, and the title ofthe ECo-C Certificate itself. It also has been the most common subject ofdiscussion on this webpage.

And yetCommunication is only one out of four modules: Self-marketing has beenmentioned before. But what of Teamwork and Conflict Management? Because thesetwo are situational, because they cannot easily be contextualised and mentionedin relation to an Erlebnis day or anysuch event, they have largely gone overlooked up until now.

This is actuallyrather sad, because both are crucial to a successful professional life. In mostprofessional settings, individuals will be called to work with otherindividuals as members of the same team, and individuals will come intoconflict with each other. There is nothing extraordinary about that.

Teamwork is notoptional; in referring to man as a „political animal“, Aristotle emphasized thefact that human beings need to cooperate, to work together, to achieve whatevergoals they sought. However, most of us have a very organic view of teams: wesee them as a group of people that instinctively work together, that do notdisagree. Instead, the ECo-C focuses on explaining that a successful team mustbe composed of many different personalities, with many views and perspectivesrepresented. Although creating a team of very similar people could make for harmonious working circumstances, too much harmony entails a bias. It maymake it easier for people to work together, but in turn, it makes it harder forthe same people to integrate all possible aspects and concerns. For thisreason, team building is a skill, and it is the skill of a leader.

Even so, thedeliberate constitution of diverse teams has a toll, and this toll isthe need for extra effort to understand one another. This brings us to conflict.

Philosophers andwriters tend to see conflict as an opportunity for growth and for change,because, throughout history, it has been a catalyst for changes that couldotherwise have taken centuries to happen. Even so, one’s workplace is different.Conflict may clear the air, but it can also lead to a great waste of energy,goodwill and ability to work together. As reflected by the words of Max Lucado,“Conflict is inevitable; combat is optional”. This quote suggests that conflicts thatare allowed to escalate will necessarily come to haunt and damage any team ofprofessionals, and that, if not resolved, the can have a lasting adverse impacton the team’s work. The desire to give persons enough communication skills toprevent such a thing explains that an entire ECo-C module has been headlined “ConflictManagement”.


Pictured: Teamwork and Conflict Management, the Relationship (Chart)

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