Team development and leadership Affiliation: The work environment, apart from just being a place of business, is a social place with social interactions between the employees and fellow employees, employees and customers/clients, employees and management and the employees and the employer. For the smooth running of a business, all the interactions mentioned erstwhile have to be well-managed in line with the philosophy and towards the achievement goals of the business. It is not always that these interactions are smooth and seeing as the workers form the bulk of the company structure, most of the problems are likely to occur within the workforce (Houseworth, 2011). It is the work of management to identify and resolve issues of conflict and challenges that present in the work force but before addressing any issues, it is paramount that there should be a clear demarcation as to what counts as a serious problem that affects the productivity of workers and what can be termed as a minor issue (Dobrich, Dranoff and Maatman, 2002).
A major problem can be defined by four criteria; it is between workers who are interdependent, blame each other and the conflict causes a business problem.
Workers who are interdependent i. e. whose roles rely on each other for successful completion. The manager ought to identify this as a major problem as lack of cooperation between the two workers that have a conflict will result in that specific task or role that the workers perform not being accomplished (Forsell, 2008). This is directly related to the second criterion in that none of the partisan workers in the conflict admit being at fault hence blame each other.
This creates a stalemate situation with neither willing to compromise in order to move forward. The situation of conflict could further escalate and affect the other workers or their team if they work in a team. Finally, a serious problem in a workplace/team leads to a business problem; a tangible and quantifiable decrease in the productivity of the business. The less complex problems are usually short-lived and emanate from such problems as frustration, personal problems e. g. stress, marital problems and heavy workload. The conflict or problem is resolved quickly without any significant change in the business output and has no effect on the long term relation between those who experience the problem. An effective leader has to manage conflict or problems successfully.
The first step towards addressing challenges and obstacles in a team is having an effective design for a team. An effective team should not be larger than is needed and the team should have a clearly defined goal. Having a relatively small team means that members have maximum interaction thus keep up to date on what all the members are up to.
Roles in the team should be clearly defined to avoid role conflict and a clear chain of command should be established. All these would go a long way in minimizing conflict and other problems (Lees and Mabey, 2007). A leader should not only manage skills of individuals but manage personalities as well. A large part of who an individual is in the work place and how they conduct themselves comes down to the personalities of the individuals. A leader should thus work with other departments like human resource to make sure workers are well placed in a team to minimize friction between members (Elearn, 2012). The management should set up guidelines that regulate the conduct of all workers, complete with possible consequences for those who flout the rules.
Communication is another great way of managing conflict and surmounting challenges and obstacles in the work place or a team. An effective leader should have effective and open communication with all the members and especially those in conflict, showing a willingness to listen and show impartiality in conflict resolution (Hall, 2007). References Dobrich, W., Dranoff, S.
and Maatman, J. (2002). The Managers Guide to Preventing a Hostile Work Environment. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional. Elearn. (2012). Leadership and Management in Organizations. New Jersey: CRC Press. Forsell, D. (2008). Management and Leadership: Insight for Effective Practice. Washington DC: Living Control Systems Publ. Hall, D. (2007). Abcs of Leadership. New York: AuthorHouse. Houseworth, S. (2011). A Fresh Look at Improving Your Work Environment: Using Project Management Principles. California: iUniverse. Lees, T. and Mabey, C. (2007). Management and Leadership Development. New York: SAGE Publications Ltd.