Team Unity is the most powerful productivity booster that can be applied.
There are several “multipliers” to team productivity. One is trust. Another is respect. And you need both in place to build unity. But unity is the greatest productivity booster of all.
Whenever people are involved there will always be conflict and friction. It’s just the nature of things. How we respond to the conflict and friction will determine the value of the team.
Revenge is a power play. When you take a tit-for-tat approach to conflict and friction it’s because you want to maintain power over the other person. Teams are not built on power, they’re built on unity.
Unity requires reconciliation. Reconciliation requires giving up power and control. This doesn’t mean you need to give up your beliefs and assumptions or cave into another person’s need for power and control but it does take humility. The original definition of humility meant tremendous power under complete control. Being under control means self-control, not controlling others. Restoration helps build trust.
Restoration means reaching out to others. Listening to their point of view. Not arguing or countering every point they make but attempting to understand their background, experiences, beliefs, and assumptions that are leading to their position. Steven Covey addressed this approach in his 7 Habits of Highly Successful People when he said, “Seek to understand first before being understood.” Few people seem to have the patience to fully understand the other person before expressing their point of view but when it does happen, it is very powerful.
However, there are occasions that despite the effort to understand and reconcile, the other person may not be willing to reconcile. In these cases, there is an ancient process that says bring one or two others with you to help reconcile. That doesn’t mean that you bring one or two supporters to overcome your “opponent.” It does mean to bring one or two others to help assure that the process is facilitated well and that both sides are completely understood.
If after making the effort with a good facilitator or two, reconciliation still seems to allude you, this is an issue that needs to come to the team. Letting it fester in the background or simply agreeing to disagree will never bring the trust and unity needed to build a great team. Great teams reach unity and commitment. Without unity and commitment, the full power of the team will never be realized.