Individual or Team?

Conflict is healthy: teams that agree way too easily fall into group think mode, which is not only dangerous but also prone to un-productiveness. Members of team should be selected for diversity in styles of thinking and working as well as in skills and experience. More importantly, they need to know that this is deliberate and that they’d be letting the team down if they don’t speak up.

If your team tends to avoid conflict, force the issue by randomly assigning the role of devil’s advocate. Make someone responsible for researching and presenting counter-arguments to the best of their ability. In some teams, this isn’t an issue ; just be careful that it’s not always the same person or they risk being marginalized over time.

The individual does matter. Teams with stars, all-star teams: whatever the case may be, the role of the individual in shaping a team’s destiny should be highlighted.

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