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Managing Diversity and Decisions in Teams

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Good teamwork is like tying a perfect knot. Some knots are simple while others are complex. Yet every knot requires one thing to be a tied well – tension. Without tension, a knot cannot be tied tightly. Without tension, a knot will loosen and become untied over time. Without tension, even the strongest rope will unravel.

Tension is also necessary for teams to produce their best work. When individuals in a team express differing opinions, tension develops. Varying opinions are necessary for quality decisions to be made. Ideas should be challenged. Suggestions must be evaluated. Plans need to be well analyzed before they are put into action. If team members readily agree to expressed ideas, suggestions and plans, then better solutions could be missed.

Different Perspectives

Different perspectives help teams analyse issues more thoroughly. Healthy teams have members of varying gender, race, culture, age, experience, personality, strengths, and life journey. Such diversity within a team should be embraced, because differences empower a team to see from multiple perspectives.

When a team is very diverse, disagreement is certain to arise. That’s OK, because disagreement stimulates discussion. Discussion fosters analysis. Analysis reveals alternatives. Alternatives lead to a better solution.

Tension within teams may be uncomfortable, but it is vital. Welcome tension in your team. Disagreement at the beginning leads to better decisions in the end.