Teamwork can by joyous, but can be very stressful. Sometimes there aren’t clear roles; sometimes there are too many leaders with overlapping authorities. Some teams, especially larger ones, can experience personality clashes, and differences of professional opinion that become personal.
Stress is an incredibly important factor to productivity and health these days, and I think a lot of stress that develops in the workplace is a result of badly managed teams.
Here are my tips to reduce stress when working as a team:
Communication is absolutely critical. Talk about the task at hand, potential problems, workloads, and anything that may come up.
Establish roles for every team member, and where roles overlap create distinct responsibilities for individuals. If there is a hierarchy, make it clear.
Be transparent as a team member or leader. Address and take responsibility for mistakes, and move on from problems once they’ve been resolved. Try to be as up-front as possible, and to share relevant information with others.
Acknowledge the stress or time-pressure created by deadlines and heavy workloads – don’t be afraid to talk about problems with morale or to confront undue pressure, professionally.
It’s a good idea for team members to occasionally take a little time away from a long project, and the team too. This could be in the form of a vacation, training, liaising with other teams, or assisting with other projects. This can prevent people from burning out.
Be open, respectful, and friendly with one another, and acknowledge tasks completed and jobs done well.