Andy Desmarais

A code ninja and all around tech geek

Teams are a relationship

2019-10-05 Andy DesmaraisRant

Cover photo credit: Helena Lopes

Team: a number of persons associated together in work or activity. Our goal is to not just be a part of a team, but a high performing team. Pretending like the title didn’t give this away, I firmly believe that teams are truly a relationship. The way we interact with one another, the empathy we have for each other, and our ability to work through conflict are all key aspects to maintaining a healthy relationship. They are also critical for forming and maintaining a high performing team.

A team is a relationship and should be treated like one

When we commit to a relationship in our personal life we get to make a choice about who we want to be with. This is obviously not always the case at our jobs. However, this is not a reason to believe that interpersonal relationships at our work are unimportant. Growing and bonding as a team can be a game changer.

A team is a group relationship. It requires care and thought in order for it to grow and succeed. Many times this is not a natural occurrence, and requires actual work to accomplish. A team that has bonded at an interpersonal level will have more empathy for one another, be more open in communication, and because of this will resolve conflict much more rapidly.

Conflict resolution is the cornerstone to all relationships. When one or more team members are left with a lasting feeling of discontent after a conflict it is generally very caustic. The goal of conflict is to drive creative problem solving, and a team that can resolve conflict quickly will be able to step into and out of a challenging discussion without holding a grudge.

Empathy and conflict resolution

A close knit team is one that can work closely together on any aspect of a project. We understand each others strengths and weaknesses. We don’t hide from conflict, we embrace it. We also understand that sometimes we are not going to “get our way”, and that this is when we get to grow the most.

The most successful teams of my career have had a lot of conflict, but always with healthy resolution.