Team Tension is Good

Oct 05, 2015

Emmet Connolly over at the Inside Intercom:

In today’s works-well-with-others corporate culture many people think of conflict as something to be avoided. After all, who wants to work with a combative asshole? But teams are relationships, and without a little pressure and willingness to push one another to do better, excellence can be an early casualty of collaboration. A team that’s unwilling to hold one another to a high standard will quickly see that standard slip. […]

Exceptional teams are made up of individuals who reach out beyond the traditional boundaries of their own role, and into the roles of their colleagues. A great designer should be involved in roadmap planning. A great PM cares deeply about implementation details. A great engineer wants to create something beautiful. They hold each other accountable to each other’s responsibilities.

Sometimes this can involve pushing against one another. “I don’t think that’s good enough,” they’ll tell each other. “I know we can do something better here.”

This can often involve presenting your colleague and friend with some honest truths. Egos need to be checked, and trust becomes paramount. But a mature, well-functioning, collaborative team is plenty capable of doing this. As a group, they’re not happy to sign their name to something unless they think it’s great, in every regard. They push and pull each other towards greatness. They hold each other up.

Amen brother.