Tension on a Team

Tug not War – Part 1

When you see the word tension, you usually think about things like conflict, stress, strain, or pressureNo leader wants these things for his team. These things will cause a team to self-destruct. It will implode and destroy anything connected to it.

As leaders, we spend a great deal of time working on relieving tension from our team. By the time you realize that tension is present on your team, it is probably already causing trouble. Unresolved tension on a team will soon reveal deeper problems that have been missed or left unchecked.Unresolved tension on a team will soon reveal deeper problems that have been missed or left unchecked. Click To Tweet

In this opening post dealing with tension, let’s take a closer look at the four words already given that are usually linked to it:

1- CONFLICT – Keeps a team from working smoothly and orderly. Conflict on a team pits people against each other and breeds unhealthy competition. It creates a “look out for #1” mentality, breaking down the effectiveness of the team. Instead of working like a team, they will work like individual enemies.

2- STRESS – Causes nerves and tempers to flare. When people are operating under the wrong type of stress they don’t tend to act rationally. Decisions will be made more out of desperation and revenge than logic. Stress can cause people to operate more in reaction mode than action mode. 

Stress can cause people to operate more in reaction mode than action mode. Click To Tweet

3- STRAIN – Makes for an unhappy environment. When the team is under strain, creativity is stifled because no one wants to be there. Team members stop conversing on a personal level. They begin to highlight only the negative issues they see, and that is all they WILL see. When strained, teams do not have each other’s back, and will soon start to undercut the other members who are on the team.

4- PRESSURE – A sign of deeper problems. Just like a fever is the indicator of an infection or something more serious, pressure affects a team the same way. It reveals that there are deeper problems on the team. Intense, drawn-out pressure can affect people emotionally, mentally, even physically causing lower work production. 

When considering these 4 Signs of Tension on your Team, ask questions like: 
Who is it affecting? What is causing it? When is it most prevalent? Why has it not been alleviated? How can we solve it and keep the team intact?

In the next posts, I will be dealing with negative and positive tension on a team. It will require you to be honest with the results you find and willing to do something about it.

Read – Tug not War Part 2 and Part 3