Tension in team meetings is unfortunately common in companies. There are so many personality styles cooped up in one room, with their own tasks, duties and strong ego’s trying to reach similar goals.  Collaboration can be fostered in team meetings to ease tension of the members.  But before team members can communicate and collaborate better with each other, they need to get to know each other first as people.  This includes their families and interests outside of their work lives.  It brings out the human factor.  Start the meeting by going around the table and having everyone share for a few minutes.

Build Camaraderie

You may think that this suggestion is wasting precious time allotted to issues, but in the long-run, decisions will be made more easily and more effectively when the bonds of camaraderie are built between members.  When the work environment is fun and has less tension, performance will be higher.  When people enjoy working with each other, they tend to increase collaboration and offer help to others more freely.

Yahoo’s Thank-You Meeting Ritual

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, created a variation of the theme of getting to know team members.  Her staff meetings started with thank-you’s. “My staff called it the family prayer. You have to thank another team for something that happened last week. You can’t thank yourself, and you can’t repeat what someone else said. This ends up being a nice way to recap the entire week.”

By being seen and appreciated by other teams, the spirit of harmony and can go a long towards harmony and unity in the most challenging of meetings.

To read about how to communicate more effectively in teams, see communicate more effectively.

Also, learn more about how coaching executives and teams can be beneficial to your business and your bottom line.