Tensions between teams due to rivalry

Communication and collaboration between teams, while essential to a working company is sometimes very difficult for many reasons.  There may be valid grounds for tension but it is never beneficial for the company.  What to do when this happens?

Team rivalry

This is a very common and a difficult one to solve. Rivalry can be very beneficial when positive as it drives teams to be better, to go the extra mile and to deliver with a higher quality. However, we should be very careful in keeping this rivalry healthy.

Unhealthy rivalry can have historical causes that no one in the teams were present at the moment it happened but it kept on living. So in this cas it is important to identify what caused the rivalry and how to address it?

We can draw a parallel with sports where we have a team rivalry that started sometimes more than a century ago and yet it goes on. Sometimes o gets ugly and violent but most of the time it’s playful and fair.

How do we get from unhealthy to healthy rivalry? As in sport, one should be proud of his work and the team he works in while acknowledging that the other team also has merit and that they do their best. We should never assume malice in the behaviour of our co-workers unless it is truly established. We spend a long time together at work it’s true but we do ‘t know what may happen in their life to start acting as if there’s foul play.

Acknowledging the rivalry while also recognising the competence, professionnalism and merit of the other team and its members will help solve the matter.

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