Individual conflicts tend to be about personality differences in terms of preference, likes and dislikes, background and so on. These differences are natural and can be a double edged sword. If not managed properly the individual differences lead to team conflicts. Team conflict is characterized by constant disagreements, mistrust among team members, and formation of cliques which act against each other and so on. A case of individual conflict is a situation at the workplace whereby two ladies in a team fail to get along because they share affections for a fellow male colleague. In such a case this problem is purely individual. An example of team conflict is whereby members disagree about the sharing of responsibilities and work in the team. In such a case the problems emanate from the issues that are team related
Decision making in a team can be difficult because it may be hard to reach a compromise whereby everyone in the team feels satisfied and like a winner. Additionally, selfish interests among team members may inhibit smooth decision making. However, in contrast, a team leader may experience problem of indifference or disinterest among team members in the area of decision making so that the leader feels disserted when making decisions. Further, a decision affecting team affairs may need to be discussed among team members and welcome their input on the matter which in turn complicates decision making. More often than not these problems of decision making stem from unclear team goals and vision, confusion over who has the final say, unwillingness to take responsibility, selfish interests among other reasons. As a leader, it is important to ensure that these issues do not extend to the point of breaking team spirit which takes so long to build. For example the problem of team members pursing individual interests first may be resolved by elevating the team's common goal and urging members to realize that the team is bigger than their individual goals. The problem of disinterest or indifferentness in the process of decision making can be conquered by delegating duties more to team members such that they feel more competent to contribute ideas. Perhaps the problem may be that members do not feel valued in the team in which case the atmosphere within the team should change to be accommodating.
Participation is a strong aspect that attributes to effective teams. Some of the benefits of participation include greater performance/output, efficiency and effectiveness, cohesiveness, growth, innovation and so on. Given the crucial benefits of participation team leaders can devise various methods in order to stimulate/enhance participation, for instance at the workplace a manager may use delegation as a way of promoting participation. Where delegation is made part of the work culture then individuals are forced to step up beyond their comfort zones and participate in team activities. A manager may also reward system to members who show active participation in team activities so that others are enticed to participate too. Importantly, a warm atmosphere and trust in the workplace needs to be nurtured so that team members feel free and uninhibited to participate in activities. Criticisms, gossip and self centeredness should be kept at bay. Communication is also key in fostering participation in the workplace. A team leader should be able to communicate to