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Chapter 25. Cross-Functional Teams > Completing the Assignment - Pg. 332

Cross-Functional Teams 6. 332 7. Welcome diverse opinions. When members know that their ideas are welcomed, they become more participative and more willing to collaborate on final decisions. Seeing things from the team viewpoint does not mean that all members should see things in the same way. As long as the objectives are the same, differing opinions on analyzing and solving problems can result in better decisions. Maintain mutual esteem. One of the ingredients of a good team spirit is that all members respect their associates and recognize their capabilities. This is espe cially important in a cross-functional team, where members from one discipline may feel superior to members of others. Engineers are notorious for looking upon members from other disciplines as inferior, and den- igrating their ideas as "soft" or "simplistic." College grads may think of themselves as superior to skilled craftsmen, who in turn look down on anyone on the team who "never got his hands dirty getting out the work." No matter what the education or skill level of a team member, each has much to contribute, or he or she would not have been appointed to the team. Team leaders can help change these attitudes by praising the suggestions and accomplishments of each member at team meetings, and letting each person know he or she is respected. As the other members begin to recognize the assets of their teammates, the snobbishness will be ameliorated. Sharpen intrateam communications. Team leaders should make it easy for team members to communicate with each other. If all the members are in the same location, informal minimeet- ings can be called at a moment's notice to deal with a problem. If members are dispersed over several locations, e-mail and the company intranet can keep them in touch. Members should be encouraged to meet one-on-one or in small groups at any time. Coordinate with the members' full-time team leaders. As many cross-functional teams are part-time assignments, the members spend most of their time doing their regular work in their 8. 9.