When you were young, you may have wanted to climb the corporate ladder or the organizational hierarchy. You, of course, like getting things done and realize people are important, too. It can be a challenge to balance the task and the relationship.

The struggle comes with the tension that is created by the focus. It could be a cultural issue. Some cultures’ focus is more task-oriented and some cultures’ focus is more socially oriented. One focuses heavily on getting the job done, one is more likely to be concerned about the feelings of members and their smooth functioning as a team.

If you come from a task-oriented culture, you will focus on making the team more competent through training and the use of up-to-date methods. You will be highly concerned with individual success and concerned with advancing to more responsible jobs and receiving better training.

If you come from a socially-oriented culture, you will likely focus more on different concerns: cooperative problem solving, a friendly atmosphere, and good physical working conditions. Members may still be interested in solving the problem at hand, but they are reluctant to do so if the personal costs to members, in stress and hard feelings, may be high.

Are you getting things done and getting along with others?

Focus on both. We get paid to get things done. We gain enjoyment from our jobs by getting along with others. That old adage about TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More, just may be true.