Why Can’t My Team Work?
Building a team is one of the most challenging tasks of a leader. Like building a business, building a team is a truly tough endeavour that every leader must take upon. In this section, you will understand what makes a team work.
One of the most frustrating things you can experience as a leader is to continually try to build a strong team, but experience difficulties and obstacles in human relationships continually.
Make no mistake, human relationships are everything in teams. After all, that’s what teams are: people striving for a common goal. If people on the team can’t get along, it’s going to hard for the team to work.
There are several evident barriers to team success that are common to most teams; let me describe some of them. Hopefully, if you’re struggling with managing your team, you can identify with some of these issues and realize it’s a problem that needs to be resolved.
Three Barriers to Building a Team
1. Poor Leadership
Everything flows from leadership. And when there’s a problem in the team, usually, it’s the leader’s fault. The wise king Solomon said, without a vision, the people perish.
There could be several reasons that a team is not working, and most often, it starts with the leader.
- Is there no vision for the team? i.e No one in the team knows where they are heading?
- Is there favoritism being practiced by the leader?
- Is the leader too critical of new ideas or suggestions?
- Is the leader’s style too imposing on everyone?
It could be various reasons, but whenever you see a team in trouble, look at the leader first; usually the problem starts there.
2. Poor Communication
Communication is key to the proper functioning of a team. And poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, offences within a team.
Sometimes it’s because one person’s frankness or direct approach offences another person; and another responds in hurt.
While conflict is normal in teams, without resolving them, this poor communication can lead to destructive conflict and cause a team to break down. (You can click on Communication to learn more about communicating effectively with others.)
3. Poor Team Dynamics
Teams can fail because some people just cannot work with others. For example, if you have two extremely opinionated team members in the team, you’ll be seeing conflict all day in the team.
Also, if you have team members that are ‘yes’ men; people that are just passive and wait for orders, you won’t see a lot of participation and open discussion in the team.
The thing is that, you must find the right mix of individuals to make a team; not just in terms of personalities, but also in terms of skills and abilities.
While these right individuals may have disagreements in approach and perspective, but that’s the idea behind a team, different individuals bringing different points of view so that synergy within the team can be achieved.
More Articles on Building a Team
Creating a Team Mission Statement
Before your team can work effectively, you must set the vision for the team so that every individual in the team understands the purpose of coming together. Are they coming together for a common interest, a specific project, or for a long term vision?
Examples of Team Mission Statements
Here are some examples of good mission statements used in the biggest companies in the world. Learn the elements required in a mission statement and how you can draft a good mission statement.
Formulating Great Team Mottos
A team motto captures the values of a team in a few words or a phrase. Learn about some simple team mottos and how you can create a great team motto for your team.
Setting the Stage for Teamwork
Before you send your team off to do their task, you must set the context and the foundation so that your team will succeed. You need to set expectations, make certain rules within the team and more.
The Barriers to Team Success
There are several barriers to building a successful team. Learn about the pitfalls in teambuilding and how you can avoid them.
Characteristics of Good Teams
Every good team has similar characteristics. Learn six invaluable characteristics that are required to groom an effective, successful team.
Why Doesn’t My Team Speak Up?
Getting your team to speak up is probably one of the greatest challenges you will have as a leader. You need to move your team’s mindset from the traditional top-down decision making process into the new paradigm.
Generating a Cool Team Name
Creative, Clever and Cool Team Name is an article about choosing the right name for your team. It also provides you with a random team name generator that you can use to brainstorm for ideas!