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.
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