The traditional workplace is undergoing a transformation from emphasis on individual performance to one characterized by effective teamwork and leadership. Smart business owners and managers trained by Dale Carnegie Training realize that developing teams that can work in a coordinated, efficient, and creative manner lead to productivity, creativity, and profits.
Team building is not without its pitfalls, however, and if you are planning goals for a team to achieve you should be aware of things to avoid. Here is a list of six team-killers to be mindful of:
Lack of A Model
You need a model of how successful teams function, so that you can address and compare all the factors that result when a team is ineffective. To operate efficiently an effective team requires:
- A clearly defined vision and commonly held goals
- The necessary talent and skills required to meet goals
- Clear understanding of team members’ roles and functions
- An efficient and shared understanding of procedures
- Effective interpersonal relations
- A system for reinforcing goals and celebrating accomplishments
- Clear understanding of the team’s relationship to the parent organization
Not Recognizing Strengths and Weaknesses
Each team has distinct strengths and weaknesses, and team building must focus on building on these specific strengths and addressing the weaknesses. Not knowing a team’s strengths and weaknesses runs the risk of incorporating a process that will be irrelevant or useless.
Team leaders often schedule one-day retreats or team-building days, without developing a long-term strategy for team development. A single day’s motivation quickly fades, however. Issues will inevitably surface that cannot be solved in the course of a single day. Consequently, plan a long-term strategy for team building.
Lack of Progress Evaluation
It is common for team building efforts to take for granted that things are improving without actually verifying it. Since team building is a long-term process, team members and leaders need to know whether the team is meeting its goals. Implement a mechanism for regular evaluation of team functions.
The team leader or manager sets the tone for the team. It is inevitable then, that team effectiveness cannot be improved unless the manager is willing to look at his or her contributions to the team. Ensure the team leader is willing to hear from employees regarding how the leader’s behavior impacts the team.
Conflicts and problems should be brought into the open and dealt with if the team is expected to succeed. Only poorly functioning teams are characterized by an aura of blame, defensiveness, and an inability to deal with conflict or improve over time. Conflicts and problems are going to happen. Embrace them use them as a learning tool for the greater good of the team.
A poorly built and managed team is oftentimes worse than no team at all. Improperly thought out efforts increase negativity, reduce team functioning, and reduce management credibility. Keep the above six team-killers in mind as you evaluate your existing teams and go on to build new ones.
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