Kellie Mills – Coach, Trainer and Speaker

Creating Change…one conversation at a time

What causes dysfunction in teams?

“Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” — Mattie Stepanek

For some of us, the word ‘team’ invokes excitement and for others dread. Some born leaders can’t wait to take the reigns, while introverts fear the prospect of having to work in close proximity to others. The balance of a team is a tricky thing to get right, but it can be powerful when executed successfully.

With teams it is important to remember that individuals are unique and so is the way they work. Not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye and everyone will work differently depending on the environment.

Often, what has the possibility to make a team also has the possibility to break it. Teams are all about enhancing the unique skills and ideas of individuals by coming together and strengthening a business as a whole.

However, there is an art to effective team development. Unfortunately team dysfunction is frequently the result of ineffective communication.

So where does it all go wrong?

Common signs of poor team performance are reduced productivity, low morale, and division within the team.

If any of these signs seem familiar, it might be time to delve deeper into the team members’ understanding of their priorities, timing, and direction of tasks.

Some of the reasons for dysfunction in a team can include:

  • Lack of trust: This is when team members are reluctant to express their own weaknesses or ask other members of the team for help. Improving this aspect of the team will result in improved communication and benefit the overall outcome.
  • Conflict: Whether it’s a build up of unspoken opinions or an over share of feelings, both can be detrimental to the teams function. It is important to create an open environment where all members have equal opportunity to be heard.
  • Absence of leadership: Unclear roles within a team can make it difficult to determine the hierarchy and create challenges when the time comes to make big decisions. This can be overcome by designating positions for each member and in turn ensuring a pathway to effective communication.
  • Uncertainty of responsibility: Within the team, a clear definition of each individual’s roles and responsibilities is key to dodging ineffective time management and attaining success.

Investing in a training of team-based activities can enhance the way the members communicate. To find out more about my specialised team-building and development programs visit Mills-Eaton Training Team Development.

Mills-Eaton Training delivers In-House training for medium-large organisations. They specialise in Team Development (with expertise in dysfunctional teams), Leadership, Communication and other practical programs.

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