8 Barriers to Effective Teamwork

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

1.   Breakdown on probing...either not holding CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS or not holding them very well

a.   No team is likely to synergise if it doesn’t get to the core of the issue.
b.   Complete and accurate information is indispensable for credible problem solving.  Since complete and accurate information is rarely presented spontaneously, it has to be uncovered.
c.   That takes skilful, open-minded probing on the part of the manager into all the information provided by the meeting attendees.
d.   What makes a Crucial conversation?...it's when we have Opposing Opinions, Strong Emotions and High Stakes.

2.   Promotional leadership...which prevents OPEN DIALOGUE 

a.   A promotional leader leaks his or her own ideas to staff before they’ve had a chance to state theirs.  (“I think we ought to revamp the entire plan, but right now I’d like to hear what you think.”)
b.   Nothing will do more to stifle discussion and squelch candour, with a definite lack of open dialogue.
c.   Once people know what the manager thinks, the whole discussion is likely to shift in that direction.
d.  Lack of mutual purpose.

3.   Intra – team conflict...which will lead to a lack of TRUST and MUTUAL RESPECT

a.    Synergistic teams aren’t always cautious.  They don’t sit around making safe, inoffensive remarks.  They argue, they debate, they say things openly and honestly, they tell it like it is.  Nevertheless, through it all, such a team functions as a unit.
b.   Once the members of a team start pushing their own separate goals and agendas, however, ‘desynergism’ is sure to result.
c.    Candour disappears, probing becomes a way to put other people on the defensive,
d.   Debate becomes dissension.
e.   Teamwork disappears and one-upmanship takes its place.

4.   Insufficient alternatives...the difference between ENGAGED vs PASSIONATE employees

a.    Teams usually explore only a few of their choices because they don’t take the time to prepare and they’re not ready to list all the options.
b.    In addition, many teams feel uncomfortable with brainstorming, although it’s essential to generating opinions.  These teams object because brainstorming produces too many crazy ideas, too much talk, too much wasted time.
c.    But the truth is that exploring alternatives isn’t just talking, it’s a way of making sure the group winds up with the best idea instead of simply a good idea.

5.   Lack of candour...means a full and accurate disclosure, lets deal with the FACTS...not the stories

a.    People are most likely to generate fertile, productive ideas when they first have all the information they need or as much as they can get.
b.   On a team, that means everyone must level with each other – tell all they know about the subject at hand without distortion or evasion.
c.   Candour means full and accurate disclosure.
d.   Two problems usually interfere with candour.  One is that people have personal reasons for not being open and honest like not wanting to hurt someone’s else’s feelings.  A second problem is intra-team politics.  Employees may hold back because it seems like the expedient thing to do.  Fear can make most people particularly evasive.  Either way, candour goes out the window.

6.   Pointless meetings...a very good way to cheese them off and closing down their MOTIVATION valve

a.    Unless a meeting has a clear-cut objective, nobody can tell whether it’s synergistic or not.  However, either a startling number of meetings have no objective at all or such a vague goal that nobody’s sure what it is.
b.   The solutions are simple: eliminate unnecessary meetings, and do a thorough job of planning the necessary ones.

7.   Lack of self-critique...awareness of their performance and the impact it has on RELATIONSHIPS and RESULTS

a.    Most teams fail to do regular, systematic critiques of themselves; their operations, strengths, weaknesses and areas needing improvement.
b.   What every team needs is an institutionalised critique – a critique built into its activities so it can’t easily be avoided.
c.    Time must be set aside and a format developed so the team learns from and profit from every meeting.

8.   Failure to cycle downwind...the all important of moving to ACTION and ACCOUNTABILITY

a.    This is crucial.  Many good decisions have died because the team failed to cycle downwind – explain it to all the people whose collaboration will be needed to make it succeed.
b.   A decision made at one level thus may never filter down to lower levels, even though those levels are indispensable to the decision’s success

How does your team rate?

Does your team have a clear vision and purpose of why they exist?

Is each team member clear on what their purpose is in the team?

Is your team aligned with the organisational purpose?

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