Teamwork and collaboration can lead to some amazing results – just ask any Super Bowl champion, Academy Award winner or Fortune 500 executive. But sometimes being a part of a team can be downright miserable and, well … soul-sucking. People argue, time is wasted, and at the end of the day you have nothing to show for it except more deadlines and bad attitudes.
So how do you know if your company team is in trouble? Here are my top six warning signs that you need to ask for help:
There’s no consensus
Every team needs a clear process for resolving conflict and gaining consensus. Sure, disagreements are a normal part of any collaboration, but when they are not handled productively, cooperation becomes difficult and before you know it, side conversations are going on behind closed doors and project managers lose control. The longer the disagreements persist, the harder it is to get back on track.
Commitment is lacking
If your team members are not emotionally attached to project goals, then the level of commitment will be weak. Unfortunately, without a clear focus on common objectives, no one will take ownership of tasks and responsibilities. Quite simply, individuals will not be invested or even care about the outcomes.
No team unity
The importance of team camaraderie and bonding cannot be overstated. If individuals do not feel united, they will act on behalf of their own interests. Nothing good can come out of this from a team perspective. You’ll have rogue individuals taking action without regard to others, which will lead to conflict, dissention, resentment and inaction.
Dishonesty and mistrust
Openness and trust are essential components to productive and cohesive teams. Without them, individuals become guarded, suspicious and protective of their own interests. When team members aren’t honest, or they simply don’t trust each other, idea sharing and brainstorming are minimal, and your organization has very little chance of being successful.
Poorly defined roles
From the very beginning, team members should be well aware of not only their role, but the role of others. Reporting structures, expectations and responsibilities should be made very clear in order to minimize conflict. If not, your team will most likely experience territorial disputes and power struggles. Managers are responsible for not only defining roles, but also making sure there is effective communication between individuals. They should make sure all assignments and expectations are understood, while delegating tasks and clarifying proper authority accordingly.
If your team isn’t organized properly from the beginning, there will not be a sense of community, which is so important for a group to thrive. Individuals must be able to find common ground in order to work well together. Without cohesiveness, roles will become imbalanced, and it’s more likely that some will lead while others will quickly lose interest and remain unfocused. A loosely-knit team will most likely fail, leaving nothing but project destruction in its path.
What do you think?
These are our top signs of a team in trouble, but do you agree? In your experience, what are the warning flags that a team needs help? What are your suggestions for achieving team unity and cohesiveness? We’d love to hear about them – please leave your comments below.