Here is an article I read recently by Chris Naylor, Business Growth Coach from Minneapolis, that applies to all industries including our educational services sector.
You’ve read it many times before, successful companies are built by great teams who create strong cultures of excellence. But if teamwork is so important, then why are there so many average and dysfunctional teams?
Great teams don’t just happen. They're built on strengthening relationships between team members – one day, one interaction at a time.
The bad news is there are hundreds of negative forces that sabotage team health – like egos, politics, power struggles, lack of vision, or poor leadership. The good news is that it’s entirely possible to overcome these forces.
What follows are four “Team Busters” that can sabotage building a great organization. Each is followed by a team-building remedy, or “Team Rx,” to build a united, winning team with a synergy that produces a combined effect far greater than any sum of individuals!
Four Team Busters in Dysfunctional Business Leadership
Low Trust Levels
The fact is, without trust we can’t have good relationships, and without good relationships, we can’t have a successful team. Great teams are marked by relationships built on a foundation of trust.
Trust is built when we care about our team’s interests as much as, or more than, our own agendas. Put another way, if a team member knows we’re out for ourselves, an internal alarm sounds off and trust is destroyed. Although it takes more than one person to make a team, it only takes one person to break a team!
Team Rx: In meetings, value diverse points of view, creating an environment where it’s safe to be open, honest, and vulnerable. Make sure that all ideas are welcome – without any sarcastic remarks or negative repercussions down the line.
Where there is poor communication, negativity fills the void. Great teams require strong relationships, and strong relationships aren’t possible without great communication. Frequent, honest, and open communications, both individually and collectively, improve team cohesion.
Team Rx: Improve the quality AND quantity of communication. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings rather than only relying on team meetings or emails for all communications.
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Listen more, talk less, and ask more questions to improve the balance.
Strong communication builds trust, which in turn fosters commitment, teamwork, and results. Great teams are not only committed to doing great work, they're also committed to each other. Individuals put the team first and are willing to serve and sacrifice for the benefit of the team. When we work hard to be a great team member, we make everyone around us better.
Team Rx: Start putting the team first. Become more selfless – and less selfish. Work as hard at being a great team member as advancing any particular personal agenda.
Lack of Caring
One of the greatest success strategies of all is simply caring. Those who care build great things that others care about. Great teams care a little more – about the work, [students], team members, and the mission of the team. When team members have support and encouragement, they're able to stretch themselves and reach farther than they ever thought possible.
Team Rx: Think about who you are and how you can show you care. Decide how you want to make a difference and go the extra mile. Always do the right thing. We trust those who live, walk, and work with integrity. Do what you say. Failing to do what we say sends a message that we don’t care, eroding trust and destroying teamwork.
How will you implement a Team Rx today?