Collaborative teams typically lead to enhanced productivity and results. So, when a team is firing on all cylinders, they are working in the best of ways. However, if a team is dysfunctional, it can fall apart very quickly. The problem is that many teams operate as a team in the name only. This means that the group of people are declared as a team but do not operate as a team.
Now, there are a few reasons why a team is dysfunctional. One reason could be weak leadership where dominate personalities derail the overall mission causing the other members to adapt accordingly since the person at the helm is not steering in the right direction. Another reason could be having a “lone ranger” team member. These people disrupt the team dynamic by going out on their own and believing more in their ability than they do in the team’s ability to complete the task. Actions like this create a disconnect amongst the other members and cause a lack of trust and collaboration.
Regardless of what is causing dysfunction with your team, take a look at these tips to help you improve team collaboration.
Figure Out The Problem
The first step to solving any issue is to recognize that there is a problem and evaluating what it is. This is no different; the problem could be trust, team chemistry, or even a heightened sense of competitiveness amongst team members. Regardless of the problem, you will not be able to fix it until you get to the heart of the matter. A great way to achieve this is by speaking with the members directly. Figure out what they feel is working and what is not working. Doing so will make them feel important and that their opinions are valued. After doing this, you will want to see it in action with an observer’s view. This will give you a first-hand view of how these issues play out in team activity.
Observe Best Practices
Take some time and observe the methods of other successful teams within the company. Find out what is clicking for them and how they are able to operate on one accord. You can even look to speak with other managers about their teams’ dynamics and how they are able to get their members to collaborate with each other and types of behavior they encourage. You also don’t have to limit yourself to your company alone. You can look outside to some of your mentors or other local businesses. You would be surprised at the things you can find even outside of your own industry.
Implement New Strategies
After you have established the problem and sought out advice from others, it will be time to start putting this knowledge into practice. Try and implement any new strategies you have discovered with your own team. It could be kicking off team meetings with an icebreaker to foster better relationships and get people to engage with each other. You could also try and have team-building activities outside of the workplace. These are simple tactics that can foster a stronger team dynamic which will translate to the work you do creating more productivity.
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