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Showing posts with label Dysfunctional Teams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dysfunctional Teams. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Effective Project Teams

Teams are dynamic and always changing.  Teams work when the individual team members unite around a common goal and have a vested interest in each others successes.  Once team members begin to bicker and fight amongst themselves, the team begins to lose its effectiveness and the reputations of the each of the team members can suffer.

Once teams lose that "all for one and one for all" dynamic the whole team loses.  Win-lose relationships on teams are never an option.  There are only two options when working with another person on your team.  You either both win or you both lose.  The team leader and team members must openly discuss issues that hinder the team from performing at their highest level and work through the issues quickly.  Lingering problems between team members can only fester and worsen, which drags down the effectiveness of the whole team.

EMOTIONAL OUTBURST - team members that display a pattern of destructive or caustic behavior to others (inside or outside of the team) should be removed from the team immediately.

Remember, when working through team dysfunction, compromise doesn't satisfy anybody and doesn't solve problems.  Collaboration is key to working through team issues and getting team performance working at a high level.  Compromise and capitulation are flawed strategies for working through problems as they don't support a win-win outcome.

In closing, keep in mind that poor listeners are not good collaborators.  In order to be an effective team leader you must listen carefully and think win-win while working through problems with your team.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Would You Like Cheese with that Whine?

Project teams are dynamic and interpersonal relationships amongst team members are always in a state of flux. Some teams are high performing and function at a high level over a long period of time. Other teams can't seem to come together and function at all.

An effective, experienced project team leader is an important part of any successful team, however, all team members must be personally accountable for their actions and be supportive of other team members if the team and project are to be successful.

Individual team member behaviors can contribute to team success in many ways. Emotional maturity and willingness to compromise are two important team member traits that help make a good team dynamic and lead to a successful project outcome.

Here are some negative team member behaviors I have personally observed. These behaviors detract from team synergy and place an unfair burden on other team members.

Projects fail or take longer than they should when team members:

Leave problems for others to solve rather than solving the problems themselves

Routinely blame others (stakeholders and/or other team members) or circumstances for not getting their tasks complete on time

Aren't personally accountable for their project task outcomes and timelines

Are unwilling to hold stakeholders accountable for their responsibilities

Aren't properly documenting their findings and defining a scope of work or adhering to an agreed-upon project scope

Aren't documenting Scope Change Requests

Aren't bringing issues and concerns to the team for discussion

Are constantly complaining, whining, and finger-pointing

Are unwilling to reach consensus with their team members

Are unwilling to let go of past negative circumstances and relationships

Are unwilling to admit past and current mistakes and learn from them

Play the victim and exhibit passive-aggressive behavior

Have a recurring theme in their dealings with others that everybody else is wrong and they are right

Continually demanding that things be done their way when it is contrary to the stated direction of the team

Team members who exhibit some or all of the above behaviors above should be placed on a performance improvement plan as their behavior is disruptive to the team and the project.

Project teams can't afford to have team members that aren't willing to compromise, are emotionally immature, and are a constant distraction to the team. In addition to being placed on a performance improvement plan, these team members should be released from the team as soon as possible as they are detriment to team cohesiveness and productivity.