All teams have the potential to be dysfunctional, to be disjointed and stall business results. It’s inevitable, and that's ok.
That's because the notion of a connected team is not an elusive, esoteric idea. The causes for dysfunctional teams can be highlighted and fixed.
Positive change can be brought if the executive team is willing to be persistent and lead by example. Key emphasis on persistent and leading by example. They have the power to set the tone for their team members and to encourage a semi-permeable conversation between team members and higher executives.
So don’t lose heart if you’re currently trying to develop a healthy environment of cohesiveness, collaboration and solidarity within your team members.
First, let’s start by understanding five kinds of dysfunction and what they might resemble like at a work setting:
1. When team members have an absence of trust
This is when your team members are unwilling to admit they have made a mistake or to ask for help. Without this level of openness and vulnerability, trust and cohesiveness is unattainable.
2. Fear of conflict
Teams without trust are unable to have honest discussions on critical business issues. Instead, they’ll go along with what you’re saying and make comments behind your back. Opinions and concerns that aren’t disclosed at the outset, nor in real time, can cause misunderstanding and resentment between team members.
3. Lack of commitment
When there’s no safe environment for open, healthy discussions, team members will not commit to decisions. Rather they will live in a constant environment of uncertainty, where nothing gets accomplished.
4. Avoidance accountability
By not committing to a clear path of action, team members hesitate to hold their co-workers accountable to their responsibilities. This is not conducive to achieving business goals and generating revenue.
5. Lack of attention to details
When team members put their personal aspirations before their team's overall goals, that's a sign that they aren’t holding themselves accountable. It can also be a sign that said team member has lost focus on priority goals, in which case the business suffers.
So how do you know when you’re unfortunately running a dysfunctional team?
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Do your team members share their opinions and concerns?
- Are your team meetings productive? Do your team members follow through with their tasks?
- Does the team work through problems and arrive at a conclusion quickly?
- Do team members confront each other about their shortcomings and help each other out?
A functional team will bring many opportunities to your brokerage. By having a cohesive team, you’ll have a unique differentiating point from your competitors. This will be translucent to your competition, but more importantly to consumers.
You’ll also notice that your team can arrive more quickly at more effective decisions, while supporting each other through tough times. Having a connected, humanized team will make them enjoy their work more and in turn, your office will reap the financial benefits of a fully functional team.