One of the main reasons why teams fail is because the people on the team don’t like each other. All it takes is a personality conflict, and if the team hasn’t been trained in conflict resolution, it can impact everyone. I frequently ask my audiences, most of whom consist of managers, supervisors and team leaders, what they see as the main reasons why teams fail. Here are some of the most common reasons teams are not more productive:

  1. Backstabbing. If you are the team lead and backstabbing is an issue, suggest the team come up with a rule. For example, if there is backstabbing among team members and they can’t resolve it on their own, it goes before the team leader.

  2. Interrupting in meetings. Ask the team to come up with a rule such as, “No one is allowed to speak until the other person finishes and you raise your hand.”

  3. Tangents. If someone is going off on a tangent in the meeting, tactfully ask the rest of the group if they want to hear more about the issue. If not, let that person know they can talk with you after the meeting.

  4. Not sharing job knowledge. This is so important it should be in everyone’s job description.

  5. Excessive personal use of the internet or telephone. Someone is sending too many joke emails or talking loudly while on a personal phone call.

  6. Talking loudly in a cubicle-ridden environment or listening to messages while on speaker phone. Have everyone set the ground rules for what is considered loud and disruptive. .

There are many more reasons why teams fail to be more productive. Such as someone pretending to work at their cubicle, but underneath their desk they’re text messaging! Communication is key to the success of any team. Gather your team together for a meeting. Have everyone discuss any potentially unacceptable behaviors affecting team morale. Write everything down. Print it out and give everyone a copy. There will be more “buy in” because they were involved in the solutions.

Do you want your team to communicate more effectively and exhibit greater productivity? Please read my full article, “When Teams Don’t Work: 10 Reasons Teams Fail,” at “Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”
– G.D. Boardman

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