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How to Avoid the Seven Biggest Team-Building Blunders

“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” is an expression we’ve all heard before. It means that an effective team can accomplish more than an individual could on their own.

Effectiveness is the key. Building an effective team is more than finding high performing employees and telling them to “do it”. And maintaining an effective team requires planning, communication and decision-making.  You also need to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each individual as well as establish goals that everyone understands and agrees upon.

These are the 7 roadblocks to building and maintaining high performing team:

1.     Failure to build support for the team with the right people at the right levels.  Making sure that teams have the tools, time, training, and budget to be successful is key. It is the manager’s job to secure these resources.

2.     Failure to establish conditions for team effectiveness. When picking your team, education, skill set and experience matter, but so do fit, chemistry and motives. We’ve all had employees who look great on paper and just don’t jive with the rest of our team. The psychographic assessments can determine core behaviors, learning styles and how an individual may fit with the rest of your team.

3.     Failure to establish a meaningful performance goal. Make sure everyone knows where you’re going and how to get there. It is easy for individuals to focus and their individual task and lose site of what matters to the team as a whole.

4.     The absence of a decision-making process. It doesn’t have to be a 100% democracy but you do need to create an environment where individuals can share their ideas and opinions. It is the manager’s job to settle differences and break ties while keeping everyone positive and onboard.

5.     Failure to establish appropriate norms. A certain amount of conflict is healthy. Tolerating team members to show a difference in opinion allows people to be honest, and it puts the team’s interest and goals above the interest of an individual.

6.     Weak communication channels. Without an objective assessment of how individual team members communicate, collaborate, learn and solve problems, how can you facilitate the best possible communication?

7.     Insensitivity to diversity. Diverse viewpoints can lead a team to better problem- solving. Assessments can help determine how the impact of an individual’s style may impact the team.

Bill Williams2 Comments