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Improve your teaming skills!


How does an ineffective team impact your personal performance?

Most jobs and schools require us to work on teams for various projects, initiatives or programs. How do you excel to your personal level of excellence when the rest of the team may be giving less than their best? Believe it or not, this is a major problem in schools, educational institutions and workplaces.

Teaming is a highly desirable skill, but it is a difficult one to master when everyone is not on the same page. Let’s take a look at the top five teaming issues and how to attempt to resolve them. Lack of team identity. Before the team can work cohesively to accomplish an agreed upon goal, the team must have a common identity. The first step in most successful teams is to establish a Team Chapter that outlines the goals and expectations of the team and ask each team member to sign it. Also keep in mind that the most effective teams are the ones in which each team member is held accountable to the other. Be sure to perform a gut-check on a periodic basis to ensure that each team member is still committed to the goals of the team.

Poor communication is a barrier. Teams cannot be successful when team members are talking over one another and someone is making an effort to posture him/herself to shine above the rest. If there is a consistent silence of team members, that is usually a sign that something is wrong. Solicit feedback from team members, who are not participating fully in the process. You need their input and feedback, so that you can bring their concerns to light. Don’t fall for the illusion of thinking that silence is a sign of agreement. Dig deeper.

Ineffective leadership. It’s very difficult for teams to be successful when there is ineffective leadership. An effective leader establishes a vision, immediately deals with conflict and delegates responsibility without micro managing. An effective leader also trusts and doesn’t alienate the team.

Lack of participation. If team members fail to participate and complete assignments then you have a problem. It’s time to inject some energy into the group, so that the team can go the distance. Continue having brainstorming sessions to encourage participation. Ask probing questions such as ‘what if’ scenarios. Continue to foster creative ideas and lay new inroads and don’t hesitate to change team members, if necessary. Stay focused on the goal.

Best of luck to you and happy teaming. PM


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Paula Maddox

Coach | Author | Speaker | Minister | Doctoral Student

Tel: 404.939.7432   

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