People working together will in most cases produce better outcomes than individuals working alone or in isolation. Look at successful organisation large or small and chances are that you will see the real impact of tem working on results, productivity and morale.
Given this evidence it would seem that team working should be a complete no brainer for every leader, manager or employee. Yet the reality is very different. So what actually stops team working?
Obstacle 1: Roger Rabbit
In any team of people there are going to be some people who are more outgoing or extroverted, those that are perhaps a little more introverted or thoughtful and others who are somewhere in the middle. While it is good to have the mix on teams, there is nothing worse than the person who loves the sound of their own voice, has an opinion on absolutely everything and rarely shuts up. To overcome this you need to demonstrate strong leadership and invite this person to listen more.
Obstacle 2: Mr or Mrs Know It All
One of the things that sets a team apart is the diversity of experience, expertise or knowledge that is available. Sadly there is always going to be one and perhaps more team members who think that they need to know it all or worse still think they know it all.
Obstacle 3: Silo Sam or Samantha
You know the type who are only interested in their own area or function and completely disinterested in the rest of the organisation or the impact on others.
Obstacle 4: The Competition Crew
These are the people who are only really interested in what anything means for them. Usually their only concern getting the best outcome for them personally rather than collaborating with others.
Obstacle 5: The Judges
The judges love to make judgements about others based on the job titles they have rather than what they contribute. You know the stereotyping that can go on. The accountants are only interested in their spreadsheets. The marketing people are only good for ideas. Sales are the wheeler, dealers who will buck the system at every opportunity and so on.
Obstacle 6: The Rain Clouds
Every organisation has some of these sadly. They are life’s eternal doom and gloom merchants. Most of the time people will still get on and do things despite the pessimism but they can ultimately drag down morale and performance.
The Bottom Line: We all know the potential of teams. So what from the above or from your own experiences do you need to tackle in order to get the benefits of great team working?
Duncan Brodie helps professional people to become highly effective leaders. His free audio e-course on leadership is available here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.