Teams are put together, for a purpose. The nature of the teams may differ. They could be adhoc, permanent or otherwise.
One pertinent fact is that they all have a purpose. Yes! every team has a purpose.
Sadly, most teams do not achieve their purpose. Here are some reasons why.
1. Fear: The fear of conflict is a major factor that causes most teams to fail. Conflict is healthy, as long as it is not personal.
Most team members tend to spend more time, pleasing people, so they can avoid conflicts. In this kind of setting, nobody differs in opinion for the fear of being picked on. They turn to a bunch of YES! MEN.
In this kind of team, people talk behind people’s backs. Always encourage team members to speak-up. You can also create other confidential feedback channels. Be careful though, so it does not become a “rumour and gossip channel.”
2. Lack of Commitment: This factor stems from the fear of conflict. If a team member does not constructively air his or her opinion, he does not feel motivated to take part in the tasks.
This grows when team members pass the buck, and there are no clear goals or tasks to motivate them. Commitment dwindles when there is no reward and recognition system or when team members are not involved in decision making processes.
3. Lack of trust: Trust is a vital ingredient in every relationship. Trust is essential for team bonding. In an environment where a lack of trust exists, team members spend more time, trying to undermine each other.
When there is trust, team members are free to be themselves, without fear of being judged or mocked. Thereby, allowing for more time to do productive work.
Lack of trust breeds when team members:
i. Hold grudges.
ii. Don’t ask for help.
iii. Don’t give feedback.
iv. Hide their mistakes or weaknesses.
v. Avoid spending time with each other.
4. Lack of accountability: People should be held responsible for tasks, and feedback channels should be created. The lack of these structures encourage a lackadaisical attitude among team members. “Where there is vision, people cast off restraint.”
5. Objectives: Among your team, might be people who want to further their own agenda, other than the team’s objective. These kind of people can scheme to get what they want, and this might cause dis-unity.
A team leader can also cause the team to fail, if he or she does not focus on the team’s objective, is not clear about the objectives or spends most of the time settling personal scores.