Thank you for inspiring me to document musings and learnings from the field of leadership, team performance and conscious change. I trust you'll find the exercises, resources and insights useful whether you are a leader, team player, coach/consultant or change agent.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Barriers to High Performance on Teams

While it's important to understand and apply the factors of team success it's just as important to anticipate and illuminate obstacles. The very diversity that engenders innovation, problem solving and synergy can interfere in optimal team work if it's not valued or respected.

Patrick Lencioni in his book "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" identifies absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results as the things that impede team performance.

Here are a few other ideas to explore if you are struggling to flow through interpersonal challenges that are a natural part of team work. How are you:
  • Giving voice to varying perceptions, assumptions and mindsets without making anyone wrong? 
  • Recognizing and minimizing team toxins (blame, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt)?
  • Understanding and honoring different work, leadership and communication styles?
  • Distinguishing between barriers (which can be overcome) and limitations (which are constraints that can't)?
  • Establishing meaningful and relevant direction?
  • Aligning individual and team needs?
  • Leveraging talents and fueling passions?
High performing teams expect obstacles because they inform and can change the course of any valuable endeavor for the better!

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