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Teambuilding: A Guide for Business
How do I deal with problems?
When bringing a disparate group of people together in pursuit of a common goal, issues will inevitably crop up. How you deal with them is the crucial part. Common issues include:
- Disagreements between team members: If this manifests itself through personal criticism during a meeting, try and bring the conversation back on track by focusing on what someone can do to fix the problem rather than apportioning blame. If you know two team members simply don’t get on, try and increase the distance between them where possible. Don’t be afraid to drop someone altogether if they simply cannot function with the other members of the team.
- Rivalries between teams: This can happen within a business. You should be at pains to remind everyone that you are, ultimately, pulling towards a common goal; invite members of other teams to attend rival teams’ meetings. Organise social teambuilding activities, again, to break down inter-team barriers.
- Poor decision-making: Be prepared to hold a spontaneous review if an issue arises. Analyse the decision-making process itself to spot flaws – was everyone consulted on an issue and did everyone genuinely agree on a course of action?
- Underperformance: To address underperformance, you need to obtain a consensus throughout the team that there is something wrong. This may seem obvious, but if certain team members are in denial, nothing will get done. Bring in an outsider to sit in on meetings and provide a frank, objective view on how the team is doing.
- Demotivation: Especially towards the end of a project’s life, there is a risk a team can lose motivation and focus as operations slow down and stop. Combat this by planning a formal ending that everyone can look forward to, such as an end-of-project party. You could also try getting the team to draft a press release announcing the good news of completion; this will focus people’s minds on the end goal.