If you skip MyTeam you are turning your back on fulfilling your team’s true potential, not only that, but you may accidentally support some kind of underperformance. You might not even realise that your team is dysfunctional as people are turning up, working hard and doing what you need, but it’s only by doing this step that you can discover that your team are simply surviving, not thriving.
Don’t you want the best team possible?
Team formation is fairly predictable. You start in the forming stage where everyone is polite and nice, putting their best image forward. As people get a little more comfortable, the storming phase begins, and we see power plays and hierarchies form. When that settles, the team moves to norming, where a daily pace and cultural norms embed. Everyone knows what they are doing and how things are done.
Theoretically, the team moves to high performance. However, the reality is that without doing the MyTeam step, teams get stuck in storming and that becomes the norm. It might show up as cliques, gossip, or conflict. It might look like missed targets, late meetings or confusion over responsibilities.
Few people recognise that their team isn’t truly successful because so few of us have actually experienced being part of a truly successful team.
Read the case study below to understand what a dysfunctional team represents, what problems it brings with it and what possible solutions are there for leaders.
A case study
The toxic team
Anthony was a frustrated leader and asked me to help him to create a team where they made decisions together and lead in unity. He knew things weren’t working as he was having to do all of the pushing and he was exhausted. Much of his time was spent dealing with conflict and more often than not it was because no one was actually clear on who was doing what and how.
It was only after we did a team scorecard that we saw just how dysfunctional it was. Anthony had been in his position for a year and had inherited some long-standing board members. He tried to bring in new people, but within a year they had voted with their feet and left. The dominant and long-established members of the team didn’t like each other, but when they felt threatened, they joined together in the worst behaviours to crush any threats to their position.
On all measures of teamwork, they were underperforming. They were stuck in storming, competing with each other, land-grabbing and scoring points. In fact, through the process, we uncovered hostilities that had been present for over 8 years. It was toxic and we needed to reform and rebuild the team, pressing pause before we could move forward.
Today, I still consider it one of the toughest challenges of my career, but we achieved and the team transformed.
Like Anthony, you may find yourself being drawn into over-managing and thus not having much time to lead. Your time is spent pushing, driving and motivating. You might find yourself making all of the decisions or having to find the solutions. You might get involved in conflict resolution or sorting out minor squabbles. It is absolutely exhausting and totally frustrating. On the other hand, you may be under-managing. When you under-manage you allow the culture and behaviours to naturally evolve. As a result, the team gets stuck in norming, doing things the way they have always done them, settling and drifting along unconsciously.
LeaderX strives for high-performing teams and invests themselves in making teamwork a priority.