CommsMasters Blog

Teamwork: Does It Really Make the Dream Work?

We’ve certainly focussed plenty on teams so far this summer.

Wales’s football team – good. England’s football team – not so good. Leicester City, the David that slew the Premier League Goliaths and delighted us all in the process – good.

Although don’t get me started on the lack of teamwork our politicians have displayed over the last few weeks – boy, did they demonstrate how not to do it. Let’s hope things improve after their summer recess!

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Why Getting Out Of The Way Is A Great Teambuilding Exercise

I often work with leaders who wish that their team members would contribute more during team meetings. Sitting in on some of those meetings, the lack of sufficient contribution is clearly apparent – so I can see that these leaders’ concerns are not unfounded.

But, observing these same teams in meetings where the leader isn’t present – even if he or she has just nipped our for a few minutes – the problem magically disappears, with animated discussion and debate taking its place. In my experience, this dichotomy of leader present = strained interaction versus leader away = animated conversation is found just as much at Boardroom level as with front-line teams.

It seems that, just by being present, leaders get in their team’s way. And this doesn’t apply to just meetings. I had a personal experience last week that brought this home to me.

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Bad Communication Habits That Indicate a Team in Trouble

Working in a team can bring out the best and the worst in all of us. Teamworking can be fun, energising and creative; it can also be draining, conflict-ridden and demoralising.

Communication is at the heart of both effective and ineffective teamworking.

Effective teams thrive on authentic, assertive conversations with lots of healthy conflict. Ineffective teams leave conflicts to fester, allow back-biting between team members and have conversations taking place within cliques rather than between all team members.

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