How to Tell if Your Team Is Dysfunctional

Do you want to increase teamwork and sense of community in your organization? While there are many signs of dysfunction, one in particular stands out above the rest. Got your attention? Good.

Find the Team Dysfunction

Here’s the part where you expect that I say “The biggest sign of dysfunction is communication!” Technically, that is the case but if you are doing yourself a disservice if you label it so generically. Think back to your last team meeting. What was it like?

Was everyone agreeing with the speaker? Did the CEO go over quarterly goals to keep everyone informed, while the team nodded and took notes?

To most people, that is the height of teamwork… a sign that everyone is on the same page and running together. Bravo. Dig a little deeper though, and you may discover something different. Often times quiet, organized team meetings are a sign that there is actually little or no communication. People feel like their voice cannot, or will not, be heard so they clam up and go with the flow. In reality, this quiet submission breeds discontentment… and discontentment breeds lack of productivity.

[Tweet “Discontentment breeds decreased productivity”]

Opposite of popular belief, spirited debate is actually good and a sign of a healthy organization.  Debate and communication, within the confines of respecting position and differing view points, allows different sides to express their concerns, views and beliefs. Teams that participate with this type of communication will work out problems quicker, get everyone on the same page, work through different viewpoints and increase productivity. Stifling employee viewpoints can lead to discontentment, and put the CEO on a lonely pedestal with no avenues for good advice.

As you run your team meetings this week, ask yourself: ‘am I fostering an environment that encourages discussion and collaboration, or quiet submission and inefficiently?’ Let me know in the comments what you think!