Have a dysfunctional team and don’t know what to do?

“dysfunctional – (of a trait or condition) failing to serve an adjustive purpose

                                                             -http://webster-dictionary.org/definition/dysfunctional

Dysfunctional teams occur everywhere, whether it is at home with a family or in a work force. Not everything runs smoothly or as planned in which makes a team “dysfunctional”. This is not necessarily a bad thing but definitely doesn’t make things easier.  I am going to share my thoughts on how to regroup and get back on track if things fall apart.

Step 1: Take a breath! Things may seem shaky right now but can be fixed with cooperation and determination by everyone on the team.  You need to come up with a common goal. A goal that if not everyone then the majority agrees on. If in a work setting this could be a finished product. If you are unable to agree on a central goal then try again. Compromise may be the key to come up with a single goal that everyone can work towards.

Step2: Once a common goal has been agreed on then as a team you need to come up with a plan or steps that will help you reach the goal. This can be as simple or as detailed as you want it. If you had tried a more detail plan before and it didn’t work then try something more simple that is 1, 2, 3 step process. This may make it easier for everyone to understand what you, as a team, are trying to accomplish.

Step3: Now for the tricky part. As a team decide if you want to do everything together step-by-step or assign parts to the members. This could be difficult if everyone doesn’t pull their share of the work. If this occurs then they may be the reason you got sidetracked in the first place. Make sure everyone is being included in the decision process.  Keep an open mind if other team members are trying to come up with a separate plan. If they do then ask them to share and you may be able to incorporate there plan into the group plan.

Step4: Take another breath. The hard part is over. Now everyone needs to trust in each other that you as a team can achieve your goal. Have group meeting to discuss where you are at in the project. This can help air out any issues that members are struggling with or answer any questions. Hold each other accountable. If one falls behind then everyone can end up behind. Share what you and your team has accomplished so that everyone is included; you never know someone may have a great idea that can take your goal to the next level.

Rabecka Ward

If You Post It, They Will Come….

Welcome to the X204 Project!  We are a group of business communication students at Indiana University – Purdue University’s Columbus campus.  Together, we are exploring workplace-oriented communication topics in a social media format.

Failure to practice good communication habits can stop your forward career progress.

Beginning in September of 2011, we will post weekly topics focused on communicating effectively in a business environment.  And, as real communication is a two-way street, we welcome your feedback!