Barriers to Effective Team Building

Teams are formed to ease the work pressure on the individual and achieve the targets within the desired time frame. In teams, individuals share responsibilities among themselves, help each other to accomplish a complicated task. The team members must be comfortable with each other and be a little more flexible and adjusting.

Bringing individuals together is easy, but making them perform is difficult. Giving them task is easy, but expecting the best from them is tough”

Let’s go through the below example.

When a cricket team loses a game of cricket, we often hear people saying “The batsman did not understand what his fellow batsman wanted to communicate, ran for a run and got out”

“There was poor coordination between the bowler and the fielder”

“The batsman was actually more interested in completing his century rather than winning the game”

“The fielder was lazy and could not save the run”

What do the above factors indicate?

They are actually the various hurdles which prevented the cricket team to win the game.

The barriers to team building restrict the team members to perform and eventually their performance goes down and the organization is at loss.

Let us understand the various barriers to team building and the methods to overcome them:

  • When individuals give priority to their personal interests than work, the team suffers.

    Mike never wanted to have a team meeting in the morning as he had to first drop his son to school and then his wife to her office. The agenda of the day could never be discussed and everyone worked on their own sweet will.

    Mike was more concerned about his son’s school and wife’s office. They are important but not at the cost of one’s office. Nothing ever productive came out of Mike’s team as he himself never really was serious about his work.

    For the maximum output, the team members must think of their team first and everything else should come later. One has to respect his team as well as his organization to expect the same in return.

  • Individuals not being clear about the team’s goal and their roles and responsibilities in the team also create problems in effective team building. The goal has to be common. Individuals should not have separate goals.

    For a marketing team the goal is to generate revenues for the organization and every one including the team leader has to work towards it.

  • The roles and responsibilities must be designed according to the team member’s interest, educational qualification and specializations.

    John, Ali, Kate and Ben were part of the sales team in an organization of repute, but Kate was more interested in helping the operations team. She was never too keen in marketing activities and accepted it just because of pressure from the management and the fear of losing the job. She was more interested in finding a place in the operations team rather than focusing on her work.

    Individuals should not accept responsibilities unless and until they are very sure about it. It is better to say a no in the beginning rather than troubling yourself and others later.

    When a team is formed, the team members are almost new to each other. They do not know each other well and feel shy and hesitant. It is important to break the ice among the employees in the very beginning otherwise it becomes a strong barrier later.

    We are not robots who will start their work on push of a button and will work non stop without even talking to each other. Human Beings must talk to each other, discuss things among themselves and trust each other. Don’t always assume that everyone is jealous of your work and will harm you. Trust people, it will reduce half of your tensions.

  • Lack of discussions is again a barrier to effective team building. Team members must not sit quietly in team meetings, instead should speak their heart out. One must participate willingly. Debates are important and strategies or policies should not be implemented without evaluating the pros and cons. Every team member must have a say in the team’s decisions. Don’t attend meetings just for fun, come prepared.

  • Poor communication is also one of the barriers to effective team building. Too much of a complicated hierarchy also result in poor and ineffective communication. Unorganized thoughts and abstract ideas create misunderstandings and confusions among the team members and in turn decrease the productivity of the team.

    Individuals should be very careful about what they speak. One should never use derogatory statements or lewd remarks in the office. It is better to communicate through mails as it is more reliable.

  • Lack of discipline and punctuality also create problems in team. Never be late for work. It is unprofessional to keep others waiting. Always reach before time for team meetings and discussions. One should also maintain the decorum of the workplace. Do not indulge yourselves in unproductive things. Don’t loiter around unnecessarily.

One should never forget the objective of his team. Adopt a positive attitude and always strive hard to give your level best without worrying about who is dating whom or who is boss’s favourite?These things does not matter in the long run. Behave nicely with everyone and avoid being rude. Be a little more involved in your work.

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Team Building