How productive are your teams?  Take a closer look – maybe they are suffering from one or more of the 9 Barriers to Teamwork.

  1. Lack of Vision.  When teams form it behooves them to take time to determine their vision (or objective if you prefer).  Vision serves as a compass for the work ahead.
  2. Energy Blocks.  Stagnation.  Boredom.  Confusion.  Identify the energy block and then take action to conquer it.  Change the location of the meeting.  Mix up the responsibilities.  Rearrange the order.  Take it offsite if you can.
  3. Lost Ideas.  If you ask the question, “What wants to be the note taker?”, you are lucky to get a quasi-raised-hand.  It may not be the most sought after role on a team, but it is definitely one of the most important.  Corral the collective ideas – you never know what genius they can spur.
  4. Focus on Failures.  Call it what you want – Negative Nellie – Debbie Downer – Sour Sam – Freddy Failure.  If members of your team can only see what won’t work and what didn’t work, the team is destined for an arduous uphill climb.  Challenge the team to be solutions-focused and see what transpires.
  5. Undiscovered Talents.   You may think team roles are obvious based on past performance; however, what a disservice it is to your company when you do not capitalize on the talents of each person on the team.  Step back.  Observe.  Ask.  Be willing to see what others don’t see.
  6. False Agreement.  Don’t be fooled by the team who seems to readily agree.  I’m not implying teams can’t quickly come to a consensus; the can.  If decisions are frequently quickly made there could be an underlying issues – lack of commitment, concern, or empowerment.
  7. Linear Thinking.  Although safe, linear thinking is often not strategic.  Apply any adage here that works for you – Ask the hard questions – Push the envelope – Think outside the box – Play the devil’s advocate.  Explore ideas that are past your immediate focus.
  8. Power Games.   When team members play power games productivity is hurt.  One person doesn’t want to give another person the satisfaction of their ideas coming to fruition.  So, they sabotage the vision of the team.  Nip this in the bud!
  9. Elitism.  If you think you are too good, too important, or too experienced for a team, you’re WRONG!  Your self-adoration can become a burden for the rest of the group.  Check your ego at the door.

“The achievements of an organization are the result of the combined efforts of each individual.” ~ Vince Lombardi