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Me vs. We

The drivers of workplace behavior can be both selfish and altruistic. Our personal desire for achievement can overtake our mission to advance the lives of others. When our own needs clamor for satisfaction, the greater good sometimes gets sacrificed. Few of us, however, live in isolation. Most of us are members of relationships, families, teams, and organizations where goals are shared.

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How Communication Changes in Team Settings

The ability to collaborate effectively within teams is one of the greatest tests of communication. Growing up, most of our education is skewed toward individual success. We learn to set goals, take initiative, and budget our time based on our own pace and work ethic. We assume that applying the same rubric will lead to success in team settings. We believe the contribution of strong individual performance along with respect for others constitutes teamwork. Not always. In fact, it might even be a detriment.

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Are Some Teams Too Broken to be Fixed?

When the toxic element of a team devolves to a mutiny, the chance of repairing a broken culture is slim. Intractable positions only end in standoffs. Of all the reasons teams become stuck, this is the least healthy. The bulk of the team’s energy is consumed in reacting to its demise. At this stage, choices are limited. You can stay stuck or move forward.

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Team Behavior Checklist

Many organizations are stratified in ways that makes teamwork difficult. Whether a silo or a hierarchy, collaboration has a secret set of rules when boundaries are in play. Whatever the structure, second-class citizens have a lesser voice at the team table. How might this play out in your workplace?

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No More Touchy Feely Team Building Workshops

All too often, leadership wants to jump ahead to strategic planning before stabilizing the infrastructure of their teams. In the classic Tuckman group theory of Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing, they prefer to skip the “storming” and “norming” phases. They’re uncomfortable – too touchy feely. Let’s just form and perform. Unfortunately, teams can’t sustain performance without storming and norming. The conflict and diversity that characterizes these phases are necessary ingredients for team effectiveness.

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