4 Easy Steps to Disable a Team

Published: July 11, 2013

Breaking the spirit of a team is simple. Here are four easy steps to successfully halt the evolution of any team's growth.

Step One

Avoid conflict at all costs. It doesn’t feel good and it requires considering other frames of reference. Take the easiest path to reach the goal with the least possible friction. Do not concern yourself with contrary opinions as they only cause discomfort and slow the process.

Step Two

Steer away from commitments that require discipline. The real world has too many unforeseen obstacles to expect accountability. Those who are counting on the outcomes you promised will understand when things don’t go as planned. Lower the pressure and take it easy.

Step Three

Stick to what has worked in the past. Stretching limits leads to risk and risks lead to danger. Play it safe. You’re better off letting others make the mistakes and learning from their errors. Pushing innovation causes anxiety and stress inevitably forces change. Change hurts.

Step Four

Broadcast your dissatisfaction with anything that changes. Telegraph displeasure in a way that ensures the world will understand the depth of your pain. Wait as long as you can to begin solving the problem. Focus the majority of your energy on venting and experience the support of your peers when the contagiousness of your expression alters their moods until they become a perfect reflection of yours. Misery loves company.

You’ve done it! You’ve now successfully broken the spirit of your team. You’ve spared yourself the expenditure of investment. You’ve eluded the consequences of trust. You’ve shielded yourself from the fear of innovation. You’ve fended off any expectation to cope with change effectively. Nothing has been ventured. Nothing has been gained. The world stays

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.