The micromanagement style of the team leader will often encourage team players to hide certain things lest their decisions are overridden. Thus the organisation becomes subject to a left-hand-doesn’t-know-what-the- right-hand-is-doing syndrome. Moreover, if an open and honest communication is not practiced, the dysfunctional behaviour will further entrench into the corporate culture.
It is imperative to have honest, constructive criticisms to enhance the performance of the team. Lack of conflict and presence of artificial harmony are warning signs. Dysfunctional team meetings are often boring and disengaging and the perspectives of team members are not solicited.
Beyond that, when team members are not committed, it shows in the way they lack confidence and fear failures. They often tend to delay decisions and progress of the team is therefore, compromised. As a result, deadlines are missed, deliverables are incomplete and mediocrity is acceptable. This kind of behaviour de-motivates other team players and encourages passivism. Ambiguity is the norm of a dysfunctional team.
Furthermore, when it comes to accountability, there is always a lot of finger-pointing in a dysfunctional team and no one takes responsibility for low performance. Another common trait of dysfunctional teams is that they waste a lot of time and energy managing their behaviour for effect. They are more worried about what others think of them rather than how the team will benefit from their ideas and collaboration.
Discipline easily becomes a bone of contention and personal attacks and back-stabbing become the norm. Individual members shift their focus on personal goals, causing further resentment within the team members.
A dysfunctional team that has little focus on results can be easily distracted and defeated by competitors. Inattention to a result-driven strategy leads to failure of the team’s objectives.
This article was first published in HEADHUNT executive education guide.