Enhanced Team Building
Dealing with the Problem Employee
With over 30 years of experience in helping our clients manage their human assets, Dr. Kurt Helm has developed a three-step process for helping the highly valued problem manger get back on track.
3 Simple Ways To Sabotage Teamwork
Wouldn’t you prefer to believe that no one would knowingly sabotage teamwork? Me, too! Unfortunately, teamwork does get sabotaged on a fairly regular basis.
The sabotage, usually unintentional, directly targets the three C’s of teamwork: Cooperation, Coordination and Communication.
Most of us have unintentionally sabotaged teamwork at some time or other. How? Well, there are three simple ways:
1. Be demanding and arrogant. There is a difference between demanding and asking, and it often comes down to the use of one little word, “please.” Inserting the word “please” into your request can change it from a demand into what you meant it to be, a request.
Simply saying “please” also can prompt a bit of a smile on your face or, at least, a less “serious” face.
Finally, using the word “please” and forming that slight smile softens your voice tone so that it is easier for others to hear what you say as a friendly request rather than as an order.
2. Be self-centered and ungrateful. Now, you and I know you aren’t that kind of person, but you can be seen as that kind of person if you don’t make it a habit to say two more little words: “Thank you.”
Deadlines, malfunctioning computers, and unavoidable bottlenecks can create pressure and it is easy to simply forget to thank people for their efforts for the little day-to-day tasks, those that appropriately enough are often called “thankless.” But don’t forget, behind every thankless task is someone’s effort. And we all like recognition for our effort.
3. Be inconsiderate and thoughtless. Interrupt other people’s conversations and their work at will because your agenda is obviously (that is, obvious to you) more important than theirs.
One of the challenges of working in a team is that it involves working with other people, but requires focus and concentration, things that usually are best done alone. Interruptions are inevitable, so when you must ask Charlie a question, begin with, “Excuse me …”, even if Charlie is just staring out the window.
And so, to the three C’s of teamwork I would like to suggest that we add a fourth “C” for “Courtesy.”
Courtesy is the oil that makes the machinery of teamwork run smoothly. When people are brought together to work toward a common goal, it is the synergy they create together that determines whether they produce results that are greater than could be produced by those same people working alone. The creation of that synergy depends on how well they work together. And that depends on courtesy.
Here’s a bit of reinforcement for the power of three simple phrases: when you travel to a foreign country, travel authorities always encourage you to learn at least three phrases in the host country’s language. They are “Excuse me,” “Please,” and “Thank you.”
Making it a habit to use these three simple phrases will go a long way toward assuring that you will experience smoothly functioning teams in all areas of your life.