Tag: Teamwork

Tips on Dealing With Poor Team Players

Dealing with poor team players

When we manage a team, there will always be a time where we have to address a member, or members, that are not working well with the group. No one wants to be the bad guy, but if the employee is not confronted and not given the chance to improve, it can affect the other members of the team and could cause a ‘domino effect’ for productivity. Learn the techniques of approaching this delicate situation and look out for your team as a whole – not just one member.

Manage Their Results, Not Their Activities

It  is more important to monitor the employee’s results, rather than the individual activities. If the employee is delivering great work and it’s on time, then the process of how they finish it means very little.

For many team members, having this sense of freedom and trust can boost their confidence and improve productivity. However, if a team member is not completing work on time or is not turning in projects, then this is an indication of poor work habits and the team leader should investigate into what is causing the problem. Approach the employee and talk to them about their routine schedule. If needed, organize some form of an improvement plan to help them adjust their ways of completing their assignments.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

It is better to be prepared for any mishap before it happens, which is why it is important to be proactive rather than reactive. If we wait for something to go wrong before we act on it, we cannot think clearly about what to do and it may be too late to fix. The same theory goes for team members. Do not sit back and wait for them to make a mistake before they are taught how to do something correctly. Monitor each employee’s progress and notice any minor problems they may have along the way. Speak to the team member early on when they problem starts and try to find a way to guide them on the right path. This will prevent the problem from getting worse and having to use more damage control later. Being proactive will always keep you one step ahead and ready to help the employee succeed.

Check In Often

On the same lines of being proactive, be sure to check in with your team members often. They may not always have the chance to contact you or may not want to admit they need help. Schedule some form of regular communication for informal check in times that best work for you and the employee. Check in can be done by a phone call or simply sending an email. This will help both of you stay on track and allows you to report any feedback that needs to be addressed. Think of it as keeping a close eye on your flock and ensuring that you are there for them if they happen to go astray.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Example forms of check in methods:

  • Email
  • Phone call
  • Recurring group meeting
  • Video chat

Remove Them

Sometimes after a team leader has tried several attempts to help a team member work well on a team, they come to realize that the particular employee is just not a great fit and will need to be removed. Some employees can be too disruptive to their teammates or are not able to work independently. This can cause problems for the whole team and should be addressed right away. Before you decide to remove the employee, make sure your ducks are in a row and that you have done all you can to help them succeed, such as personal help or extra training. If you have followed all of the correct guidelines and the employee does not show any type of improvement, then you can take the next steps in removing the employee from the team. Some employees may be reassigned to another department in the company while others may need to be fired altogether. Review all of their available options and determine which would be best for the company and the team.



The Importance of Commitment in Teamwork

The Importance of Commitment in Teamwork

People often have a tendency to associate commitment with emotions. They will follow through on something if they feel right about it. Real commitment is not based on emotions but is a character quality that helps you reach your goals. Where emotions changes and go up and down, commitment has to remain solid. A solid team is made up out of team members with a solid commitment to the team.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Commitment is Discovered in Adversity

You find out how committed the members of your team are when the team faces adversity. Struggles often strengthen a team’s resolve. Adversity promotes commitment and commitment in turn, promotes hard work. The more work a team puts into a project, the less likely they are to give up. Committed team members do not give up easily.

Commitment is not Dependent on Gifts or Abilities

Commitment does not automatically come with talent. You have to connect your gifts and abilities with commitment. Too many highly talent individuals squander their potential because they do not commit. Team members do not always underperform because they lack ability or opportunity, but because they are not using what they already have. If you commit to using the talent you already have, you will find that you have more talent and more to offer the team.

Commitment is a Choice

Whatever the conditions may be, commitment is always a matter of choice. Your conditions do not determine your choices; your choices determine your conditions. When you choose to be committed, you increase the chances of you and your team being successful.

Commitment Lasts When it is Based on Values

It is one thing to commit to something; it is another to remain committed. What do you base your commitment on? Choices based on solid life values place you in a better position to sustain your level of commitment. A commitment to something you belief in, is a commitment that is easier to keep.

How to Improve Your Level of Commitment

  • Tie Your Commitment to Your Values: Take time to reflect on your values. Your values are closely related to your ability to fulfill your commitments. Reevaluate commitments not related to your values and commit yourself to those values that you are not living out.
  • Take Risks: Commitment involves risk. You may fail or your team members may let you down. Give your best anyway, you will not regret it.
  • Evaluate the Commitment of Other Team Members: You cannot make a commitment to an uncommitted team member and expect a commitment from them. Examine your relationship to see if your reluctance to commit is due to the potential recipient being untrustworthy.

Resource: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player




The Importance of Adaptability in Teamwork

The Importance of Adaptability in Team Work

Personal rigidity does not mix well with teamwork. As a member of a team, you need to adapt yourself to others in order to be a good team player. Team players that are adaptable are teachable, emotionally secure, creative, and service minded.

Related: Building Teams by Encouraging Teamwork

Adaptable Team Players Are Teachable

An adaptable team member places a high priority on breaking new ground and is highly teachable. If you are highly skilled in one area, you can use and adapt those skills to new projects. This approach will only work for those team members that are teachable. Team members who are not teachable have a difficult time dealing with change and, as a result, they never adapt well.

Adaptable Team Players Are Emotionally Secure

Everything is a challenge or a threat to the team member that is not emotionally secure. They will tend to react with rigidity and suspicion when another talented person is added to the team, there is a change in their position, or a change in the way things are done. An emotionally secure team member is not nervous by the change. They can evaluate the new situation and change their responsibilities based on its merits.

Adaptable Team Players Are Creative

People that adapt easy are usually creative. When difficulties come, they find a way to overcome them. Creative people do not act in fear when they are challenged to do something different; they say, “let’s try it, even if we blow it.”

Related: Creative Thinking Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Adaptable Team Players Are Service Minded

Team members that are focused on themselves are less likely to make changes for the team than those who are focused on serving others. When your goal is to serve the team, adapting to accomplish the goal is not that difficult.

How to Become a More Adaptable Team Member

  • Make learning a habit: Always look for new things to learn, share it with your friends or colleagues and file away what you have learnt for future use.
  • Reevaluate your role in the team: Look at your current role in the team and try and discover if there is another role you could fulfill better than your current one.
  • Think outside the box: Many people are not adaptable because of negative ruts. Do not think of reasons why something cannot be done, but think of how it can be done. Look for unconventional solutions when you meet a challenge. You will be surprised how creative you can become if you continually strive to do so.

Resources: The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player



How to Solve Problems as a Team

How to Solve Problems as a Team

Solving problems are one of the most common objectives of a team and is usually the . The diverse set of skills the team members bring to the team enhances the chance of finding a solution. In this article we will be looking at how problems are solved as a team.

Related: Problem Solving Outcome Based Team Building Activities

The Six Thinking Hats

Dr. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique which a team can use to solve problems by looking at the problem from various different perspectives. It encourages team members to move outside their habitual ways of thinking. It also assists the team to understand the full complexity of a decision and to identify issues and opportunities which they might not otherwise notice. The various different perspectives are symbolized by different color hats. The act of putting on a colored hat allows a team member to symbolically think in terms of the perspective which the colored hat symbolizes.

White Hat – Neutrality
The team members make statements of fact. Information that is absent is identified and the views of people who are not present are presented in a factual manner.

Red Hat – Feeling
The team members state their feelings and exercise their gut instincts. It is a good method of harvesting ideas and getting the team to identify their top two or three choices. It helps the team to reduce a list of many options into a few to focus on. In this method of thinking each team member gets to vote for the solution they prefer.

Black Hat – Negative Judgment
Team members are encourage to identify barriers, hazards, risks and other negative connotations. This perspective involves critical thinking with team members looking for problems and mismatches. In this state team members should be discouraged from seeking solutions to raised problems.

Yellow Hat – Positive Judgment
Team members are asked to identify the benefits associated with a certain option or solution. In contrast to black hat thinking, this perspective looks for reasons in favor of something. This perspective is not just blind optimism but it is also an analytical process.

Green Hat – Creative Thinking
Team members are encouraged to think for the sake of identifying new possibilities. Things are said for the sake of seeing what they might mean, rather than to form a judgment. This form of thinking can take many forms and can cover the full spectrum of creativity.

Blue Hat – The Big Picture
All the team members are asked to discuss the thinking process. The team leader will generally wear this hat throughout the process and each member will be require to put it on from time to time. This hat should be used at the beginning of the problem solving session to set objectives and to define the route to take to get to them. It is also used to evaluate where the group has got to, and where the thinking process is going.


Brainstorming is a simple but effective method for generating ideas and suggestions. Brainstorming sessions allow team members to use each other as creative resources and are effective when a subject is being introduced. The aim of brainstorming is to generate a large quantity of ideas in a short time. This is usually followed by the sorting and prioritizing of the ideas to refine the results.

Building Consensus

Consensus is the point of maximum agreement from which action can follow. It is the one solution where everyone in the team feels that they have a solution that does not compromise any strong conviction or needs. In order to reach consensus, team members share, discuss, evaluate, organize and prioritize ideas.

To obtain consensus among the team, the leader must be able to separate the content from the process. The process should get the most attention with the leader assisting the team to solve its own problem.

The problem-solving process is as follows:

  1. Identify the problem or goal.
  2. Generate alternative solutions.
  3. Establish objective criteria.
  4. Decide on a solution that best fits the criteria.
  5. Proceed with the solution.

Everyone involved in the process should understand exactly which step is being worked on at any given point. When team members sense a problem, they are usually reacting to symptoms of the problem. But they are side effects of the real problem which usually lies below the surface.




Quotes to Inspire Teamwork

Quotes to Inspire Teamwork

Teamwork is an essential part of everyday life. You are often expected to be a functional part of a team whether at home, participating in sport or at work. When every member works for the team and works together as a team, the team’s chances of success increases. Each team member brings his or her own unique skills to the team, making available a diverse range of resources for the team.

We have put together the following quotes to inspire your team to a higher degree of teamwork:

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”
– Mother Teresa

“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.”
– Brian Tracy

“I’m not under too much of an illusion of how smart or un-smart I am because film making ultimately is about teamwork.”
– Guy Ritchie

“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”
– Patrick Lencioni

“In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.”
– Mark Sanborn

“My work is all about adventure and teamwork in some of the most inhospitable jungles, mountains and deserts on the planet. If you aren’t able to look after yourself and each other, then people die.”
– Bear Grylls

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
– Henry Ford

“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
– Steve Jobs

“When you start out in a team, you have to get the teamwork going and then you get something back.”
– Michael Schumacher

“I invite everyone to choose forgiveness rather than division, teamwork over personal ambition.”
– Jean-Francois Cope

“There’s a tipping point that happens with soccer in which you just kinda get it. I was drawn to it because the best soccer teams play similarly to my favorite basketball teams – like the eighties Lakers or eighties Celtics – teams that emphasized teamwork over individualism and relied on passing as their biggest ongoing edge.”
– Bill Simmons

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
– Helen Keller

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
– Phil Jackson

“The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.”
– Rensis Likert

“Teamwork is the secret that make common people achieve uncommon result.”
– Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

“To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important than competing with one another.”
– John C. Maxwell

“Teamwork makes the dream work”
– Bang Gae

“Teamwork is essential that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
– Vince Lombardi

“Of what need is teamwork without a common goal?”
– Ogwo David Emenike

Team Building Activity Quote