Partners for Organizational Success, LLC

Partners for Organizational Success, LLC

Together we build solutions to guide change into the future

Team Myths, Misconceptions, and Pitfalls

Misconceptions about teams abound. Approximately fifty percent of the companies in the United States attempt to create or believe that they have team-based organizations. In reality, only approximately seven percent of the companies in the United States have achieved team-based organizations.

Labeling a group as a team does not create a team. Team-type meetings, including training and team building sessions, do not create teams. Regardless of labels or training, as long as a group continues to focus on the performance of the individual, with no common group or team purpose, the group will not become a team.

A classic myth of team building is that establishing team-type values is sufficient to enhance work output to that produced by true teams. These team-type values include friendliness, mutual supportiveness, sharing of information, and constructive problem solving. Although these values are helpful and may create an enjoyable work environment in the short term, expecting these values to create a team while neglecting the other necessary elements eventually will cause frustration and future problems.

Teams need meetings. Poor meetings, such as those called simply “to discuss the issues,” will inhibit the focus towards the common goals and prevent the mutual accountability required. Meetings centered on the purpose and production of the team foster an environment of accomplishment and team success.

Teams require strong, supportive leaders respected by the team members. Many aspects of the team operation and production require the members to share leadership responsibilities. The formal leader recognizes the situations where this is important and ensures that all members share this responsibility appropriately.

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Team Steps