Is your team struggling with teamwork? This could be the reason

ECP10 Aug20

You are already aware of how important teamwork is and how it affects the productivity and performance of employees. But have you identified the problems which are stopping you from achieving incredible teamwork? 

Today we will share the two most important problems which set the foundation of unproductive teamwork. These include:

  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of conflicts

Lack of trust

If there is a lack of trust between your team members then they will:

  • Do everything to hide their weaknesses and mistakes from other members
  • Not ask for support to other team members due to the fear of politics
  • Assume things about other members without even asking 
  • Never take risks and stay in their comfort zones
  • Waste a lot of time being unnecessarily conscious
  • Not participate in a meeting and find excuses to miss it
  • Hold grudges from each other

If there is trust between your team members they will:

  • Openly admit their weakness and mistakes because they know no one will ever use it against them
  • Ask for help because they are not afraid of showing their incompetence. 
  • Will take risks and get out of their area of expertise to complete a certain task
  • Not waste any time being too careful because they know team members are like family members and they don’t have bad intentions. So, there is no point in being overly protective.
  • Not dread meetings and participate in them with enthusiasm
  • Accept apologies from others without any hesitation

Building trust among your team members is one of the most difficult things you are able to do. The reason being that trust can never be built overnight and requires time. It involves two individuals to share their weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

It requires them to share personal information. To know each other better. Team members must know sensitive information about each other.

One thing to consider in this all is that a team member must never use the weakness of any other member in any argument or debate. If that happens, they will become protective and the trust will start to diminish.

Lack of Conflicts

This comes as a surprise to many people. Before we move forward, let me ask you a simple question based on a scenario.

There are two teams — Team A and Team B. Both have remarkable employees who are experts in their area. 

The members of Team A never have conflicts. The meetings are smooth. They pass each other smiles and welcome each other enthusiastically each morning. If debates happen, they don’t last long. A team member never confronts his/her counterpart until it’s something crucial.

The members of Team B have a lot of conflicts. The meetings are never smooth; they include debates and conflicts. Any team member would confront another team member if he feels something is wrong.

Now based on the information I have shared, which team do you think will have better teamwork? Team A or Team B? Most people will say Team A.

Wrong answer. Team A portrays a false sense of harmony. The team members never confront each other because they don’t trust each other. They feel that conflict will lead to negative circumstances. However, that’s not true. Conflicts help us build trust, know each other better and produce greater results. 

The members of Team B are not afraid of calling each other out. They are comfortable having long debates with each other. They don’t fear conflict because they know conflict will never harm their relationship. They know each member of the team has good intentions and they want the team to win.

If there are no conflicts in your team then your team members will:

  • Try to avoid meetings because meetings will be boring. Conflicts make meetings exciting and engaging. Imagine a movie without conflict. How boring will it be?
  • Hold grudges and backstab each other. This will cultivate an environment of politics
  • Struggle to talk about hard things and controversial topics
  • Will put extra efforts into doing interpersonal risk management

If there are conflicts in your team then your team members will:

  • Better understand other members because debates help us know each other better. It will also help employees tap into perspectives and opinions of others
  • They will look forward to attending team discussions and the meetings will be interesting
  • Benefit from the diverse ideas of each individual
  • Can rectify problems quickly
  • Can talk about hard things easily

Numerous employees try to avoid conflict because they think it will reduce the efficiency that they do not realize is not having conflicts will create bigger problems eventually which will decrease efficiency even more. So, conflicts save a lot of time and increase both efficiency and productivity. 

The best way to overcome the fear of conflict is by acknowledging that conflicts are good and productive. Before starting the meetings, have some topics to have a healthy debate on and when the debate becomes intense, don’t retreat. Continue the debate and once it’s over, remind everyone that conflicts are healthy and productive.


Lack of trust and lack of conflicts are the most common problems teams face. Trust and communication set the foundation for exemplary teamwork. As a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure great teamwork among teams which work under you.

Executives and managers are the most important people when it comes to building great teams. These people manage teams. So, before you hire an executive or a senior manager, make sure they have the skills to build and manage a team. We recommend you hire a Executive search consultant to help you hire high-potential leaders. 


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