Teamwork: Warning Signs of a Clique
by Kate Nasser |
Teamwork brings to mind images of people interacting to achieve some goal. Generally they develop a closeness, a tight bond, if for only a brief period as they exchange ideas, use their collective experience, and take action. If the team is to stay together as a unit, the tight bond grows tighter. Sounds good right? Yet today’s fast changing business landscape needs agile teams that embrace diversity.
The key question is when does that tight bond become a clique that shuts out new team members, new ideas, and change? Leaders, do you know the warning signs?
If you want to prevent a clique growing in the shadows of your organization, look for the following signs of team health and the potential for a clique and its destructive limiting force.
- Do team members openly disagree to reach the common goal? This is a healthy sign of a team whose bond can withstand pressure without cracking. Or do you sense that team members are pressured to conform to be accepted?
- Does the team avidly and positively welcome new team members when they first arrive? If yes, what do they say and do with the new team members? Healthy signs: “Jump in, ask questions, contribute your strengths, we like diversity …”.
- Does the team reach out to all (especially new team members) for lunches, breaks, etc… The action to include is a healthy sign of a tight bond that can stretch without breaking.
- Do the team members take steps to get the new team members up to speed quickly to make every teamwork moment the most it can be? Or do they expect new team members to prove themselves. If you witness the latter, it is a sign of ill-health.
Leaders, what do you do to promote team health and prevent cliques? What steps have you taken to build agile teams that accept diversity?
Would love to hear your insights and questions below!
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, consults to leaders, teams, and organizations for the healthiest teamwork and agile teams that embrace diversity to meet the quickly changing business landscape. Her workshops, blog articles, and DVDs make a unique contribution to teamwork, customer service, and leadership success.