As a leader, one of your primary jobs is the development of effective and efficient teams in the workplace. How do we do this? Most often people learn from there predecessors. Is this the best way? Others will read books, take classes, and attend workshops to learn as much as possible. Is this the best way? Actually both have advantages. One is the real world and the other is academia. Both are needed to be well rounded.
It is not easy to do a good job as a leader. We all need to study and learn as much as we can. Then to put this into use in the real world. Below I will describe what a dysfunctional team may look like. Then I will describe what a healthy team should look like.
Dysfunctional Team (Co-Dependent Employees)
- Always trying to please everyone
- Fear of Rejection from others, direct their actions
- Fear of anger from others, direct their actions
- Struggles with peace of mind at work
- Self-esteem is not a consideration
- Focus on solving other's peoples problems
- People are being manipulated
Co-dependent employees are not able to function properly on their own. They have not been treated in a manner that will help they build their self-esteem and grow. Below are some of the problems that are associated with co-dependent employees:
- Difficulty in expressing their feelings.
- They are continuously suppressing their anger.
- Difficulty in forming any trusting relationships at work.
- Supervisors seem to take advantage of them and emotionally hurt them.
- They can not meet the goal of being perfect for their boss.
- Difficulty in making changes.
- Mental and physically stressed.
- They strive for approval, to help their self-esteem.
- Difficulty in making decisions.
- They may have anxiety in making decisions.
- They try to avoid all conflict.
- Fear of saying or doing something wrong is always present.
- Non-assertive behavior is the norm.
- They are frustrated about their environment and their career.
- They are frustrated about trying to improve the work situation.
- They do not communicate openly or honestly.
- True feelings are not expressed.
- They have a lost of true identity.
- Personal and professional potential is limited.
After taking a look at the dysfunctional team and co-dependent behavior problems. Now ask yourself, is there a better way? Of course there is! What can be done as a leader to help improve the environment and change the behaviors of our followers? First, we need knowledge and understanding of both the dysfunctional team and what a healthy team looks like.
In essence, what does healthy behavior look like in a good effective and efficient team? Below is a listing of what healthy behavior actually looks like:
A Healthy Team
- People take responsibility for their job.
- There is honest input provided from team members.
- People seem to be assertive enough to express their feelings.
- People encourage one another.
- There is a wider picture and more diversity in decision making.
- Positive motivation is the norm.
- Commitment and loyalty is expressed.
- People work to their potential.
- People want increased responsibility.
- Changes to improve work are easily accepted.
- People express themselves at work.
- There are collaborative efforts rather than controlling behaviors.
- A supportive environment.
If we, as leaders are able to increase the healthy behaviors and reduce the co-dependent behaviors; we will take the first steps toward developing a healthy team. The healthy behaviors that are listed can restore people mentally and physically. These behaviors allow people to excel to their potential. They in turn will increase self-esteem, commitment to the organization and become more self-sufficient. They will be able to make decisions and at times be more creative and innovative in their approach. This will also allow us to form a team that is more effective and efficient in their work activities.
Finally, you as a leader will be responsible in forming a healthy team.
- When Money Is Not Enough, Eileen R. Hannegan, Beyond words Publishing, Inc., Hillsboro, Oregon 1995