When Teams Don’t Work

Teams have, for many years been the hub of corporate activities, often leading to successful discoveries, completion of projects or whatever else they oversee. Their potential for success is huge, but so is their potential for failure.

Teams per se do not guarantee success but the successful management & function of a team can be highly successful unit & achieve so much more than individuals working on the same task.

I know very few people who actively select members to be on their team because said people are rubbish at their job!

Yet, it often seems that even when you get a group of highly competent individuals together something still does not click.


I think a lot boils-down to confidence (or lack thereof).

From personal experience, we can struggle in a team setting because we’re intimidated by having to talk directly with members of ‘senior management’ or perhaps we’re just not good at putting words together as we would like them to be, or perhaps we fear public speaking & presentations more than the grave, or perhaps we just feel that we have nothing important to say.

Our reasons may be many but the fact is that when such obstacles get in the way, teams can flounder & even become inefficient because other members are trying to compensate for the ‘weak link’.

Confidence is not something we can just ‘switch on’; it comes from experiences where we can grow & enjoy successes. It can grow from having done something before. It can grow from knowing someone well enough to speak with them as a peer without fear of making a mistake. It can sometimes come from being comfortable with simply saying, “I’m sorry; I don’t know but I can find out.

We live at a time when everyone tells us that making mistakes is an important part of improving or learning whilst at the same time they are inflexible & critical of people who don’t make up to the mark.

In this dichotomous environment we must find ways of helping our colleagues, peers & friends to grow in confidence without fear of being disembowelled at their first slip.

Confidence building takes time, energy, effort, support & the right guidance. But I think it also takes an act of will to allow for mistakes & to learn from them rather than criticise at the first opportunity.

And that often takes a degree of self-confidence in our intrinsic value as a person & being confident that making a mistake will not change that in the slightest.

The greatest inventors didn’t create the most significant changes in history as a one-off. They often had many failures & made mistakes, but they also learnt from them & went on to use that experience to achieve their success.

If they were prepared to make mistakes, so should we …. and perhaps those who are unwilling to accept mistakes or failure should look a little closer at themselves & see that most of the time, they are not perfect or infallible 🙂

Until next time …

About waywood

Hi & Welcome to my thoughts. I share subjects that are important to me. As you’ll notice, these subjects can be quite broad & varied. I like variety; I like breadth & I like a challenge. I am passionate about helping others overcome their fears, grow in confidence & succeed. Although many people would label me as an achiever, I have battled low confidence, low self-esteem & a couple of nasty, long periods depression over the years. I can’t say, “I know how you feel” but I can hopefully empathise & offer some of the things that are helping me to turn my life around. Please feel free to comment, share & enjoy. Take care, best wishes & keep well Stuart
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