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How to build effective work teams? by Next Step |   posted: 06/20/2013

Challenges of Teamwork


Having successful teams in your organization is a valuable asset, but what are some challenges that you can run into?

Personal agendas being priority

For most of our life we are conditioned to do things by ourselves, such as passing exams, Depositphotos_3215772_lsmfinding a college, finding a job, and securing a promotion, to name just a few. We therefore get used to pursuing our personal agenda. To get results in a team you need to create conditions where success or failure depends on the team as a whole. If only one individual can achieve his or her outcome, the team will always come second.

Using conflict

Conflict in teams is inevitable and conflict is not a bad thing. What is important is that conflict is productive rather than destructive. Used well, conflict can be channeled to stretch the boundaries of what is possible, to encourage creativity and ultimately to achieve a better outcome.


Teams achieve more when all of the members are fully engaged and focused on the outcome. The challenge is to avoid situations where people on the team become disengaged. Look out for signs of those holding back or not offering their views and find ways of getting their views heard.

Silo thinking

This is a particular challenge where you have people in teams from different roles, functions or departments within the organization. It is all too easy for people to drift into analyzing what it will mean for their particular role or department and to start viewing things in win-lose terms. In these situations, it is key that the benefits from the team as a collective far outweigh any benefits that could be obtained on an individual basis.

Lack of clarity

Achieving anything starts with being clear on what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. As a leader of a team, it is important that the team as a collective has clarity on the outcomes and why they are so important.

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