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I hear it all the time…my team is not performing and I don’t know why. People know something is wrong, but can’t but their finger on the issue. Here are 5 things to consider when trying to determine why your team isn’t performing.

1. Team meetings- collaborative or a catastrophe? Meetings are supposed to be interactive. You meet, discuss and deliberate. They are called meetings because they are collaborative. The purpose is to bring everyone together, not dictate your demands. If your team members are not participating then they do not feel like they are a part of a team. They feel they are working under a dictator, and not in a democracy.

Extra Tip: If you ever said “This isn’t a democracy. It is a dictatorship” people do not feel like they are a part of your team.

2. Ideas are not freely discussed: Everyone should be free to throw out any idea they have about how to make things better. As a leader it is your job to weed out the bad ones, and most of the good ones too. However, a safe environment to discuss ideas is necessary for healthy teams. Providing a safe place for your team to discuss ideas creates trust. You have to have trust on a team. Period.

3. Got gossip? Does your team talk about others instead of dealing with the problem head on? Do you talk about your team as opposed to dealing with problem head on? If your team doesn’t know how to handle conflict then trust will erode. You have to have trust on a team. Period.

4. Are you fair and consistent? It is natural to have favorites! However, when leading a team you have to hold everyone to the same standards. Your team watches you like a hawk. If you do not hold everyone to the same standard trust will erode. You have to have trust on a team. Period.

5. Does your team think in terms of the greater good? On healthy teams a win for the group is a win for the individual. When one struggles, everyone struggles. This is what it means to be a part of something greater than one’s self. You need to lead your team to put team goals ahead of personal ones. You also need to make sure team members have a clear understanding of the overall company goals. Toxic teams think me. Healthy teams think we.

Great teams are a choice. So are bad ones…you have the choice to lead either.