After two decades working with corporate groups and professional sporting teams, I have identified how toxicity and individualism affects teamwork and the culture within an organisation.
Depending on how much trust you have developed within your team, as a leader your team culture would lie somewhere in the above model.
A toxic team environment is something that you can not only feel, but also see and hear. The organisation radiates negative energy resulting in constant complaining and adverse feedback.
There is an abundant lack of trust about the leadership with team members. The team members often begin to withdraw and start forming their own cliques. The only way to stem the damage this causes, is to make a choice whether to be part of the team or leave.
Isolated and individualised efforts can bring out and promote creativity, but hinder and effect cooperation which then causes internal conflicts to arise. This happens when individuals take credit for others successes, generally having the mindset that the rest of the team is beneath them.
All of which, leads to a feeling of contempt, and results in a high employee turnover rate. These individuals need to make more of an effort to connect and be team players, and realise that a team environment revolves around WE, not ME.
Moving from a disconnected to a connected and collaborative team, starts with cooperation. While most leaders recognise teamwork’s critical value and the importance of cultivating a cooperative mindset, many actually tend to encourage behaviors that undermine cooperation. Honesty meetings, are a crucial approach in helping build an optimistic mentality, leaving employees with a renewed confidence in what they can achieve.
Collaboration is more about when a team comes together and is starting to “Buy in” to the bigger picture. The team members feel an emotional investment of not wanting to let there work mates down. This collaboration is built through the day-to-day adversities the employee’s face together, which produces a stronger bond. It is not built through structures, tactics, strategising, preparing, wishing, hoping, dreaming and financial incentives.
The key factor in building a collaborative team, is trust.
The best teams are the ones who care for each other, are self-sacrificing and each employee has an altruistic mindset. They are willing to put others first and disregard their own well-being. They have a bond so strong and akin to family, that through the trust and honesty, loyalty is bred.
Mutual trust, loyalty and a sense of belonging is at its strongest and highest point, when everyone is focused on the one goal with the higher purpose. The team members do not show concern, on who is going to get the credit or how much they are getting paid. Everyone works as one, to leave the team in a better place than when they started.
My Takeaway for this week:
If you have toxicity and individualism within your ranks, this would no doubt be affecting your productivity and sales. This is where I come in, and move your team from where they are now, to an altruistic mindset.
If you are interested in moving from a disconnected to connected environment with improved engagement and camaraderie, drop me a line and I will send you through a copy of my white paper entitled, Selfless Leadership and we can discuss how to get your team playing for the name on the front of the jersey, and not the name on the back.
Have a great week ahead.