The Best 5 Tips Ever To Fix Your Dysfunctional Team


The surest way to fix any team is to determine what you want the team to accomplish. Secondly, to fix yourself.

What are the secrets to fixing dysfunctional teams? How can you personally fix the broken teams you are on?

Teamwork continues to be among the hottest topics in business, with organizations spending many millions of dollars and countless hours on training workshops and experiential programs each year. The goal of course is to unlock the promises of team dynamics: better decisions, increased productivity, more innovation and higher levels of engagement.

Yet, so few teams ever actually work. Instead of healthy innovation, there are fights for one’s own ideas, instead of camaraderie there is resentment. Most common of all is a professional passive-aggressiveness, where team members remain silent when together, but then dissent later in private. Despite the tired, oft-repeated process of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing, most teams seem to be stuck in Storming. Or worse, boring.

Liane Davey, an organizational psychologist and consultant, makes a bold claim that not only can a toxic team be fixed, but that anybody on the team can fix it, even without the initial support of the team leader or peers. In her new book, You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done, Davey explains that there are five kinds of toxic teams:

The Crisis Junkie Team—stalled by unclear priorities and lack of role clarity, this team lurches along until a crisis forces it to unite around a common goal.

The Bobble Head Team—homogenized by shared values and perspectives, this team maintains harmony at the cost of little innovation.

The Spectator Team—fragmented by team members who have “checked out”, this team sinks into apathy.

The Bleeding Back Team—plagued by underground conflict and personal histories, this team keeps the peace in public but fights in private.

The Royal Rumble Team—scarred by attacks and emotional outbursts, this team swings back and forth without ever moving forward.

Davey asserts that in her 17 years of working with teams to improve their dynamics, every successful turnaround effort was initially led by one “brave soul who looked in the mirror and didn’t like what he or she saw.”

This potent advice is initially of course hard for us to swallow. It’s easy to wait for the team leader to fix the team, it’s easy to blame other team members for the dysfunction, it’s easy to just give up hope that it will ever be better. It is far harder to identify our own culpability in the situation, and to take ownership for making things better.

This simple idea is perhaps the most profound: if you change yourself, you will change your team.[…]

Read more via 5 Ways To Fix Your Dysfunctional Team.

For more than 25 years we’ve helped build better teams: better decisions, increased productivity, more innovation and higher levels of engagement. Learn more. 

Jim Woods

Jim Woods

Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve. – See more at:

See a partial list of Jim’s clients. Hire Jim Woods to Speak  | Follow us: Facebook | Follow us: Twitter | Skype ID – jim.woods79


Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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Posted in Leadership, Team Building

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