Work Environments That Can Destroy Teams

Have you ever been on a team of self-driven, motivated, tenacious people? A team where it seems like everyone comes to work prepared to take on whatever the charge is? A team where people are confident in themselves and trust the motives of their co-workers? A team where people are ok with tough conversations and decisions get made so everyone is clear on the next steps?

I love those teams! Whatever the operation or project, the team kicks butt and takes names.

I often think about these teams when I work with a team that’s the opposite. I ask myself, “What happened here? Why are these people waiting around for instruction with sullen expressions?”

What’s the cause of the gap between these two types of teams?

Generalizing, I would say that the following can be root causes:

1. A micromanaging leader that doesn’t want decisions made without their input or oversight (ever)

2. One or two toxic teammates are allowed to run amuck unchecked

3. An unclear, demotivating, or unrealistic objective

4. A thankless environment where a good job is unappreciated

5. Unbalanced work where doing well requires an individual to sacrifice all personal time without reprieve

6. A leader that doesn’t get it and doesn’t realize they don’t get it

These are just a few that I thought of quickly. What working environments have you seen take a team from self-motivated and driven to unmotivated and lacking interest?


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