Characteristics of Ineffective Teams

July 8th, 2010 by Martin Smith Leave a reply »

Ineffective teamsFollowing on from my previous posting about Successful Teams, I got to thinking about teams that are not so successful. Luckily for me I have not worked in any that I would call truly ineffective teams but I have worked in one or two that could be described as dysfunctional on occasion!


Anyway it got me thinking about what particular Characteristics you would be likely to see in an Ineffective Team. I came up with the following;

  • Domination by the leader
  • Warring cliques or sub-groups
  • Unequal participation or uneven use of group resources
  • Rigid or dysfunctional group norms and procedures
  • A climate of blame, defensiveness or fear
  • Uncreative alternatives to problems
  • Restricted, poor quality or non-existent communication
  • Avoidance of differences or potential conflicts


It’s likely that conditions such as those above would reduce the team’s ability to work together in collective problem-solving or project situations.  Ideally, the role of the manager would be to help the group become aware of its processes and begin to develop greater group skills. However, if the manager is part of the problem then this may be better achieved with the help of some external resource such as a Consultant or Specialist.

In terms of specific actions, after becoming aware of a process problem, the group needs to establish a procedure, guidelines, or plan of action to reduce the negative conditions. Openness and honesty within the team will play a big part in resolving such issues and it is here that a skilled facilitator can be useful in helping the team to address such issues in an effective manner.

Team Building and Effective Team Working are just some of  the many management skills programmes that we can help you with, either individually or for your company. To discuss how we might be able to help why not give us a call on 07702 110676 or email us at [email protected] for a no obligations exploration of your needs. We’re highly recommended!


Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd is a specialist consultancy working with leaders at all levels to improve their relationships with the people that they interact with both internally and externally to the company. We work with organisations, teams and individuals to identify how they can get the best from their people. We have experience spanning diverse industries and encompassing sectors such as engineering, design, customer service, finance, supply chain, sales and procurement.


To discuss how Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd can help you and your business please contact us;


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