The 4 most toxic behaviours in teams.
The four most poisonous behaviours in dysfunctional teams, and what to do about them!
My team coaching clients most often ask me to help them with management but almost always the real challenge concerns values or corporate culture.
So today we’re gonna talk about the four most toxic behaviours destroying any relationship or team. Btw, this is based on the research by John Gottman. The more obvious these behaviours are, the greater the risk that the group will be ineffective, lacking respect or in the worst case hurting what the team or relationship there to support. Whether it’s the foundation to build a family or to manage a business - it really doesn’t matter.
Criticism. That you criticize someone personally, that I am right and you are necessarily wrong. The antidote to criticism: Normally in teams that lack discussion of needs and feelings. The discussion needs to be less confrontational and instead more solution-oriented. For example: For me to not feel stressed in my work I’d need you to deliver on what you promise, I really need to rely on your assistance here. What do we need to do better next time?
Defensive Behavior. "Yes but ..." language or "what about you then, you did this”. The antidote to defensive behaviour: Even if someone that’s normally sloppy points out that you committed a mistake, maybe they’re right. And the time to point their own common sloppy results should wait until you first solve this mistake. The antidote is a human corporate culture that encourages people to admit mistakes and take responsibility to do better.
Stonewalling. That when conflict arises, you become silent. This is much more common amongst men. You shut down because you reach an emotional overload, which means that you can't handle or interpret your emotions. Unfortunately, stonewalling is normally interpreted as not caring. The antidote to stonewalling: What to do is ask about a break and then come back with a constructive response. It takes only 30-90 seconds for the emotional override to overgo into rationality.
Contempt. This one is by far the worst behaviour and an alarming signal that the relationship or team is in bad shape. Contempt has to do with the devaluation of others, that you no longer respect the other party or that you see them as inferior to you. The antidote to contempt: Try to revive fondness and admiration of each other’s competencies and work. Remind each other about what each other’s strengths are. Creative games of gratefulness could help. But if you know that you’re deep into contemptible behaviour in your team, maybe a business coach, facilitator or organizational therapist is your last resort.
If you need a business coach with his own experience from business strategy and leading teams, don’t hesitate to contact me for a free strategy session.