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Powerful Team Development Programme in Africa

Human nature – often the team’s undoing

“Real teams, not just groups that management calls teams, should be the basic unit of performance for most organisations, regardless of size. In any situation requiring the real-time combination of multiple skills, experiences, and judgements, a team inevitably gets better results than a collection of individuals operating within confined job roles and responsibilities.” (From “The Wisdom of Teams” by Katzenbach & Smith)

You may or may not agree with this but, if it is true, a relevant question to ask must be: ‘Why don’t we put more management time and effort into making our teams the basic unit of performance?’

One obvious answer is human nature. Human nature can undermine team performance.

When people are required to work together in order to achieve performance goals for which they are to be held mutually accountable, human nature has an uncomfortable habit of getting in the way.

Typically we are likely to find the following occurring:

  • Subjective opinions easily take the place of objective assessment.
  • Symptoms of problems tend to get massaged rather than real causes identified.
  • Blame & recrimination get in the way of a proper analysis of facts & events.
  • Stronger personalities dominate rather than behaviours being moderated.
  • People react emotively rather than responding thoughtfully.
  • Trying harder doing the same thing in the same way instead of a structured process.

Consider your own experience in both past and current ‘teams’. How often is progress frustrated and performance undermined by some or all of the above factors?

The Achievement Process introduces a way of ensuring that people working in groups are able to overcome the ‘human nature’ obstacles that too often get in the way of team performance.

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