7 Things Healthy Teams Check at the Door

I think healthy teams are intentionally created, so wherever I serve I’m consistently trying to make our environment better.

Over the years, I’ve learned some things will not develop healthy teams. Many times it’s as much about what we don’t have on our team as what we do have. 

The team I now serve with works well together – most of the time. We get along well with each other. My theory is it may have to do as much with what we don’t bring to the time we spend together as it does what we bring to the that time.

Let me explain. 

Here are 7 things healthy teams check at the door:

Egos. There is no place for them. A team requires everyone pulling equal weight. That means everyone should get equal recognition. No one thinks they are “better” or more important to the team. 

Closed minds. Healthy teams need every opinion on the team. The synergy of differences makes the team better. No idea is too crazy or wild to at least talk about together — maybe even experiment. 

Domination. No one is in “control” on a healthy team. There are times when all team members are in “charge” because of their responsibilities.

Selfishness. Teams can’t be healthy when everyone is looking out for themselves. Healthy teams work together and support one another. They share time and resources. 

Negativity. No one benefits from a poor attitude. Encouragement fuels health and production. Healthy teams encourage one another. 

Personal criticism. Healthy teams support one another personally. They become like family — loving each other. They build each other up — not tear each other down. There may be teasing in fun, but a healthy team learns when even teasing goes too far. (I’ve personally had to go back and apologize for teasing.) 

Stubbornness. When any team member holds out for “their” way — including the leader — it keeps the organization from achieving health.

What would you add to my list?

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29 thoughts on “7 Things Healthy Teams Check at the Door

  1. Great if you exist in an environment that supports these ideals. Not so great if you exist in an ecosystem that values hegemony, groupthink, coercion, and practices retaliation towards those expressing ideas counter to the expected norm of the group leaders (even though they pretend there 'are no leaders'.

  2. good thoughts…..I would add exclusiveness to your list. When you attend a church and get the feeling that you have do something to be accepted in a club, not a church.

  3. Yes I do work on a great team. I treat them as family. We don’t always agree but we settle everything with love.
    Twitter: mrsmilton0304

  4. I love this post Ron! It is timely for me as well because, in our effort to protect an already amazing culture in our organization, we are taking our teams though Patrick Lencioni's 5 Dysfunctions of a Team Workbook. One of the things that we touched on as a leadership team last week was true HONESTY. We have to be honest with each other, especially when we are in conflict. The "last 10 percent" concept is one we strive for but is not always easy. The last ten percent is usually where the real meat lies but it's also where you'll find the greatest potential for hurt feelings. We enter into that realm by stating it out loud before we go there. That helps people know that we are going to share something that may sting but we only share it out of our desire to grow and overcome conflict in a healthy way. This ties to to the fear comments in a lot of ways.

    • Thanks Steve. I love the 10% concept. We've been trying to live by that also. It's tough, but so important for healthy relationships.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  5. I would agree with those listed in the comments before me, but would really emphasize fear. I've found this to be a major factor in team health. But when fear is checked, the team function immeasurably better.

  6. I agree with what you have written, but I'd add that I think these are things that healthy people need to check at the door all the time, not just in a team environment.

  7. I would have to agree with Geoff. Fear is probably the biggest tool the enemy uses against us today. Fear to move forward, fear of the unknown. The 7 most dangerous words ever spoken in a business meeting: We never did it that way before!
    Twitter: bryankr

  8. Great list, Ron. Thanks!

    The only thing I'd add (and it probably is an element in each of your 7 things) is fear. I've found that if together we deal with the fear that causes all this stuff, it'll pull us together as a team.