The Worst Team Experience and Its Causes

One of my worst experiences of teamwork was mutual distrust. In a real team, people calmly admit their mistakes and weaknesses, discuss the instances which bother them, and are not afraid of condemnation or disapproval. The lack of trust in collaboration can be evidenced by a simple fact — the absence of heated disputes and discussions at general meetings. It seems that complete agreement is a sign of mutual understanding, but it often indicates that people are simply afraid or do not want to express controversial opinions. The way to build trusting relationships is through recognizing one’s vulnerability — both on the part of the team leader and each of the team members.

The second problem in team collaboration is closely related to the first: not feeling trust in each other, when team members avoid conflicts by accepting false consent. Proper consent comes only as conflicts are resolved and difficulties are overcome. It is essential to distinguish a constructive conflict from a non-constructive one. In the first, the participants exclusively discuss ideas and views. In the second, they turn to personalities and allow insults. In such a team, I encountered many intrigues between team members, which caused mutual resentment to grow. In addition, colleagues constantly did not listen to each other. All this led to the fact that it became impossible to solve complicated issues. This was due to the fact that opinions were constantly diverging. At the same time, every member was afraid to make decisions or agree on cooperation.

Thus, non-necessity manifests itself, which goes hand in hand with uncertainty. If one of the team members ignores the agreement, other participants will quickly follow his or her example. Moreover, if there is an atmosphere of distrust in the team and no one says what they think, the work processes slowly. Each team leader has the right to demand from the members a report on the work done. However, many are afraid to do this for fear of spoiling the relationship. Even if a member of the team understands that one of their colleagues is doing something wrong, they prefer to remain silent rather than express it directly to this person, based on the principle that “it is not my business.”

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