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From Chaos to Collaboration: Reclaiming Team Harmony

By Claudia Wyatt

Is it possible to turn around a dysfunctional team? Every leader has battled through dysfunction. Constantly putting out fires. Team members not getting along. The list keeps growing and nothing is getting done. Everyone is always complaining about every little thing. The wants are continuously being asked for without any consideration of the needs. More problems without solutions. Everyone is turning to you to fix it. Every day becomes what now? 

You are getting further and further away from the mission. Disconnected from what you were hired to do. All because your team does not know how to function because they do not know their purpose. They do not know where they fit. They have suffered more than you realize at the hands of a toxic leader. It has left deep wounds that need to be healed. They don’t know how to find their way back.

They are afraid to make a mistake. They have quit and stayed. They do not feel seen or heard. They do not believe they can make a difference even if they apply all their efforts. They don’t believe in their team. They have given up on leadership and your company. Your culture is going down in flames because they do not think change is possible. How do you come back from this? How do you unravel the damage and get back to the purpose?

How many times have you said, “This is not what I am here to do!” Relentless challenges keep getting in the way of what you are truly there for. If you truly desire to get off this ride, you must challenge your limits.

To unravel that damage, you must know where it came from. Your team needs to believe that you care. Recognize their importance. Each person has a role to play to rise together. Encourage them to speak freely. No judgment. Let them know this is for the greater good. Problems cannot be fixed unless they are revealed. Dig deep into the problems this toxic leader left behind in the ash.

Once you know the issues you can work together to provide solutions. No holding back. To get to the root of the problems they cannot be afraid to speak up and you cannot be afraid to hear the truth. Having regular sit-downs with your team opens the door to effective communication. Have regular group and one-on-one discussions. Make this a priority!

Listen with more than your ears. Observe, empathize, encourage vulnerability, and be transparent. Share your own stories from your experiences. Be relatable. You were them once. To fix these problems and re-write these wrongs, you will need their help. You may not have all the answers, but together you will work to repair them. Thank them for their honesty. These conversations can be difficult, but their candor is appreciated, it is the best way to move forward. 

Ignite team spirit and drive performance. Celebrate them. Everyone performs better when they are being celebrated. Cheer them on to show them you believe in them. Pick them up when they have had an epic fail. At the heart of every person is belonging. When they feel they belong, they will take chances, step outside their comfort zones, and produce exemplary results. Actions speak louder than words. You must remember they have seen and heard this before. New leaders coming in and saying they will be the change and then coming up short. Showing them that you are all in to make a change means you are owning your part in this progress. Walking the walk means them actively seeing you making efforts to support them. They have a role too. If this is going to be better, they must actively participate with you. You need their help and they need yours.

You are building trust. They must trust you to reveal their fears. You must be able to see what they are afraid of and why they are afraid of it. Identifying their fears will provide the courage to face them, together. What does this mean to you? What do you see because of these actions? The only way you are going to dig deep into their mindset is if you discover where the root is coming from. That is not going to happen if they are afraid to speak up.

Transform your culture by holding everyone accountable. Have them fill out regular surveys of the leadership team and each other, anonymously. This will give you profound insight into what is working and what is not. it will also show you where you need to make changes. You actively participate, and build trust. They need to know that everyone will be held accountable. This includes you. Another action that shows you are willing to go the distance. Everyone needs to be able to call out bad behavior without fear of feeling the wrath.

Everyone on the team has an important role to play. Nothing works if they cannot work together. Snuff out problems right away. Most issues come from a missing link in the communication. Keeping that open with everyone will resolve problems early before they take a turn for the worse. Apply guidelines for communication. You do not need anyone hitting below the belt. The bad eggs need to realize they are jeopardizing the team and the company’s success. Different personality types have different ways of communicating. Facilitate regular group conversations, and let everyone express how they like to be spoken to, how they are feeling, and where they need support. This will provide great insight into communication styles and stop leaving miscommunication up for chance.

Allow your team to write their mission statements. That is the heart of what they do and why they do it. This will keep their purpose front and center. At the heart of everything they do is why they are doing it. If they constantly revisit that mission, it will keep them working toward the greater good. Aligning their mission with the companies keeps everyone striving to achieve success.

Time heals all wounds. Be patient. This is not going to happen after one meeting. It could take months or even years to walk back the damage. Do not be discouraged if they go back to their default settings. To rewire those neuropathways, they will have to heal from the damage that has been done. Their brain is going to constantly try to pull them back to where they were because that is what it knew for so long. It can be re-wired. It can be rewritten. It will just take time, compassion, reminders, positive reinforcement, repetition, and accountability.

Making strides every day is a reason to celebrate! Reflect regularly on how far they have come. The proof will lie in team comradery, the numbers, and the client relationships. Celebrate those small wins together, they count! People perform better when they are happy. That is when the job becomes a mission. That is when they become a team.

Change is possible because you are. Your desire to improve your team and your company is at the heart of everything you do. It must remain at the forefront. Constant reinforcement united with action will show your team you are in it to win it. Everyone is held accountable. Everyone is important. They must speak freely. Their words and actions unite them with the mission. Their contributions are what makes them a part of something bigger. When everyone is working together, failing forward, celebrating wins, communicating effectively, and taking actionable steps every day, change can and will happen. At the heart of every team is the leader making a difference. Let that leader be you!

Contact Claudia—and quote FOUNDERX—for 10% off bespoke leadership packages and services.


Claudia Wyatt

Claudia Wyatt is a globally recognized inspirational Leader. Known as, ‘The Enthusiasm Ignitor and Self-Doubt Eraser’, Claudia’s personal experience of being trapped in darkness, experiencing significant loss And depression to one day have enough and Snapping out of it and create a new life for herself, Empowered her to be her inspiration. Once she stopped hiding, Claudia broke free of harmful patterns, knocked down once seemingly impenetrable walls, and took ownership of her life. No longer did she live in fear of judgment her path Now had no limits. This was the start of her journey Which led Claudia to focus her life on empowering And inspiring people to believe in themselves. Vowing to never let anyone go through hard times alone, she began her company, Claudia Wyatt Coaching, LLC. To help people discover and own their power so that they can live their dreams by following your inner compass. She is fueled by her mission to empower and inspire people to believe in themselves.


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