What’s the Hidden Cost When Your Team Doesn’t Get Along?

Do you have members of your team who don’t get along?  Maybe there’s someone who drives you crazy.  You deal with it by avoiding them, limiting what you say in meetings they’re in, venting to a friend or your spouse?  And you think it’s not costing you, your team or organization anything as long as it’s under control.

Here’s the thing.  Lack of collaboration shows up in hidden ways. You don’t reach your goals, but at year-end blame it on outside forces. Maybe there’s turnover in the team, but the costs are hidden because others fill in when that person leaves. What if you could uncover dynamics that, if re-wired, could make your team collaborate, tackle bigger issues, and be more competitive and more successful?  And, make for a happier workplace.

This question was on my mind recently as I was thinking of Simon and Garfunkel.  No kidding – I’d always heard that these two really didn’t get along, and even sabotaged one another. So how is it that they were able to make such great music?  My real questions was, “Are coaches justified in selling harmony and collaboration when there are teams that do great things, even with discord and tough personalities (think Steve Jobs and Apple).”

So I did a little research. Turns out that Simon and Garfunkel created a tiny library of music, and did it when they were still getting along. Their albums were essentially remixes of a handful of those early songs. That realization made me sad for what might have been, and happy for a renewed sense of conviction that collaboration and trust are worth fighting for.

Then I saw an amazing video of a team skating to The Sound of Silence.  What an explosion of beauty, technical precision and joy!  And what a juxtaposition to remind us of what is possible when powerful collaboration and trust are behind our efforts.

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