Posted by | April 4, 2013 | Teamwork

Jay Mitchell writes:

What are some warning signs that your church staff team is heading for a breakdown?

  1. One Or More Members Of Your Team Do Not Contribute Ideas Or Thoughts During Meetings: Pay attention and take notes. Who’s speaking up? Who’s being quiet? Who’s acting independently, and who seems to need handholding? Observe body language and facial expressions. Was there an opportunity for healthy debate that was missed? The way your team interacts with each other in staff meetings will help you take a temperature check of how they are interacting with others in the office.
  2. Blame Shifting Is Toxic: Are your team members not taking responsibility for their actions? Are members of your church staff blaming a lack of productivity on another team member? Be quick to notice and address blame shifting, or your team members will quickly feel beaten down.
  3. Absence Of Healthy Conflict: It is a misconception that healthy teams should never experience conflict. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite. Healthy teams engage in healthy conflict because they are striving to do what is best for the church. Thus, leaders should encourage a culture where team members’ ideas, opinions, and concerns can be heard. A lack of healthy conflict could mean that team members have lost their passion for their role or the overarching vision of the team.
  4. Lack Of Trust And A Fear Of Speaking The Truth: Does your team trust each other? Are staff meetings a safe place? If you sense that certain team members are dominating the decision-making and others seem uncomfortable speaking up, lean into the root of the situation. The most effective teams trust each other.
  5. Offline Conversations About One Or More Individuals On The Team: Gossip will destroy a team. As a leader, you must be clear that there will be a zero tolerance for gossip on the team and be the primary example of this no-gossip policy. Consider having your team write and sign a no-gossip covenant with each other to help establish expectations and build trust.
  6. Meetings To Debrief Meetings:If your church staff is constantly in meetings, then when is ministry being accomplished? If your team is overwhelmed with meetings, take a step back and ask your team why these meetings are necessary. There may be unhealthy reasons for too many meetings including micromanaging, a dominating leader, or an understaffed team.
  7. People Take A Back Seat To Productivity: If your church staff is placing productivity above people and ministry, then your vision needs to be revisited. Is your team giving people a back seat to productivity because they have too much on their plate? You may need to hire more staff. Are people taking the back seat because your church staff is ignoring them? Your staff may be burned out, or you may need to let some people go.