As a follow up to my post from last month, I wanted to take a moment to point out a few things that do the opposite of bringing unity to a team. They don’t just work against unity, they are a cancer that will destroy your team from the inside out. Does that statement seem a little overstated and harsh? It’s not. If left unattended, these behaviors will spread and slowly or quickly, bring an end to a healthy thriving team. Do you recognize any of these on your team currently?
This can come in a lot of different forms, but ultimately, this looks like the person that consistently has a problem with something, someone or everything in between. They complain, either to the whole team or one on one with different members of the team. This is a behavior that comes from a person that is focusing on how everything effects them & not on what the mission/vision for the team is.
It can come in the form of passive statements or can be blatant disregard for honoring leaders and team members. Either way, it is divisive because it makes team members feel they need to choose a side-either sticking up for the person being disrespected, or justifying and standing with the person who is being disrespectful.
Carrying offense does not just affect the carrier, it affects every environment they enter, especially the one housing their offender. This can be hard to detect, but if someone on your team is carrying offense towards other members of your team it will eventually surface. It may come in the form of avoidance, where the offended team mate leaves the person they are offended at out of conversations or group activities. It can also come in the form of snarky comments, undue impatience or a general bad attitude towards the offender.
3 ways to respond
If you are seeing these behaviors surface in the teams you are a part of or leading, its time to take action-action against the behavior, not the person.
Pray- and then pray some more.
Ask God to give you understanding into the root of the problem. Pray that He will give you eyes to see the person demonstrating the behavior like He does. Finally, ask him to give you clear direction for how to love your team member well.
Answer these questions honestly.
Are you contributing to any of these behaviors? Are you setting and upholding a standard of positivity, respect and grace? You are ultimately only responsible for you. Be honest with yourself- have you been an active participant? Have you chosen passivity over holding your team mate accountable for their behavior?
Do the next right thing.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and wrapped up in unhealthy drama. The good and bad news is that if any of these things are happening on your team, you’re probably not going to fix it in a day. So do the next right thing. It could be spending time in prayer for your team, sending an encouraging text or scheduling a meeting with the person who is exhibiting one the mentioned behaviors.
So, what now?
Whether you are a member of the team or the leader of the team, your responsibility is to ask God what to do, walk in obedience and then trust Him with the out come.
Hopefully you don’t recognize any of these behaviors on your team, but that’s not likely. We are all human, capable of getting off course. That’s the blessing of team dynamics. We get the privilege of loving each other well while serving alongside each other. Sometimes loving confrontation of sin is what it looks like to love our brothers and sisters well.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2-3