Most of the articles or books I read on topics such as leadership and team work focus on what you need to do to improve performance. I thought it might be a little bit of fun to turn some of that advice on its head and reflect on ten simple ways to destroy a team.
You never know, maybe someone reading this will share the post with their team and use humour as a way to shine a light on some of the team’s less than desirable patterns of behaviour?
Engage in gossip - Promote it, spread it and be the source of it. Revel in triviality and half baked facts. The more divorced from the facts the better the effect! Once you have created the gossip, then sit back and watch your little creation mutate into a seven headed hydra.
Turn into a jealous green eyed monster - Become the little green eyed monster of the office and covet everything others have achieved from their hard work and determination. Better still, start taking credit for other's work and accomplishments or don't acknowledge them at all. Hell hath no fury like a colleague ignored.
Be a polarity responder - Find as many points of difference you can to create conflict and division in the team. If everyone agrees then find ways to disagree with the group. Counter example everything that's offered and then change your mind when 80% of the team start to warm to your ideas. Remember to sow the seeds of division and inconsistency in order to divide and conquer!
Be fiercely critical - Be as critical and cynical as possible. Collaboration, innovation & creativity will only mean more inspiration, motivation and refinement of existing processes. Where possible find ways to destroy collaboration, creativity and innovation as they are the mortal enemies of a dysfunctional team.
Be egotistical - Make it all about You, You, You, You! Become a real Diva! Whenever you hear someone talking about their experience make sure you jump in and let them know that you've had it much better or worse than them. If you can't make it about you then it's simply not worth listening to is it?
Be the embodiment of laziness - Do as little as possible for as long as possible. Better still just keep palming your responsibilities off onto your colleagues till you find the straw that breaks the camel's back. By the way, how's the Penske file coming along?
Be pig headed and stubborn - Whatever you do, stick doggedly to your point of view with a take no prisoners attitude. The best way to destroy the team is to lose friends and infuriate your colleagues.
Make negativity one of your super powers - Nothing good is going to come out of collaboration, cohesion and solution focused thinking. Where possible, remind people of how empty the glass is and keep reminding them that it should be full but isn't and that you used to have a bigger glass to drink from when things were better in the good old days.
Regularly play the blame game - Since you are always right, all of the time, and it's those other donkeys you share the office with that are incompetent and stupid; there are plenty of "good" reasons why things do not go to plan. None of which is your fault. I'm sure if you look around hard enough you'll be able to pin the tail on one of the office donkeys.
Trust no one and reveal nothing - Imagine you’re a character in the Game of Thrones series. Pretend that there are conspiracies and hidden agendas everywhere. High trust environments, where people share their thoughts and feelings openly, are highly over rated. Make sure you lie, cheat and steal where possible and keep people guessing as to what your true motivations are. Keeping them stressed and on high alert for threats, will help drive down pesky behaviours such as collaboration and team bonding and ensure you keep your fellow team members off their game.
If you happen to recognise any of these patterns or know of some other ones that should gain an honourable mention, then please add your thoughts and comments below. I look forward to reading about your experiences.