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tug of war

Workplace issue: The people on my team do not get along with one another.

When employees are not getting along it is an indication that they have lost a sense of trust and camaraderie. This most often occurs because they have lost sight of the purpose of their work. When people are working towards a common goal, they work in harmony. When they lose the common purpose, they fight one another. That’s most likely what is going on.

The first thing you must do is to renew this sense of purpose within your entire team. If you don’t have a mission statement, then your first step is to write one. If you have one, your first step is to make it part of your rituals and talk about it on a regular basis.

The second thing you must do is find a common enemy that all of you work to fight against. Some examples of “enemies” are inefficiency, wasting resources, poor quality, a bad information system, or something that everyone can pull together to overcome or improve. 

The third thing you need to do is to develop trust among the group as a whole and between individuals who are not getting along. This will take time because trust, once broken, is almost impossible to repair, yet it must be done for a successful and cohesive team.

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