A group of people working together does not make a team. Teams are built to perform tasks and fulfill their goals. Teams are also made up of unique individual who are mutually dependent. Each member in a team have a stake in the outcome of the task.
Setting clear, well defined goals
Strengthening the team is like oiling and maintaining a machine. Sometimes the parts need to be serviced, sometimes replaced. However, a machine is not useful if it does not in the first place have a well defined function. If your team suffers from fuzzy goals, and if priorities keep fluctuating, it is time to get this cleared up.
Conflicts exist. If team members are to stay the long haul, they would need to feel free to be their authentic selves while in the team. However individual differences do rub against each other. These feelings of differences cause anxiety in the members. Anxiety is usually the root of conflicts. Overt conflicts in team is damaging to the persons involved and hurt team function.
Getting a professional from outside the team is instrumental in identifying the conflicts and resolving them.
Attaining real consensus among members
To avoid conflicts, members of the team tend to fake their positions, giving opinions that they do not believe in. False consensus are damaging to the team. In many cases, this leads to bad decisions resulting in losses.
Providing a safe space for members to come clean with their expert views without fear of getting into conflict is a way for avoiding losses due to faulty team decision making. This space can be provided by an external counselor.
Identifying and resolving stalemate in decision making
Since individuals are different, these different point of views may lead to stalemate in decision making. When this happens, it is a sign that people have a stake in what is going on and are interested in the outcome. This reaches stalemates and slow dow the decision making process. Providing a safe space for dialogue is the way to overcome stalemates.
Enquiring non-Participation or passivity of members
When individual differences are not perceived as being appreciated or accepted, the underlying need is for the individual to disappear from the scene. Disgruntled or disillusioned members of the team may lose interest in what is going on. This will not be explicitly said, but acted out. People become passive and/or simply not show up.
Non activity of members in a team holds up the work process. Providing space for communication about the cause of disgruntlement and disillusionment is a way to improve member morale. It is also an opportunity for open dialogue about the participation of the member.
Leveling out uneven attribute of importance
Hierarchy is a part of organization. In a team, even though there is hierarchy, the members share equal importance to each other. If there is imbalance or discrepancy in the attitude of the team to individual members, this would lead to conflict and passivity mentioned above.
Member feedback and communication with each other are curative ways of dealing with imbalance of appreciation of the importance felt by members to each other.
Looking out for lack of mutual accountability
A functioning team is made up of members, all of whom are responsible individually for the outcome of the tasks. Members who fail to be accountable can hold back the work flow. Usually people have a reason for not feeling accountable or not wanting to be accountable for their parts. This is worth working through during counseling sessions.
Like any machine, the team needs care and maintenance. This comes in the form of taking care of the humanity that is involved in the team. Providing a space and time for counseling by a professional outside the organization is an effective way of achieving this.