Team Troubleshooting: Balancing Tasks and People

Mar 9, 2010
3 Min Read

A high performing team tackles to-dos yet also maintains relationships among team members that optimize collaboration. Performance and relationships; in a team setting you can't have one without the other.

Your role as a team leader is to find the perfect balance between the two.

There’s a lot going on when you lead a team. To be an effective team leader, you must be able to balance either the ability to respond or stay out of a particular situation. Visualizing your work through a dichotomy can help simplify things when things aren’t going well (and even if they are!).

Try looking at teamwork in terms of tasks and relationships:

Task functions

These performance-oriented activities help your team accomplish the tactical work:

Effective Team Leadership Troubleshooting Checklist

Relationship functions

These relationship-oriented activities focus on maintaining the collaborative atmosphere of the team:

If there is an interpersonal issue between team members, it would be a mistake to adjust the deadline of the project. It just won't work. The intervention needs to be aimed at the root cause of the performance issue, which in this case is a relationship issue rather than a task issue. Sometimes that's a tough call. To make it easier on yourself, first decide if the performance issue is related to people/relationships or if it is related to tasks/things. Then consider implementing the action items in the checklist in the image above until you find a solution that fits.

What have you found that works?