Great Tips for New Managers of Dysfunctional Teams

Author: Gladys Abigail Cyrus
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2023 03:16
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Great Tips for New Managers of Dysfunctional Teams

Managing a dysfunctional team can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it is possible to turn things around. A dysfunctional team is one that is not working effectively, due to factors such as poor communication, a lack of trust, unclear roles and responsibilities, or conflicts among team members. As a manager, it's your responsibility to identify the underlying issues and take steps to address them.

The first step in managing a dysfunctional team is to assess the current situation and identify the specific problems that need to be addressed. Once you have a clear understanding of the issues, you can begin to implement the following strategies to improve communication, build trust, and resolve conflicts.

  • Clearly Define Expectations and Roles

Make sure everyone on the team knows what is expected of them and what their specific responsibilities are. This can be done through regular team meetings, one-on-one conversations, and written job descriptions. By clearly defining expectations and roles, team members will have a better understanding of how their work fits into the bigger picture and how they can contribute to the team's success.

  • Communicate Openly and Frequently

Encourage open and honest communication within the team and make sure everyone feels heard and valued. This can be done through regular team meetings, individual check-ins, and an open-door policy. By fostering a culture of open communication, team members will feel more comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns, which can lead to better problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Lead by Example

Set the tone for the team by modelling the behaviour and attitudes you expect from others. This means being professional, respectful, and positive in your interactions with team members, as well as being willing to roll up your sleeves and do the work alongside them. By leading by example, you will earn the respect and trust of your team, which will make it easier to implement changes and achieve your goals.

  • Establish Trust

Build trust with team members by being reliable, consistent, and transparent. This means following through on your commitments, being honest and straightforward in your communication, and being willing to admit when you don't know something. Trust is essential for a functional team, as it enables team members to work together effectively and to feel comfortable asking for help when needed.

  • Address Conflicts Promptly

Don't let conflicts fester; address them head-on and work to find a resolution that is fair and benefits the team as a whole. This means being willing to have difficult conversations, actively listening to all perspectives, and being open to compromise. By addressing conflicts promptly and effectively, you can prevent them from escalating and damaging the team's morale and productivity.

  • Provide Support and Resources
    Make sure team members have the support and resources they need to be successful in their roles. This can include providing training, access to necessary tools and equipment, and clear communication channels. By providing support and resources, you can help team members feel more confident and capable in their roles, which can lead to improved performance and satisfaction.
  • Encourage Growth and Development
    Provide opportunities for team members to learn and grow, both professionally and personally. This can include offering training and development programs, mentoring, and cross-training opportunities. By encouraging growth and development, you can help team members feel more engaged and motivated, which can lead to improved performance and retention.
  • Recognize and Reward Good Work

Show appreciation for a job well done, and make sure team members feel valued and motivated. This can include verbal recognition, bonuses, or other incentives. By recognizing and rewarding good work, you can help team members feel more valued and motivated, which can lead to improved performance and satisfaction.

  • Be Flexible
    Be open to new ideas and ways of working, and be willing to adapt to changing circumstances. This means being willing to try new approaches, listen to feedback, and make adjustments as needed. By being flexible, you can help the team stay agile and responsive in a rapidly changing environment.


  • Be Patient

Change takes time, and it's important to be patient and persistent in your efforts to turn a dysfunctional team around. This means being willing to invest time and energy in building relationships, fostering a positive culture, and addressing issues as they arise. By being patient and persistent, you can help the team develop the trust, communication, and cooperation necessary to overcome their dysfunction. Remember that change is a process, and progress may not always be linear. Be prepared to celebrate small wins and maintain a long-term perspective.



In conclusion, managing a dysfunctional team can be a challenging task, but with the above-mentioned approaches, it is possible to turn things around. With patience and a commitment to making positive changes, a manager can help a dysfunctional team become a high-performing, cohesive unit that can achieve its goals and objectives. If you want to know more about team dynamics and how to handle them, we invite you to book a free consultation at Job Booster, and we guarantee you will understand and learn way more than what is summed up in this blog.

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