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6 Signs That Your Team Chemistry Is Crumbling

How healthy is your team … really?

I enjoyed an unusually close relationship with my pastor for 12 years. Unfortunately, it completely severed and we didn’t talk for several years despite being close friends.

My former pastor and I later reconciled. I’m so grateful because I love this man. In retrospect, we both agreed that there were warning signs we missed that indicated our chemistry was declining. (That broken relationship and my struggle to forgive led me to write STUCK When You Want to Forgive but Don’t Know How.)

As you evaluate your team, here are six warning signs that your team chemistry is crumbling.

Warning Sign #1: You stop dreaming together.

A vision is enlivening, it’s spirit giving, it’s the guiding force behind all great human endeavors. Vision is about shared energy, a sense of awe, a sense of possibility. —Benjamin Zander, Conductor, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

During our first several years together, my former pastor and I dreamed of revitalizing a traditional church. Our dream came true and the church’s growth required us to move to a new location and increase staff and church services. That shared dream galvanized all of us!

My former pastor recently told me, “When a team agrees on the dream and the path to achieve that dream, chemistry is a natural byproduct.”

We never said, “Let’s stop dreaming together.” But as we focused more and more on our daily ministry, our galvanizing dreams faded into the background. When there’s not a mutual dream, the team lacks energy and is no longer fueled by a sense of awe, a sense of possibility.

Question: What mutual dream is your team pursuing together right now?

Warning Sign #2: You stop sharing your individual dreams.

You have professional dreams (pursue an advanced degree, improve your leadership, write a book, grow your ministry, etc.) and personal dreams (improve your marriage, run a marathon, learn to play the guitar, etc.).

Great team chemistry gives you the confidence to share your individual dreams!

Visions thrive in an environment of unity; they die in an environment of division. Andy Stanley

When you stop sharing your individual dreams, it’s a warning sign that team chemistry needs attention.

Question: Are you sharing your entire individual dream with your team? When was the last time a team member shared an individual dream with you?

Warning Sign #3: You stop doing life together.

My former pastor describes our chemistry when we were clicking: “In a real sense, it was merely existing friends seeing each other every day and getting paid for it.”

The team that plays together stays together. Team that don’t … don’t.

For years we went to countless sporting events, concerts, ministry conferences and ate way too much Mexican food together.

We never made a conscious decision to stop doing life together. Somewhere along the way, our schedules became too full.

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MarkRiggins@churchleaders.com'
Mark is the Community Life Pastor at ENCOUNTER | Bible Fellowship Church in Ventura, CA. His new book STUCK When You Want to Forgive but Don’t Know How is available now on Amazon.