Who’s Dragging Your Team Down?

This week I had the opportunity to witness our medical system first hand, as a close family member underwent a significant life threatening procedure.

Observing the coordinated effort of the care-givers was a lesson in team-centered collaboration, information sharing, process and policy adherence and yes – human relationships!

Research suggests that relationships impact:

  • Caregiver perceptions of autonomy,
  • Role clarity in relation to patients and
  • Job satisfaction.

As you consider the role of teams in support of our own efforts, consider also what we call, “the LCD (Least Common Denominator) effect of teams”.  While a high functioning team yields a wealth of desired outcomes, the greatest impacts are often made by the lowest performers.

In essence, customer satisfaction and perceptions of service are disproportionately driven by interactions with your lowest performer. Even if nearly everyone on the team is relationally great, a bad relationship created by a team-laggard may unduly taint the overall perception and evaluation of the team’s performance.

Teams should make every effort to bridge the gap between the lowest relational performers and the rest of the team.  Doing so is a shortcut to quickly increasing team performance.

If you don’t know who on your team is the “LCD”, BEWARE – it may be you!


Also, thank you so much to those of you that took the time to reply to last week’s post – very thoughtful commentary!