Are there people in your office that you would rather not work with?
And, I do not mean because you do not like them personally or you had some falling out with, what I am instead talking about is that they stonewall initiatives. They are roadblocks to getting work done and/or they refuse to offer any help when it comes down to getting things done. They would rather pull out the job description and tell you that they are really sorry that they cannot help but, unfortunately, it is not in their job description.
Do this enough times and I am sure you will start to dislike them personally or will have a falling out with them. But what’s most likely is that you will learn to work around them.
Working around people is a clear sign of a dysfunctional team. It is an indication that you have an informal network in play. Which, in and of itself, is not bad whatsoever, but in this type of situation, it is clearly the result of negative behaviors. When it becomes commonplace for people on your team to say, it is easier to do it myself than it is to work with that person, you clearly have some coaching to do.
Hopefully it is not you as the leader that they are working around. Because if it is you, then you are leading your team in title only … as the members have quietly gone rogue. If you start to see patterns where people would rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission when working with you, take it as a clear sign, they are not buying what you are selling. That they do not trust in what you are asking them to do, or is it that they do not see it as a viable solution to the problem at hand.
This, is office politics. It happens every day, in every company. The question that you need to ask yourself as a leader, is whether or not you are in the way of getting work done? Are you the reason that the politics are being played? Are you the reason that there are dysfunctional teams running around the building?
It is time to get introspective and start asking yourself the harder leadership questions. Are you seen as the solution? Or, are you the problem?
If you are feeling stuck in the middle, it is quite possible that you are getting worked around as a leader.
So now the question to you is … what are you going to do about it?