Getting a Team Back On Track

team with hands on top of each others in team huddle

by Duncan Brodie

All good leaders and managers understand the importance of teams to the results that they achieve. At the same time, even the best teams can have times when things are a struggle and not going as well as they could.

So when a team is struggling, what can you do as a leader or manager to get it back on track?

Keep Things in Perspective

Let’s be honest: when we are under a lot of pressure it is all too easy to blow things out of proportion and lose the plot. A good leader or manager understands the importance of standing back, keeping calm and keeping things in perspective. Sometimes you just need to be the calm head in the storm.

Ask for Others’ Insights

Yes, you may well have your own ideas why things are not going as well as they could. Your own insights might well be right and there are probably other factors that you might or might not be aware of. Asking others on the team for their thoughts gets them involved in being part of the solution.

Re-assess What Is Critical to Success

Teams are always busy doing things and there is a big difference between doing and focusing on the right things. Everyone can lose sight of what it is that is that contributes to the success of the team when they feel under pressure.

Make One Change At a Time

Leaders and managers can at times have the tendency to try and eat the elephant. By that I mean that they try to change everything all at once. Avoid this and change one thing at a time, measure the impact and then move on from there.

Avoid Blaming

It might be tempting to try and find someone to make a scapegoat for the lack of team performance. While this might see like an attractive option in the short term, it has negative long term consequences.

Allow People to Try and to Fail

Changing a situation is going to require doing something different. Doing something different necessitates people taking some risk, which might or might not work out. People will only take that chance if they are confident that they will get supported if it does not all work out as planned.

Remind People Of the Why

Every team has a purpose or reason why it exists. Those on the team are generally highly committed to what they are trying to achieve in my experience. Reminding people of the purpose can often act as a catalyst when people are feeling a bit down in the dumps and struggling.

The Bottom Line: Sometimes getting a team on track in times of struggle is as much about the attitude and the way the leader or manager tackles it as it is what they specifically do.

About the author

To become an even better leader I invite you to sign up for my free audio e-course Leadership Success at

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with professionals and organisations who want to achieve great results through people. With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.