Imagine working on a team for which you have high regard and respect for every member. In an attempt to be an agreeable and easy colleague to work with, you respond positively to the first suggestion that another team member makes. Everyone else on the team follows the same pattern or tries to be agreeable and positive. Problem solving happens quickly because everyone goes along with the first solutions that are offered. However, while the team initially may avoid conflict by following such a pattern, decisions are made that haven’t been carefully scrutinized or don’t really have the full support of the group.

This condition, which we call unhealthy agreement, is one of the more vexing problems facing teams and ...

Get Team Building: Proven Strategies for Improving Team Performance, 5th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.