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Why BANTER is a red flag for high-performing teams

We are a good team. We all get on well. There's plenty of BANTER, but we get on pretty well.

I have had briefs like this hundreds of times over the years.

And when I hear it, the red flags come out, sirens wail and warning lights flash.

'We have banter' is almost always code for not having enough trust and connection to have the right kind of conversations that challenge and encourage.

You may want to read that again.

It's not that I am anti-banter. I grew up in sports dressing rooms where good-hearted craic was the best part of the experience.

But we never called it BANTER.

BANTER in work teams can sound like...

"yeah, you're bound to think that, you're in finance"

"watch out; you shouldn't say that in front of HR"

"you're not going to throw a wobbly at this AGAIN, are you?"

"don't take this personally, but..."

"no disrespect, but..."

All done with a knowing nod and wink.

It can also look like sub-groups joking disrespectfully about others in the team.

All of these things cover up a degree of mistrust or discord, which will fester and grow.

In our ALIGNED team development work, we help people build trust and deepen connections with their colleagues.

We don't do this to make teams nicer; we do it to make it easier for colleagues to challenge each other productively.

High-performing teams are full of challenge and support in equal measure, and if this doesn't happen in your team, it is time to step in.

When you're ready to develop your team, here are two ways I can help.

Order your copy of The Alignment Advantage here.

Hire me to help lead our Aligned Team Workshop for you and your direct reports. Email me to find out more.


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