How do we overcome obstacles?

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Students of Royal Roads often remark that the team portion of their RRU experience is overwhelmingly a very positive one. The majority of team members work well together and many become lifelong friends. However, it is not uncommon (and it is normal!) for teams to encounter obstacles along the way. Here are some examples:

  • Lack of clarity on assignment requirements and expectations
  • Unclear workplan and/or scheduling challenges
  • Unclear decision-making processes
  • Unproductive meetings
  • Undefined roles and responsibilities
  • Uncertain or ongoing health issues affecting a team member's abilty to contribute
  • Differing learning, working and communication styles
  • Differing performance expectations
  • Miscommunication, unwillingness to communicate or lack of engagement/avoidance
  • Strong emotional reaction that is unaddressed/unresolved


  1. First, identify the obstacle that you are facing as a team.
  2. As a team, brainstorm and document potential strategies for addressing the obstacle.
  3. Prepare to have an effective conversation. Consider following the FIRM/AAA structure for Engaging in Difficult Conversations
  4. Create time and space to address the obstacle directly, being respectful of the needs and schedules of all team members.
  5. Develop and agree upon a description and timeline of what must happen to overcome the obstacle.
  6. Review your Team Agreement to see if anything needs to be added, altered or revisited.
  7. Document your process and the outcomes of your discussion, and share it with all members of your team.

If you still haven't been able to overcome your obstacle, reach out to your Team CoachRoyal Roads has a step-by-step process for Working Through Team Challenges


File Attachments: 
PDF icon What is Your ObstacleWhat is Your Obstaclepdf302.59 KB
PDF icon Using the FIRM/AAA for Difficult Conversations Using the FIRM/AAA for Difficult Conversations pdf367 KB