The 3 R’s of team management: Roles, Rules and Relationships.

A lot of teams struggle because they miss these one of all of these crucial points.

These are ideas that must be revisited over and over.  When issues arise they are usually a result of 3 being bent or broken.

These 3 R’s must dictate any team you are apart of for it to be a successful team.


Each person plays a role on the team or a function of a position.  When a task is assigned each person is given a set of roles.  When they begin overstepping their role into someone else’s conflict can occur.  Remind people where they fit and give them room to succeed within their role.  Just because you have assigned a certain role to someone doesn’t diminish their position, but instead allows them to flourish within that role.


We are governed by a set of rules aka boundaries or expectations.  What are those expectations?  We all have them!  What rules are appropriate for you and your colleagues?  Be consistent.  Lack of consistency can cause conflict.  This also means people must be direct, clearly explain their expectations and attempt to compromise when rules/boundaries conflict.  Examples could include “I need you not to criticize me”, or “please knock when you enter my room…always”.  Certain people have certain rules and when these are clarified it allows a more fluid team.


This comes into the picture when you recognize how roles compliment each other.  There needs to be a chain of command in order to prevent “too many chefs in the kitchen”.   It allows the decision makers to be recognized and the relationship connections from becoming to muddled and complicated.  An example may be that the intern shouldn’t go directly to the senior pastor, but instead should funnel issues through the pastor above him/her.  This allows the student ministry pastor to screen questions that could be handled before being brought before the senior pastor.  They have plenty of things to worry about instead of adding something that was unnecessary. Also, what happens when one or more are missing…what is the appropriate way to handle those situations?  Who picks up the slack?


Have you ever seen one of these three issues broken and cause confusion in your team? 

2 thoughts on “The 3 R’s of team management: Roles, Rules and Relationships.

  • Oh yeah, have multiple examples from all areas of life where these rules have been neglected and havoc stepped in. But I also have wonderful examples of when these three rules worked together in harmony.

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