What is team dynamics? Imagine, you work in a team where one person is very critical about his/her colleagues’ ideas. You find it rude and discouraging to others’ to speak up. Another steals ideas and receives all the credits without even acknowledging that it was someone else’s idea. Some team members always nod their head and agree with more dominant colleagues. You feel frustrated even if you fetched qualified people into your team.
These are very usual scenarios that often pulls the momentum of a team dynamics apart. To strategize, firstly we need to know the loopholes that we find are disrupting a team. So let’s diagnose and look at the possible root causes that pull us back while working in a team.
Personality type: People come to the workplace from different background setting. So, you may expect that clashes due to un-matched personality type may occur and affect team dynamism.
Weak leadership: A weak leadership can take a group to nowhere and make a team fragile. Lack of proper direction and courageous decision may lead to infighting and wrong outcome. Even though we know that everybody in a team is accountable to hold their team dynamics, it is inevitable to say that a good leader is the lifeblood of a strong team dynamics. Stalling: A flow of information can be disrupted due to people with obstructive inclination. A person can be inappropriately outspoken or can be deliberately silent in group discussions. Similarly, a person can be a free rider or can be a big-headed attention seeker.
Team roles in team dynamics: If we fail to define the roles and responsibilities a person might not have the ownership of his/her tasks thus, creating disheartenment and chaos in a group.
So, the question is what is the recipe of a well-balanced team? How do you douse the dispute and manage it successfully?
Mindset for team dynamics: There are many people with different opinions about forming and running a team but the prerequisite of successful teamwork is mindset. In a corporate world, rigidity in mindset is the single most limiting factor of embracing new opportunities. Your mindset is so powerful that it determines your thought process, emotional stability, decision making, and leadership. Think outside the cubicle. Throw your ego away. Focus on the bigger picture. Mind over matter. Openness spreads positive energy, fuels endurance and encourages surroundings towards getting involved more.
Team Dynamics 101 – Know your team: You cannot expect a group of strangers to sit together and to start working as a team. Building a team and working towards a common goal is a process. Break the ice. Understand each other well. Set the standard. As a leader, you need to know who you are working with and simultaneously you should encourage others to enlarge their open areas and know themselves better. Understanding your team will help you to demystify their personality types and to communicate well.
Communicate well: Communication is a key to strengthening your interactions. Speak directly. Be succinct. Be authentic and create a connection. As a leader you should have the delicacy in your vision and clearly share the objectives of your team, define and delegate tasks, roles and responsibilities. A team cannot perform well without a proper direction. A leader should take charge of ensuring the team members are connected and strongly feel for the entire team. Most importantly, always keep in mind that communication is not about you, it’s about your audience (Your team).
Tackle problems quickly: A conflict may arise in a team but as a leader, you need to jump into the problem and try to resolve it as swiftly as possible. When it comes to team dynamics, quick refinement often let people feel protected and secured, thus, reduce the chance of animosity. Give feedback. Use ‘We’ instead of ‘I’. That’s fundamental for great team dynamics.
You can follow the Situation-Behavior- Impact (SBI) Feedback Tool developed by The Center for Creative Leadership to structure your feedback in three steps: firstly, refer to the situational context of when and where the event occurred and explain precisely.
Secondly, carefully specify the behavior/action that you want to address (avoiding any subjective judgment and/or biasness) for ensuring superb team dynamics. Finally, mention the impact of that action. A positive impact can be praised to carry it on and a negative impact can be remedied.
Let your team members feel important: Inviting ideas and appreciating them will let your fellows feel valued. Instead of shutting themselves off instill positive energy. Keep an upbeat attitude that reflects enthusiasm among your workmates. Get yourself on their level. Give them recognition. Go beyond the team dynamics basics.
The bottom line of making small changes is to uphold a team harmony and to ensure effective team dynamics. Team dynamics is multifaceted and the effectiveness of the process varies depending on many factors (such as culture, work structure, roles and responsibilities, personality types, etc.). Not every team works in the same style.
Therefore, as a leader, you need to observe and find out the reasons behind the poor team dynamics and apply the strategies that work best for your team. The earlier you identify the problems, the better you will be able to overcome them. Nonetheless, always keep your contingency plan prepared for any unwanted situations that may arise in your team, do a little tweaking and apply them on the fly.
Written by Mahzabin Chowdhury