Team Dynamics: Extremes That Harm Teamwork People Skills
Team Dynamics: Eliminate These 5 Extremes for Great Interaction
- Labels and fixed definitions. Sometimes team members thinking gets stuck on labels and fixed definitions. As teams try to innovate and deal with change, individuals who think literally or hold on to their fixed definitions unsettle team dynamics. Example: I wrote a blog post, Holacracy: Why Employees Like Hierarchy, and two people lectured me on how I didn’t understand holacracy. They were stuck on a fixed definition of holacracy and couldn’t see past it. If they did that to their colleagues in a team meeting, you can imagine the tension between those who were stuck in their definition and those who wanted to explore the topic.
- Gotcha behavior. Leaders and team members who revel in pointing out others’ mistakes damage trust. Some even go so far as to set people up to see if they make mistakes. If they do, the gotcha gang points out their errors. They then take credit for educating them. Trust and team dynamics suffer.
- Sidelines driving. Picture one team member handling a difficult situation. Other team members who are not directly involved criticize from the sidelines. Share your knowledge but don’t tell others what to do. It’s not just what you say that matters — it’s how you say it. Team up don’t gang up!
- Hearing either/or when it doesn’t exist. Team interaction thrives on great listening. When team members hear and think either/or when others are not saying it, it harms team dynamics. Example: In a Twitter #DareToBe chat on curiosity, I tweeted “self-reliance fuels a curious mind.”
Someone responded directly to me, “I respectfully disagree. Collaboration feeds curiosity, helps it grow, deepens questioning.” Interesting comment. I never said, “self-reliance, alone, fuels a curious mind.” She heard an either/or that I never implied. I believe there are many things that fuel curiosity and I nicely tweeted that back to her.
- Absolutes and know-it-all behavior. Rigid team members who insist that their views or positions are right damage team dynamics and results. Their behavior is the opposite of teamwork. Great listening and adaptability is the hallmark of positive team dynamics.
How can leaders help teams prevent or minimize these extremes? Invest time in having the team define positive team behaviors. Discuss what to do if extremes develop. Use team role plays to help each team member become more accountable for their own extremes and self-correct them. I would be pleased to deliver these sessions and work with your teams on positive team dynamics.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email email@example.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™