Why Do Teams Rally in Crisis & Fall Apart Later? | #Leadership #Teamwork

When teams rally in a crisis and work better than ever together, we applaud them. Yet sometimes after the crisis, those same teammates start to squabble and their teamwork starts to slide. This is a wonderful moment to stop and assess why and how your teams rally in a crisis. Then see the light on how to keep the great teamwork alive.



Teams Rally in Crisis: Image is two puzzles pieces not quite together

Why Teams Rally in Crisis & Then Fall Apart. Image by Ken Teegardin via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Ken Teegardin via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Why Teams Rally in Crisis & Then Fall Apart

Have you ever worked on a team that suddenly faced a crisis? And everyone started working better together than before the crisis? Well anytime a team starts to work better together, it is worth asking why. These are magical moments for teams to learn. I have worked with many teams after crises and have learned what often created the magical teamwork.

Teammates Rally in a Crisis By …

  1. Embracing each other’s natural abilities instead of focusing on job roles and titles.

  2. Replacing pet peeves with a focus on solving the crisis.

  3. Needing fewer structured rules to feel safe and clearing up confusion as they work.

  4. Speaking up if they see bad teamwork behaviors and calling everyone to meet the challenge of the crisis.

  5. Finally seeing their purpose and how their own strengths contribute to team success.


The Crisis is Over. Now What?

So we now we must go back to the original question of why this great teamwork falls apart after the crisis? Many say it’s because the immediate danger has passed and people fall back into their old habits. Well that could be part of it.

Yet, beneath that statement lies some deeper truths about leaders and managers. During a crisis, leaders and managers often need and allow everyone to work outside the boundaries of their assigned roles. In other words, they foster greater teamwork during a crisis. During this time, team members do not fear reprisals from leaders and managers for showing initiative and using their natural talents. Leaders, ask yourselves, what rules did you suspend during the crisis that let teams rally so well?



Ensure Your Teams Rally Even After the Crisis

After a crisis, have your teams analyze how they rallied to solve the crisis.

  • How did they interact? What behaviors did they use and what actions did they take to meet the challenge?

  • What did they learn about each other’s strengths and talents?

  • How can they keep tapping each other’s talents going forward?

  • What organizational rules, structures, and obstacles must leaders and managers change to ensure teams rally every day?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
21 Reasons People Don’t Normally Get Along
How to Build a Positive Teamwork Culture
5 Extreme Behaviors That Harm Teamwork

©2020 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 info@katenasser.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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