Examples of Team Dynamics
The following are some real (anonymised) examples of team dynamics - the symptoms, causes, how the problems were overcome.
- There was increasing distrust between the management of two organisations who were collaborating on an international project, potentially escalating to legal action.
Solution: A Team Health Check revealed that each organisation tended to interpret the other’s actions in a negative way - i.e. a “team island” or in/out group problem. A joint workshop built greater understanding of each other’s motivations and enabled them to find better ways of working towards the shared goal.
- A new member of a team was causing friction with established members. As a result, they tended to resist any changes she tried to introduce.
Solution: A Team Health Check revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the new person. She had been guided by her job description, which gave her a wider set of responsibilities than the team expected her to have. The misunderstanding was cleared up on a team building workshop, and the team members’ roles and responsibilities were clarified and agreed.
- A team member had an affair with the team boss. This destroyed trust and communication.
Solution: A Team Health Check allowed everyone to express their feelings confidentiality to someone independent. Then, a series of workshops gradually enabled them to express their concerns to each other, come to terms with what had happened, and agree how they could overcome the problems of distrust.