“Comingtogether is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together issuccess” HenryFord Asa very important part of working life, team dynamics can have a big impact onprofitability of an organization, whether people enjoy their work, staffretention rates, performance of team and individual, reputation of company, the way a team works and many others. However, team dynamics are often neglected or ignored; theyare the unconscious, psychological forces that influence the direction of behaviourand performance of team. Being created by the nature of the team work, thepersonalities within the team, their working relationships with other people,and the environment in which the team works, they can be good – for example,when they improve overall team performance and/or get the best out ofindividual team members, and also bad – for example, when they causeunproductive conflict, demotivation, and prevent the team from achieving itsgoals.There are different modelsused to describe team dynamics.
Some of them describe the psychologicalaspects, such as:§ Group dynamics (Lewin) which considers how people interactand common perceptions that arise within a group.§ Psychoanalysis (Freud and Bion) which is concerned withthe (natural) defensive behaviours of team members.§ FIRO/Human Elements (Schutz) which considersthe compatibility between people using behaviours of inclusion, control,openness, and how those behaviours relate to inner feelings of significance,competence, and likeability.§ The Tuckman model considers fivestages of development for a team – forming, storming, norming, performing andadjourning.
§ Team Roles such as MTR-i or Belbin examine how teamperformance is related to nine psychological roles taken by different teammembers.§ Personality type theories, such as MyersBriggs, Disc, Herrmann Brain Dominance, consider how the different preferencesof team members affect their interactions and team performance.§ Team Islands and In/Out groups, showing how sub-teamscan form as a result of members having different characteristics or beingseparated by a geographical boundary.On the other hand, there are othermodels that have an important bearing on team dynamics and performance, but arenot typically included in definitions of group dynamics:§ Models oforganisational culture,such as Hofstede which considers five cultural factors: power distance,uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, masculine/feminine, andshort-term/long-term focus.§ Generalleadership and management processes,such as performance management, appraisal, reward/recognition, and individualleadership or management practices (e.
g. Situational Leadership).§ Methodologies for different aspects of team functioning,such as project management (e.g. Prince2), business process reengineering (e.g.LEAN), collective problem solving, running meetings, information sharing,communication, desk instructions, etc.
§ Varioustypes of organisational structure,including hierarchical, functional, matrix, network, cross-functional teams,working parties, etc.§ Stakeholder models, including governance structure,customer forums and feedback, representative groups (e.g. unions), etc.These are relevant to teamdynamics because they can all have a hidden but significant impact on the way ateam interacts and performs.
It was studied by key theorists such as Gustave Le Bon, WilliamMcDougall, Sigmund Freud, Jacob L. Moreno, Kurt Lewin, WilliamSchutz, Wilfred Bion, BruceTuckman, M. Scott Peck, Richard Hackman and others. Dr.
Bruce Tuckman published his Forming (pretending to get on or get along withothers) Storming (letting down the politeness barrier and trying to getdown to the issues even if tempers flare up) Norming (getting used toeach other and developing trust and productivity) Performing (working ina group to a common goal on a highly efficient and cooperative basis)model in 1965 and refined his theory around 1975 and added a fifth stage – Adjourningto the model, which is also referred to as Deforming and Mourning. As team members have differentviewpoints and, under the right set of circumstances, those differencesescalate to conflict and how to handle that conflict determines whether itworks to the advantage of team, or contributes to its demise. Resolvingconflict is multi stage process which includes:Prepare forResolution- Acknowledge the conflict- Discuss the impact- Agree to a cooperative process- Agree to communicateUnderstand theSituation- Clarify positions- List facts, assumptions and beliefs underlying each position- Analyze in smaller groups- Convene back as a teamReach AgreementPreventing Conflict Themethod to be used to resolve conflict / dispute will depend upon personal needsand the nature of particular conflict / dispute. Ways to resolve disputes can be negotiation, mediation, arbitration,litigation (going to court) and others.