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What Are Examples of Effective Team Dynamics?

Andrew Langat
October 14, 2022
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"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." – Michael Jordan

Have you ever been in a team with a dominant member or where few seem to make all decisions, and other members just agree? Often without any question? - even when they have doubts?

If yes, you probably have experienced poor team dynamics. Such teams are a time bomb that will explode and affect an organization's success.

On the other hand, positive team dynamics manifest when other team members feel included, trust each other, practice compassion and empathy, have energy, have open communication, and everyone is on the same page as they experience what is commonly known as psychological safety.

Getting a team to work effectively is often a function of leadership skills. Team leaders must understand the building block of successful team dynamics and how to encourage team members to feel included in playing their roles effectively.

Read on to learn:

  • What are examples of effective team dynamics?
  • How to improve team dynamics
  • Team Building Strategies
  • What causes Poor Team dynamics
  • Importance of Team dynamics

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What are Team Dynamics in the Workplace?

Team dynamics in the workplace refers to the unconscious psychological forces that affect how individual team members feel within a group. These forces can either be positive or negative.

Team dynamics are often correlated with group dynamics. However, there are distinct differences. Groups often come together to achieve a particular objective, whereas teams work through a coordinated effort with mutual understanding.

An example of a team is a Football team working regularly throughout the season toward the goal of winning the super bowl.

An example of a group is a sales department in an organization. They work independently of other departments towards realizing a goal set by management, e.g., bettering the previous year's revenues.

Creating an environment that fosters team dynamics separates successful companies from the rest, as members can solve problems by providing constructive intervention and managing change.

It should be, thus, the responsibility of leadership to promote positive group dynamics where members build teams that solve problems.

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How Are Teams Formed?

In 1965, Psychologist and researcher Bruce Tuckman first expounded the framework of team formation in five phases:

  • Forming: the beginning stage for a team. At this stage, the team has not refined the goal, and they look to the team leader to offer direction. Team members are usually excited about what lies ahead. For Positive dynamics, the leader needs to create a room for open discussion that leads to better ideas.
  • Storming: the team's purposes are refined as team members get to express their opinions about the goal and each other. Enthusiasm may lower wants as it becomes clear what is possible and what isn't. For team effectiveness, the leader must clearly explain why they are moving towards a given direction.
  • Norming: As they start working together, team members trust each other as they get to appreciate individual strengths and weaknesses. This is also the chance to resolve discrepancies that might have arisen in the first two stages. There is a greater commitment to performing delegated roles effectively.
  • Performing: Not all teams reach this stage due to bad attitudes or group members' failure to understand their roles effectively. For teams that reach this stage, there is greater satisfaction in the progress as members feel more attached to the group. Conflict is resolved positively, and a leader can step back and only resolve conflicts when they arise or assign tasks.
  • Adjourning: The team's time end as the objective is realized. A team leader needs to make team members understand the impending dissolution of the group to manage feelings. Some members may get anxious about the future; others may experience a sense of achievement - some may experience both feelings. At this stage, it is important that all deliverables are completed.

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Examples of Effective Team Dynamics

The goal of every team leader should be building effective team dynamics, whether in a hybrid workplace, working with remote workers, or in the traditional office setting. When properly implemented, it creates an environment where team members work for the common good. Here are examples of effective team dynamics:

Communicating effectively.

Effective communication makes team members understand their roles effectively and makes sense for any leader who wants to create positive team dynamics.

Effective communication will create an environment where team members can share their opinions, knowledge, and criticism.

Fostering Mutual respect.

A team consists of personnel with different backgrounds. To create harmony, it is important to foster Mutual respect that ensures each member is respected. This way, each member can make contributions in an environment they feel safe.

Practicing Closed Loop Communication.

To avoid poor communication practices, practice closed-loop communication. This type of communication ensures that passed information is clear and concise and, thus, eliminates misunderstanding.

Sharing a Common Goal.

For each team member to effectively deliver, they need to understand their role. Team leaders can set goals using the SMART metric. This means that set goals need to be Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Willingness to Correct Mistakes.

A team member acknowledges and learns from mistakes when psychological safety is assured. This is cross-cutting, as even team members can point to the leader when they believe there is a misalignment without fear or reprisal.

Trust and Openness.

Team members need to experience psychological safety. This way, they can freely express themselves without fear, reprisal, or ridicule. When this is attained, a team can experience the benefits of good team dynamics vital for team building.

Participatory Leadership.

This form of leadership encourages all team members to participate in decision-making. This form of leadership is also known as democratic leadership. This approach is great for team development and building as it creates a sense of responsibility. Moreover, it eliminates micromanagement, which often leads to poor team dynamics.

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Importance of Team Dynamics in The Workplace

Creating successful team dynamics is often a proactive action that boosts a team's performance in the following ways:

Assists in Conflict Resolution

When differences arise within a team with positive dynamics, it is easier to handle tough conversations as good relationships have already been formed. Moreover, team members learn that professional misunderstanding need not be misconstrued as personal differences and vice versa.

Quicker Decision Making

Team members understand that at the end of the day, the best decisions carry the day; this lowers the time taken for decision-making, boosting team performance.

Boost Motivation

Improving team dynamics boosts motivation, improving team dynamics as optimistic thinking takes root and creates a growth mindset.

Boosts Communication

When leaders communicate effectively, it is easy to deliver on delegated tasks.

Greater Productivity

Effective team dynamics lead to greater productivity as a team member feels obliged to contribute positively towards achieving set objectives.

Fosters Self-Awareness

Self-aware teams rely on individual team members' skill sets to boost performance. Building a self-aware team often results once the leader is self-aware. To improve self-awareness in a team, define self-awareness, promote open communication, or work with a professional coach.

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What Causes Poor Team Dynamics?

Poor dynamics are caused by a combination of factors such as:

  • Poor Communication: In the absence of proper communication, there is the likelihood of creating a tense environment where collaboration is not easy.
  • Toxic company culture: In an environment defined by toxic culture, there are chances that this gets transferred into teams and is manifested by behaviors such as gossiping, sobbing, unending drama, and fear-based culture.
  • Weak leadership: This manifests through favoritism, bad attitude, poor communication, absenteeism, lack of interest in team members' contribution, setting the wrong priorities, etc.
  • Group thinking: When the desire for consensus overrides critical thinking, it can lead to the wrong ideas getting implemented.
  • Presence of Free riders: when certain team members take a passive approach and leave the rest of the group to work on delegated tasks, it eventually creates tension leading to negative team dynamics.
  • Poor Roles delegation: one important aspect of realizing goals is to delegate tasks properly. During team formation, a team leader should ensure that people involved in a given task can deliver through in-person interviews, recommendations, or past engagement.
  • Lack of training on team dynamics: An important aspect often overlooked in training on what it takes to build and improve team effectiveness. Thus, companies must make it a priority to include this important step.
  • Psychological discomfort: When there is psychological distress, a team member cannot deliver on their role effectively. For example, they shy away from public discussion or expressing concerns.

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How Highrise can help?

Getting a team to gel is not always easy. It is composed of different personalities, and Some members may feel superior based on academic achievements, previous jobs, or personal character. In such a case, weak leadership will breed a negative workplace. Moreover, you might feel out of place and gasping for air as a team member.

At Highrise, we have strategies such as executive coaching to create great team dynamics that will yield positive culture.

Reach out today for a solution.

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Andrew Langat
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Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.