In a team, every one matters, every member’s contributions are key factors to either lead a team to success or bring it down to failure. In a group where a member stays silent throughout the session, another one agrees to any point without question, another member makes funny comments during a serious team meeting which disturbs the team’s momentum. These are examples of poor team dynamics. This article aims at defining group dynamics and why they are critical factors to the success of a team, summarize causes of poor team dynamics and how to improve on team dynamics.
Dealing with Poor Team Dynamics
Team dynamics are the internal and unconscious forces that determine the success or failure of a team. They can be well related to a sea’s undercurrents that can change a dhow’s direction to a different way than the sailor’s intended direction. Effects of team dynamics apply in all group settings; social, business, classroom or volunteer settings (Nazzaro & Strazzabosco, 2009).
Causes of poor Team Dynamics
Discussed bellows are some of the factors that lead to bad team dynamics.
Bad leadership – if a team does not have a determined and vigorous leader, anybody can assume the role. If a dominant member takes charge of the team, the group can lose focus and, or direction altogether.
Blocking – blocking can happen when a team member or interrupts the movement of the group. A member can assume the blocking role by either being a joker, an aggressor, a withdrawer, a negator or an attention seeker.
Free riding and Social Loafing – social riding is when a group member remains idle and lets other members do all the tasks while a social loafer is a member who puts more effort on his own than with the panel members.
Leadership Conflicts – when team members disagree on who their leader should be, they often tend to hold back their ideas. Fighting for leadership can kill the team’s drive to the extent of bringing it down (MTET, 2013).
How to on Improve Team Dynamics
These are some of the interventions applicable to improve on group dynamics
- Let team players get to know each other cohesively outside of the workplace,
- Define each team members key responsibilities clearly to avoid future conflicts,
- Identify potential problems quickly to make sure they do not escalate to cause more damage to the group’s performance,
- Focus on communication by keeping all team members informed,
- Pay attention to your team to ensure you notice any arising problems immediately(TU, 2016)
Group dynamics define how team members relate to one another. A group works well together with positive dynamics. When the dynamics are negative, the performance effectiveness of the team goes down.
MTET. (2013, April 9). Improving Group Dynamics. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from Mind Tools: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/improving-group-dynamics.htm
Nazzaro, A.-M., & Strazzabosco, J. (2009, May). Group Dynamics and Team Building. HEMOPHILIA ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT, 2(4), 2.
- (2016, November 28). Improving Team Dynamics. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from Team Up: http://teamup.co.nz/improving-team-dynamics/