Team Dynamics- Essential For Creativity, Productivity, and Effectiveness.
Team dynamics are the unconscious, psychological forces that influence the direction of a team’s behaviour and performance. Team dynamics are often neglected or ignored. This can have a significant impact on the way a team works.
Is Team Dynamics Different From Group Dynamics?
We would say yes, Lets understand it better.
The term group dynamics originated with Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist, and though there are some distinctions, most people use this term interchangeably with team dynamics.
He defined team dynamics as “positive and negative forces within groups of people.”
Understanding group dynamics is now considered an essential part of leadership, and knowing how to generate and encourage positive team dynamics is part of what distinguishes great leaders from those that are simply good.
A key element of positive group dynamics is trust (more on that later). Members of these groups hold one another accountable and work toward collective goals with the understanding that they will have the support of their fellow team members. Other elements of positive team dynamics include self-correcting behavior, constructive criticism and mutual understanding.
Just as positive group dynamics help hold communities together, positive team dynamics help teams stay cohesive and work more effectively as a unit.
Why Do You Need to Consider Team Dynamics?
The answer is simple — group or team dynamics defines how effective your team is going to be in their work performance and generating new ideas. As a result, it influences the overall project outcome.
The good thing about team dynamics is that if you know its parameters and monitor them, you can influence them.
How to Improve Team Dynamics in the Workplace
Communicate…and Not Just about Work
Focusing on clear and open communication is one of the best ways to put team members on the same page. Keep team members in the loop as soon as there is any news to share, whether it’s of organisational importance or about a particular project. People feel reassured and more relaxed in the workplace when information is shared with them, helping them focus on fulfilling their jobs. Remember that communication shouldn’t only be about work-related matters. Getting to know your people and asking about their family, weekend or hobbies goes a long way towards making people feel part of a team.
Give Everyone a Clear Role
Employees are there to fulfil a specific job description, but that doesn’t mean it’s always clear where specific responsibilities lie. Friction within teams can emerge when there is a lack of clarity on roles, whether for project work or for ongoing tasks. This is easily resolved by making it crystal clear what role or specific tasks each individual is responsible for. Break down work into a set of tasks, attach an individual’s name to each one and circulate this information to the whole team for transparency as well as clarity.
Stay on Top of Problems
The negative behaviour of just one team member can rapidly affect a whole team. It’s important to be vigilant about what is happening within the team so that problems can be dealt with quickly. If an individual is behaving in a negative way, try to get to the heart of the problem and explain how this behaviour has an unhelpful knock-on effect on the rest of the group. Simultaneously ensure you reward good behaviours among the team — such as collaboration and knowledge-sharing — through positive feedback.
Reaching the end of a project or achieving an important milestone is the perfect opportunity to foster team spirit. Communicate successes to the rest of the company, whether it’s in an all staff meeting, via an email or on the intranet. Mention team members by name and the contribution they made to the project. As well as ensuring others are aware of the excellent work, mark the occasion as a team too, whether it’s at a celebratory team breakfast, tea and cake in the afternoon, or a drink after work.
Improving team dynamics is something that can be worked on every day in the office, but sometimes it’s important to get away from your usual daily context. Team building is a fantastic way to break down barriers in teams and boost morale. Getting to know people outside of the office by doing something totally different gives a feel-good factor that continues long after returning to the workplace.
Use Experiential Learning to Build Trust
We’ve found that experiential learning is the most effective method for creating environments for open, honest discussion, and for building trust and respect. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their experience without fear of recrimination. By enabling the team to discover their different strengths and explore ways of improving their performance together, the outcomes can drive the change you’re looking for back in the workplace.