How can team dynamics be managed in a constructive manner?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - team dynamics

The term ‘team dynamics’ refers to the unseen forces which operate in a team between a number of different people or groups. Team dynamics can powerfully influence the manner in which a team reacts, behaves or – alternatively – performs. The consequences of team dynamics are often very complex. Sometimes, the lack of a natural force can be a team dynamic. For instance, if the leader or manager is permanently removed from the office, the group may be drawn into a change of behaviour.

Look for the team dynamics

These are the ‘natural forces’ at play. Ascertain whether they are acting for good or ill. Make interventions to make the impact of those dynamics increasingly positive. For instance, if a wall of cupboards is impeding communication within a group, it is possible for that wall to be moved and the room layout designed in order to encourage communication (without making the environment too awkward for those who value their privacy when working on individual tasks).

How can you recognise team dynamics?

You can recognise team dynamics by looking for the forces that influence team behaviour. These forces might include:

  • Personality styles (eg: including or excluding people)
  • Team Roles (eg: see MTR-i team dynamics)
  • Tools and technology (eg: email, bulletin board, information pool enabling hidden
  • communication).
  • Organisational culture (eg: company cars acting as status symbols to separate

groups of employees)

  • Processes/methodologies/procedures (eg: problem-solving methodology)

The impact of a friendship in a team

The positive effect of a solid friendship in a team might be:

  • Friends communicate a lot together which instinctively results in other members being drawn into the discussion.
  • This results in a good ‘social’ feel to the group which makes individual enjoy being in the group which improves motivation as well as commitment.

The negative effect of a solid friendship might be:

  • Causing the other four people to feel excluded, which means they are less likely to include the two friends in decision making.
  • This means that there are expected to be two sub-groups, which means that information may not flow across the entire group but only within the subgroups.
  • This could result in miscommunication which may lead to misunderstanding as well as poor collective performance.

This friendship has an effect on the group’s performance and is, thus, a team dynamic. Whether it is good or bad depends on other factors:

  • In the first, positive, example, there is a natural force of “inclusion” which results in people being drawn into productive discussions.
  • In the second, negative example, there is a natural force of “exclusion” which results in communication between groups being stifled.

A team that shares knowledge will become motivated while expanding their knowledge. Take away the sharing of knowledge, the team will no longer be a team, members will no longer be knowledgeable and constructive motivation will be gone.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

Want to find out more about team dynamics is a marketing environment? If you do then you need to do our Marketing Management Short Course. For more information, please follow this link.

DSM DigitalSchool of Marketing - Marketing Management