According to Kurt Lewin, the group dynamics describe the effects of the roles and behaviours of the people on their group members, and on the group as a whole. Team dynamics, on the other hand, is defined as two or more people working together to interdependently meet a specific goal or purpose, long-term or short-term.

Team dynamics at work is therefore critical for organizational success as they psychologically influence the direction of a team’s behaviour and performance. No two teams are the same, so let’s see what team management skills can be applied for improving team dynamics.

Strategies for boosting your team dynamics

Get to know your team

Observe your team at work and conduct individual interviews in a private, safe and confidential space, and try to find out as much as you can about your team’s problems. A few common things may cause poor group dynamics.

  • Weak leadership may result in a lack of direction and conflict.
  • Authority and groupthink; as people tend to agree with the leader than offering innovative ideas and opinions.
  • Blocking behaviours like aggressive, negative, recognition-seeking and even joking behaviours can block the flow of information in the team.
  • Freeriding; as in team members “taking it easy” at the expense of other colleagues.
  • Evaluation apprehension, where team members may hold back their opinions and ideas as they might feel being judged by fellow members.
  • Other potential causes may include poor communication and a lack of focus.

Approach the problems quickly

If you spot any of the above-mentioned behaviours, work to address it quickly. Speak to the concerned team member directly and invite them to reflect on their behaviour and how it can be changed to support the team’s goals.

Create a team authority

Creating a team charter with clearly defined roles can help in setting clear behavioural and outcomes expectations and motivate team members to address their responsibilities and work together more effectively.

Enhance team culture

Build a supportive team culture using team-building exercises and devise ways through which employee well-being, diversity, trust and respect among team members can be promoted. You can also support open communication, and allow sharing of ideas through an inclusive work culture.

Build communication

Support open communication and provide your team with tools to encourage team members for clear and direct communication. Additionally, keep team members updated about project changes and news, and make sure both opinionated and quieter team members are heard.

Always Notice the actions of your subordinates

As a part of the organization’s leadership, you are required to pay attention to your team and look out for unacceptable behaviours such as bullying, and free-riding while reinforcing positive behaviours like successful collaboration, and sharing of ideas.

Team dynamics at work impact creativity, productivity and effectiveness of the group and therefore, addressing it is vital for better work outcomes, customer satisfaction and an improved bottom line.

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