What is team Dynamics? (A Comprehensive Guide)

What is team Dynamics

Team dynamics are the unconscious, psychological forces that influence the direction of a team’s behavior and performance. Team dynamics are formed due to the nature of the work of its team members, their work environment, their working relationship with each other, and their level of understanding of the work. The more understanding they have among them the more the team dynamics are present in that group. Team dynamics can be good or bad. If the performance of each individual is best and each member has full participation then the outcome of their work will be good and it will also increase the group dynamics further. But if there are unproductive conflicts among the group members and less participation from each member of the group then the results will be bad and affect the group dynamics.  In this article, we will discuss what team dynamics are. 

What is team Dynamics? (A Comprehensive Guide)
  • What are team dynamics

Team dynamics are the psychological behaviors of team members for teamwork. The way a team behaves, reacts, and communicates with each other has a great impact on the outcome of teamwork and the success of a team depends on it. To achieve certain goals a team should have certain characteristics which are as follow: 

  • What are team dynamics: Shared purpose

One of the common characteristics of team dynamics is that they have some purpose for being in a team. And that is the difference between a team and a group. The team is built up because of the same purpose every individual has whereas a group is together merely just to perform a task. 

If at some point the leader might see any conflict in the group then it is time for him to do some digging and search out if everyone in the team is on the same page. Because the shared purpose is important for team dynamics to reach its goal.

  • What are team dynamics: Trust and openness:

Trust is one of the important characteristics of team dynamics. Every member should trust each other and especially the guidelines of their leadership. And it is also necessary for the leader to develop their team member’s trust in him. Because without trust nothing can proceed. Team members should have all the liberty to open up about the ideas and suggestions which can be helpful in the progress and success of the team. They should not feel embarrassed and scared while sharing their ideas.

Trust and openness can lead to better and creative ideas. Team members should trust each other with the approaching deadlines of the work and everyone should play their given part.  

  • What are team dynamics: Willingness to correct mistakes:

When success is the goal for a team they are always willing to correct their past mistakes which were the reason of their failure. A team should evaluate their teamwork and access the problem and tries to work on their weaknesses to avoid any failure in the future. Success is only for those who learn from their past mistakes and also work on their past mistakes. The team should develop an appropriate process of measurement and evaluation for work if there is a need to change the course they should do it right away. 

  • What are team dynamics: Diversity and inclusions:

If there is diversity in a team it can lead to more creative ideas and more helpful group thinking. Diversity could be related to gender, age, ethnicity, and sexual identity. To have diversity in your team you can expand the area of recruitment in your team. When there is diversity in the group there will be diversity in the ideas. This can lead to not easy but the best ideas for the team. Every member of the team should participate in group decisions and discussions. The team leaders should appreciate the efforts and involvement of the team member in teamwork so it motivates them to put more of their effort in the teamwork. Encouragement can boost up their work.

  • What are team dynamics: Interdependence and sense of belonging:

A team leader has the responsibility to support the members in their interdependence, and reinforce their sense of belonging through all of the stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.

Each team member should know that they are part of the team and the team leader should also make them aware of their importance in the team. Everyone should work with sincerity and they should value their importance and responsibility towards the team. Even if a new team is created, it is the duty of the team leader to make them feel important in the team and encourage them to do work with full cooperation. And team members should also focus on fulfilling the purpose by doing their work on time without keeping tabs on how much they give or take.

What is team Dynamics? (A Comprehensive Guide)
  • What are team dynamics: Consensus decision making:

Decision-making meetings should explain first the purpose of the meeting and the expected outcome form the meeting. Designate a facilitator and timekeeper. The process continues with information gathering, analysis, brainstorming, and evaluation. All team members should be present in the meeting and participation from all the group members should be appreciated. The leader should be careful in making the decision that no decision is made under peer pressure.

If there is diversity in meetings and more people in the group can lead to more creative decisions. A few strong personalities might dominate the meeting while decision making. 

  • What are team dynamics: Participative leadership:

Participative leaders do not intrude in the work of their members; they let them work with confidence. They do not control their team instead they provide all the information, guidance, and resources to the team and let them work autonomously. 

Participative leaders know there is a difference between leadership and power. If the leader tries to control their power it will affect the creativity of the team members. They will lack confidence and a sense of fear will induce them and the environment of work will be affected also. Participated leadership is also a very important characteristic of ineffective team dynamics of any team to achieve their required goals. 

  • What causes poor Team Dynamics?

Few factors are involved in poor team dynamics. Below are few factors: 

A team is built up through team leader and team members, any negative contribution from both can cause poor team dynamics. Some of the reasons which cause poor team dynamics are discussed below:

  • Weak leadership:

If the leader of the team is weak in taking responsibilities then there are chances the most dominant personalities of the group might take charge which can take the team members off the track and leads to wrong properties.

  • Excessive deference to authority:

This happens when team members instead of sharing their ideas and opinions they keep agreeing with the team leader.

  • Blocking:

Blocking happens when a team member disrupts the discussion and flow of a meeting or information. He can disturb by cracking a joke at an inappropriate time. Or he might simply disagree with everyone in the group. Such team members might cause blocking by not participating in the group discussion. 

  • Group thinking:

When a team member wants agreement on his suggestion then others can deprive the team members to think about other alternative solutions which can lead to poor team dynamics.

  • Freeriding:

Some team members might do their work perfectly or put hard work in their own work but they do not participate or contribute to teamwork. They let their colleagues do all the work they are known as free riders. 

  • Evaluation apprehension:

Evaluation apprehension happens when team members have a negative perception towards other team members and they think that they are being judged by others which can result in less participation of them in teamwork. They hold back their opinions and do not share their views.

What is team Dynamics? (A Comprehensive Guide)
  • Strategies for improving team dynamics: 

Different strategies are used to improve team dynamics. Some of them are discussed below:

  • Know your team:

It is the responsibility of the team leader to run the team. So it is the leader’s responsibility to get to know about the phases when a group is developed so he can understand the positive and negative roles and to understand how it can affect the team performance.

  • Tackle problems quickly:

The team leader should provide feedback on each team member so if any of the team member’s behavior is affecting the teamwork he should be addressed by the feedback. The team leader should also encourage him how he can change his behavior.

  • Define roles and responsibilities:

When a team is developing the team leader should make a charter in which he defines the mission, group’s objective and role and responsibilities of the team members to ask the group members to have a copy of the document and keep reminding them about it and gradually ask them about their success. Less focus on the target or not knowing the roles and being confused about their responsibilities can lead to poor team dynamics. Therefore, roles and responsibilities should be defined to each member of the team as soon as the team is developed.

  • Break down barriers:

Use team-building exercises to let team members know about each other. It is also helpful when a new member join the team. In this way, they can also open up to each other and create a comfortable environment in which they can discuss their ideas and opinions which can lead to good team dynamics.  

  • Focus on communication:

The team leaders should provide a platform to their team members in which they can communicate easily. Using every source of communication it could be email, meetings, and shared documents, etc. open communication can lead to good team dynamics. If you make any changes in the project inform everyone and make sure everyone has the information. 

  • Pay attention:

Team leaders should pay attention if there is a unanimous decision in the group and address them and encourage others to share their views and discuss their opinion in the group anonymously.

What is team Dynamics? (A Comprehensive Guide)

FAQ about what are Team Dynamics

  1. In team dynamics who plays a more important role team leader or team member?

Both are dependent on each other. Both are important for team dynamics.

  1. Is team dynamics different from group dynamics?

Yes, they are different; in team dynamics, team members share the same purpose whereas in group dynamics they work together for only the purpose of their work.

  1. How can you improve your team dynamics?

There are a number of ways but a few others are mentioned below.

  1. Know your team.
  2. Tackle troubles fast with good feedback.
  3. Define roles and duties.
  4. Break down obstacles.
  5. Focus on communication.
  6. Pay close attention.

Reference:

Teamtechnology.co.uk: Definition of team dynamics

Ej4.com: 7 Characteristics of winning team dynamics

Mindtools.com: “Improving Group Dynamics Helping Your Team Work More Effectively”

What is team Dynamics? (A Comprehensive Guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.