Good team dynamics in the workplace are essential to how good work gets done. If you’ve been brought together alongside a group of individuals to tackle a project or break down a problem, you’re going to want to share space with others who know to handle themselves. If someone is very critical, or someone doesn’t speak up or another person speaks too much, these characteristics and approaches can sour a project.
Looking to prevent teamwork from falling to the wayside? Want some proven methods to enhance engagement and spike people’s morale? Read on if you want to go deeper into the mechanics of how to improve team performance.
What Are Group Dynamics?
“Group and or team dynamics” in the workplace typically connotes the approach of how people across different departments, groups, or offices, or simply just how individuals come together in a group setting. People will naturally fall into certain roles and behaviors which affect how each individual performs in that certain role and what behavior comes out of it. This affects the individual as well as the group as a whole.
Characteristics of a positive group dynamic geared toward team efficiency and team productivity include:
- Having the same vision
- A shared understanding of the outcome
- A group effort towards a final decision
- Accountability for one’s own actions and for each others’
- Building each other up
In light of a world pandemic, while the term “group dynamics” might take on a bit of a different meaning, the approach is still present and should still be a priority. Video conferencing software ensures people can still effectively work on projects and manage group dynamics even if participants are located remotely within the group.
What Causes Ineffective Group Dynamics?
No one wants poor group dynamics, but sometimes when you get a group of personalities together, the chemistry fizzles and doesn’t come out as you expected. Some of the more common problems that lead to less than ideal dynamics include:
- No Leadership: A team that isn’t being led by someone who has experience or knows what they’re doing can turn any project or scenario into a flop. A dominant member of the group helps to provide direction, bring to life the vision, and steer clear from the wrong priorities.
- Pleasing Authority: This happens when an individual lacks their own opinion, experience, or expression and instead chooses to continuously side or agree with the leader. As a result, progress isn’t made.
- Being Passive: A common group phenomenon where some group members work really hard and others just loaf around. They don’t contribute and instead, let other team members do the heavy lifting and contributing.
- Personality Types: Let’s face it, when it comes to team productivity, some personalities need a bit of softening. “The Aggressor” is typically the outspoken one who likes to play devil’s advocate but with less curiosity and more hostility. “The Negator” shuts down ideas immediately, is hypercritical, and lacks self-awareness. These archetypal roles can be taken on by anyone. They block the flow of information in the group, creating an unhealthy dynamic that is a barrier when it comes to producing good work.
Want To Improve Your Team’s Dynamics?
Ask yourself the following questions to see where you stand with your team. Then, you can move ahead with the following strategies to improve team performance for enhanced collaboration, cooperation, and development.
- How well do you know your team?
Before any work gets done, allow for the time you spend together to reveal who it is you’re collaborating with. Which individuals are doers? Which ones tend to speak up more? What kinds of communication styles do they engage in? What areas do your teammates do well in, can improve on? Is there time for camaraderie and some social activity? If you are the leader of the pack, it’s wise to tune into the energies at play at every stage of team development.
- How quickly do you untangle problems that arise?
With groups, there are sure to be challenges that arise. It’s not so much what the problem is (although it can be!), it’s about how promptly you address it. By adopting the approach of “preventing” instead of “curing” you will be able to see what’s ahead and nip it in the bud before it gets too big. Picking up on some tension between two colleagues? Notice a coworker who isn’t speaking up? This is an opportunity to talk about it before it becomes a habit.
- Are you assigning clear roles and delegating responsibilities?
When everyone knows their role and feels confident in their ability to perform, naturally, you’ll see colleagues shine and want to help each other out. It’s important to outline expectations, the mission of the team, and what everyone is trying to accomplish as a collective.
- Have you addressed the barriers and do you know how to work around them?
In the beginning, trust and discomfort will be prevalent. But as colleagues spend more time getting to know each other (never underestimate the power of virtual team-building exercises), you’ll be able to pick out the weak spots and see how you can tighten them. This works for new teams and teams that have previously worked together.
- (alt-tag: Side view of multiple people seated at an office bench mid-conversation, writing down notes and engaging in an in-person meeting)
- Is communication a priority?
Between video conferencing, emails, and text chat, it’s easy to stay on top of changes, updates, and developments. Just be sure to check frequently and share it quickly. Thinking about hosting an online meeting? Be concise, invite the right people, and keep it timely!
- How alert and attentive are individuals on your team?
Create healthy habits by being alert and keeping an eye on the stressors, and triggers that produce poor dynamics. Keep the doors of communication open and accessible with frequent meetings, scheduled evaluations, and opportunities to speak out during group sessions.
Choose Callbridge’s sophisticated suite of group communication technology to instill a nurturing online group dynamic that gets good work done. With enterprise-ready features like video conferencing, audio conferencing, and recording, you can communicate with team members near or far, empowering them to feel confident in their roles and responsibilities.