Tales From the Corporate Frontlines: Team Dynamics and Communication

This article relates to the Team Dynamics competency, which evaluates interpersonal communication, cooperation, and productivity between members of a single team, group, or department within your organization. In today's marketplace, in order for organizations to operate efficiently, it is essential that they understand how to create and utilize effective work teams at all levels of the organization. When well managed, teams improve productivity, innovation, and the likelihood of success. Ineffective teams lead to frustration and the loss of time and productivity. Evaluating this competency can be very useful if your organization is experiencing missed deadlines or low productivity levels.

This short story, Team Dynamics and Communications, is part of EngagedMetrics' compilation, Tales From the Corporate Frontlines. It explores the sensitivity of team dynamics and the importance of keeping balance among members.

Anonymous Submission

During the time spent with my current employer, I've always considered myself a restless worker. At the same company for ten years now, I have occupied three different positions. I like learning new skills, and feel that the job moves have made me a well- rounded employee. They've also helped me to understand the importance of team dynamics. Each team that I've been a part of had a different dynamic, but it was always easy to see how the behavior of team members affected the team's successful operation as a whole.

My second team displayed some really challenging dynamics. Composed of eight members, two of them had recently married. At first, we didn't think that would make much of a difference. As time went by, it became obvious that we were wrong. As these two team members confronted the challenges of married life, their disputes affected team communication and productivity in obvious ways----some team members felt strange or uncomfortable being included in their disputes, or excluded if the focus remained on the couple for too long. Some switched roles and others participated less in discussion and decision-making. The easygoing social atmosphere disappeared and was replaced with tension. Motivation and commitment among the members fluctuated wildly at times.

We tried to resolve the issues among ourselves at first. Our team leader made extra efforts to placate team members who felt left out or frustrated by the team's lack of focus. We made procedural changes in our meeting structure. We even made changes to the office layout in an effort to boost morale.

Around that time, our company conducted an employee satisfaction survey. One of the topics evaluated was Team Dynamics. The results of our team evaluation, to put it mildly, indicated that a more drastic solution was needed to adjust our dynamics. Our team leader conferred with management to come up with a solution. Ultimately----one of the married team members was offered a new position ---on another team.

I was that member. I was a little upset at first, but it turned out to be the right move for everyone. The dynamics of my old team went back to normal in time, and I enjoy working with my new team, in my new role.

The experience taught us that dealing with sensitive team dynamics is vitally important, and there will be a different solution for each team. We were lucky to find the right one, at the right time.

2005 EngagedMetrics, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

This article may be reprinted, provided it is published in its entirety, includes the author bio information, and all links remain active.

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Josh Greenberg is President of EngagedMetrics, Inc.

EngagedMetrics provides organizations of all sizes a powerful web based method for measuring employee satisfaction, determining employee engagement, and increasing employee retention.

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