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Building teamwork

"For some team leaders the ability to generate an all-for-one-and-one-for-all team culture comes easily."

These lucky leaders have a heightened understanding of what makes people tick, and have the happy knack of being able to influence and motivate people to pull together.

All groups develop their own particular way of doing things over time – their norms and culture. Often this “just seems to happen”, but these unconscious team dynamics are unhelpful as often as they are helpful. Sue always rambles on for too long, no-one dares question John for fear that he will lose his temper, some important subjects seem to be un-discussable and so on.

This is where The Psychologist leader has an important role to play. Their skill at managing conflict, not just ignoring it, at shutting up the noisy and encouraging the quiet, and making sure all important issues are discussed, leads to better discussion and better team decisions.

A team that approaches decision-making as a group problem-solving activity, and bases its decisions on data rather than the power of individual members, makes better decisions than a team where members argue and score points off each other. These teams also feel more cohesive and less divided.

Handling group dynamics, and difficult team members, well,  and developing effective teamwork sustains a happier and more effective team.

Quick Tip

Try the exercises on these pages to build a team where:

  1. People feel confident, supported and appreciated: How to build a team where everyone feels confident and appreciated.
  2. Everyone is able to make their voice heard: How to make sure everyone can contribute to making the team as effective as possible.