How group dynamics can affect your team performance

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Getting a group of people to work well together when each of them are coming into the group with their own personality styles and idiosyncrasies can be incredibly hard work. For some managers this can become a bit of a nightmare and is where team training such as that supplied by Scrum Master Training Dublin company can help and is one of the best ways to help improve team dynamics.

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There are a number of reasons why team working may not be as effective as it can be. If you have staff members whose personality styles don’t mix such as those who are perhaps more critical of others as well as those who are more dominant in their approach to others not mixing with those who are more susceptible to comments from others and those who perhaps have a quieter working style.

Group dynamics was a phrase that was first developed by Kurt Lewin who was a social psychologist and created this idea back in the early part of the 1940s. His work noted that people have their given natural personalities and also their preferred roles that behaviours that they take on board when they ae asked to work in a group environment. It is the effect of these behaviours on the working of the group and the individuals within that group that are what defines the phrase “Group Dynamics”.

There has been further research and studies undertaken into group dynamics since Lewin first established the concept. These newer studies identified some key ways that you can identify a positive group dynamic, and these include:

  • Team members trusting one another and trusting other abilities
  • Team working together towards collective goals and each playing their part in ensuring that these are achieved
  • Team members constructively hold each other to account to achieve their collective goals and help support others in the roles where necessary.

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A positive team dynamic means that everyone is able to work at their best level and ultimately these teams tend to be much more creative than those teams which have a negative dynamic.

Negative team dynamics occur for many reasons but some of the key ones that have been identified by researchers include:

  • Leadership that is lacking strength and direction and allows for more dominant members of the team to take control
  • Lack of opinions – this often occurs when people feel like they need to agree with those in authority positions and so don’t truly voice their opinions. This can breed resentments and tension within a team
  • Lack of work ethic – this occurs when you have members of the team that do as little work as possible as they are aware that there are other members of the team who are overly conscientious, and they will natural pick up the slack if necessary.

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