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Atmospheric Differences

Just like people, teams develop an atmosphere with which one can recognise the team. “Oh, there’s an atmosphere in here!”. How does such an expression come to be, even though one has no verbal information, but has merely entered the room? One can pick up within seconds or minutes whether aspects of human interaction amongst people are free and relaxed or stilted and tense, friendly and outgoing or hostile and isolated, attentive and helpful or careless and competitive, ordered and structured or chaotic and arbitrary, focused and supportive or hectic and erratic, and many more. Such atmospheres can switch from one moment to another, they can change when certain people come or go, when subjects change (controversial issues) or they are dependent upon certain time pressures (deadlines).

In each case, it is important for understanding the team to pick up this atmospheric information and to evaluate it. Team developers as well as leaders need a trained competence about atmospheric perception, otherwise they have no chance to reflect upon and influence the non-verbal messages of a team.