Dismissal is the formal and clear exclusion from the team or the organisation. This makes a very significant difference to groups from which one can be excluded but not dismissed. This is why the ways and means, and the reasons why one is dismissed, has such importance.
Every team member can read from this how they endanger themselves, who makes the decisions, which arguments are permitted and which play no role. Often, from the perspective of the team members, the ‘wrong’ people are dismissed (such as uncomfortable or critical people, those who have become dangerous to the powerful or those who have attracted envy because of their competence). Putting it another way: often, no dismissal takes place or it takes place much too late (maybe because a manager does not wish to have guilt feelings). A great amount of demotivation, loss of trust and uncertainly has origins in dismissal styles which are calculated or non-transparent. This is further compounded by expectations of fairness (often exaggerated) and the anxiety and guilt feelings which are frequently associated with dismissal.
It is not surprising that this process is usually highly taboo in teams. One only speaks about this in whispers. If managers or team coaches examine phenomena such as patterns of caution, stable demotivation, reluctance to take risks and similar, they would do well to also examine carefully the experiences of a team with regard to dismissal.