A team must include and exclude, the way a person must breathe in and out. Interestingly, ‘excluding’ consists of two processes which are mutually dependent.
For a team, as a team, to exclude a member, they must be dismissed or transferred. Whether and how the team members take part in this decision process, how transparent the organisation’s reasons are, whether there is a formal goodbye in which his contributions are honoured, all this has far-reaching consequences. At the same time, a decision is required which releases the member from the membership of the group. There are cases where someone has not been a formal member of a team for years, but is still regarded as belonging (and thus his opinions count and are considered as before!). As the departure is regarded so negatively (except in the case of promotion), it plays a major role for team dynamics whether processes exist, from which one can tell that the membership has come to an end: expressing what remains to be said, expressing thanks, celebrating and commiserating, all these are important rituals which a team can utilise. The less such rituals are nurtured, the less cohesive the remaining group will be. The more often a team has the experience that suddenly ‘someone is missing’, the more anxiety-ridden the group boundaries will be for all. This can have profound effects on the performance capabilities of the team.