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Handling Critics

The handling of internal critics has an important role in the shaping of team parameters. To put it simply: the more a team member criticises the team or the team leader, the more accusations will be made that the critic is ‘actually’ on the side of ‘the other’, the ‘opposition’, the ‘enemy’ or the ‘bad environment’ and the more insecurity is used in order to create superficially secure boundaries. When a team needs common enemies to protect them from disloyalty and create cohesion, the opposite effect in the background usually becomes stronger. It creates a fear of speaking up against the general opinion and questioning something. If someone might be accused of identifying with the ‘other’, he keeps his mouth shut. Nobody risks being seen as a traitor so easily.

In organisations, such forms of team parameters are usually highly dysfunctional, because a loss of (decision-making) alternatives is cultivated, a thriving collaboration with others in the team is hindered (fighting and competition) and such a team culture tends to deliver an orientation towards enemies rather than common objectives.