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Membership in the Team

One belongs to a team when one is a member of the team. This apparently trivial sentence has wide-reaching implications.

• It is never the person, as a person, who is ‘part’ of the team, even though, frequently, such expectations on the side of people are often in play. They see the team as somewhat like a family, secured in the long-term and with commitment, and as such, something in which they feel as if they belong. However, one is in a team by means of an ID card, not by means of birth. A team member who cannot separate these two emotionally, always tends to be a burden, because the inappropriate demands make a sustained dissatisfaction probable.

• The entitlement to membership depends upon the will and one’s own capacity to contribute to the team’s task and the preservation of the team. A loss of membership, therefore, is not a personal failure or a loss of personal honour, even though this is emotionally felt by many people.

• On the side of the team, there is the obligation to create conditions which enable all team members to give their contribution. This aspect is often masked by teams. Clearly recognisable failings in the team dynamics are then interpreted as underachievement or a problem of the individual team member. Therefore, an analysis is often necessary: does the issue lie in the performance or problematic social behaviour of the affected employee or in the team dynamics? Without consultancy, such an analysis is not easily carried out.