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Team Development Techniques for Team Preservation

If one examines the literature regarding team development tools, then it is noticeable how one-sidedly many concepts focus on the development of the ‘team’, understood as the group of team members. Just as if the existence of the team were only dependent upon the wellbeing of the members. Therefore, it is of particular concern to us here to point out that teams often require support to not only place the concerns regarding the organisation with the team leader.

For this, there are a variety of possibilities, which, in principle, all serve to collaboratively examine the interface issues, the consideration of organisational strategies, planning parameters etc. pp. and to arrive at a verdict as to whether, as an ‘organisation’, one is satisfied with the team. The analysis of permanent conflict zones with other parts of the organisation also belong here.

Often, it is also necessary for the team leader to openly discuss those points, in which he is chronically torn between his loyalty to the team and to that of his boss. Otherwise, the shaping of this guiding process cannot become a team task. The ability to look outside the box requires much support.

At the pole ‘team member orientation’, it is often just as important to comment on and consolidate hidden and non-articulated expectations of each other and the team leader. For this, it is less necessary to apply techniques but rather for the consultant to have the courage to reach out, to sense where there are risks in the communication, to broach the issues of anxiety-triggering behaviours in the leader, and to notice dysfunctional resignation about topics and concerns. Here, the consultant needs more group dynamic competence, rather than tools and exercises (which, otherwise, are more dangerous and counter-productive).