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Team Development Techniques

Team development techniques can fulfil very different functions. One helpful feature is common to all team development techniques and another is always problematic.

Helpful techniques serve the function of making a process or a structure ‘concise’. Conciseness in a team becomes a phenomenon, when ‘all’, at the ‘same’ time, find something ‘important’ with regard to the task and can ‘describe it jointly’. Conciseness in a social system also needs communication, perception, emotional and cognitive relevance, temporal synchronisation and a focus on a goal. If one orientates oneself by this, all techniques, tools and procedures in team consultations can be located and determined with regard to their purpose.

On the other hand, all techniques are problematic ‘then’, ‘when’ they serve to bring the team ‘somewhere’. It is problematic, because then there is, theoretically and practically, an unsustainable, standardised understanding of a supposedly ‘correct’ or ‘effective’ team state. Revealing statements are:

• “This is how you create enthusiasm in the team!” (=enthusiasm is good in itself)
• “Successful team communication through active listening!” (=listening is fundamentally good!)
• “Building trust when on the obstacle course!” (=trust is better than mistrust!”)

However, every (!) team state can be functional or dysfunctional. Therefore, a normative, and thus manipulative use of techniques (and these can also be those which can be functionally utilised) should be rejected, unless the team itself (!) has reflected upon it and recognised a learning need, and, therefore, wishes to have a certain procedure proposed and to then make an experience with it which can be evaluated.