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Teams on the Distance Pole

Teams, which shape their behaviour pattern in such a way that primarily the distance need of the employees is satisfied, often look like this to the observer:

• The joining and leaving is easy and uncomplicated to accomplish, because the bonding is created through shared goals, exceptional competences and a high level of expertise, and not through personal interactions.
• Such teams can cope with turnover, without their existence feeling threatened. Nevertheless, such teams, often full of super experts, do not necessarily have a high level of turnover.
• The relationships are rather distanced, cool, factual and functional. Preferably, one speaks about factual topics. Emotions and private subjects hardly ever arise. The group bonding is loose, the cohesion not so important.

The advantages for the motivation of distance-orientated members are obvious: personal freedom and individual differences are dominating values and are cultivated. Fears of being monopolised and of intimacy are calmed or don’t even arise in the first place. Members with a closeness need, though, feel lost and lonely.

Such teams balance their weak inner cohesion through joint external enmities. Therefore, they easily become the star ensemble in the rest of the organisation and are perceived as arrogant or scary. For the organisation, the decisive disadvantage consists of the fact that during crises and conflicts the centrifugal forces can quickly take effect.



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