Managing Team Dynamics

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Information about Managing Team Dynamics
Business & Mgmt

Published on December 14, 2012

Author: SebastianMay



This presentation looks at team dynamics, professional working styles, preferences and personalities to better understand the importance of interpersonal team relationships, how we interact and communicate with other team members to achieve a common goal.

Team dynamics play a great role in various environments, from our internal team, the client team, to managing stakeholders … it focuses very much on the relationship between individuals which makes it incredibly relevant in many areas.

For discussion, I pulled together 7 fictional scenarios illustrated by 7 different fictional personalities (team characters). How would you tackle these different scenarios? Have you come across them before? Do you recognize some of these situations from previous project work, a client conference call, or a team meeting? Etc. There is no wright or wrong answer.

For more, check out:

Managing Team Dynamics Sebastian May – November 2012

Introduction"Team dynamics" encompasses “Team Dynamics are the unseenany and all ways that individual forces that operate in a teamaffiliates interact with their between different people orcounterparts en route to the groups. Team Dynamics cancommon goal. The overall strongly influence how a teamcharacteristics of the assigned reacts, behaves or performs, andtask, along with the inert skill of the effects of team dynamics areeach member may also have an often very complex.” (Morris,impact on the teams success”. 2005)(Morris, 2005)

1. The Control FreakProfile• Everything you do will be just fine, as long as it’s his or her way.• Enjoys to control the entire project, all the time.• Nothing everyone else does is ever good enough.Issue• Unless you’re actually bad at making decisions, and favour early-life heart attacks, working with them may be difficult.• It can drain you of motivation, and cause unnecessary Suggestions stress.Situation • Don’t let them tyrannize you, stand your ground firmly, resist threats and don’t be a push-over …• You’re ready to send the 5890 page report you’ve however learn to pick your battles and let go of been working on for two weeks. You’re happy with the unimportant. the result, various team members have signed it off, • Be friendly and straight-forward. and your deadline is in 30 minutes. Control Freak steps into your office and requests two additional • Focus on mutual goals. chapters of analysis to be added to the report. What • Prove yourself by taking ownership or projects do you do? and proving your skills.

2. The WeaklingProfile• He hides his head, avoids making decisions, and caves in when things get tough.• He often makes the wrong ones due to his insecurities.Situation Suggestions• You’ve been asked to host a small event and have expert speakers give 15 minute topical presentations. • Show that you’re there to support him. Weakling is one of them, and you’re scared he will • Explain the reasoning behind project actions and compromise the event. How do you approach him? choices in order to reassure him. • Present him only with major issues/problems. • Try to meet regularly and reassure him of progress and to discuss things.

3. Mr Nice GuyProfile• He wants to be liked, so he makes life easy on the entire team, including the slackers.• Everyone gets a third chance with him.Issue• He doesn’t realise that work can involve making difficult decisions. SuggestionsSituation • Learn how to disagree with him without making• Your project deadline was three days ago and you’re him feel bad. still waiting for the design team to deliver elements • Commend him on his toughest calls. for your clients massive print media campaign. Team • Don’t become dependent on this social-worker leader Mr Nice Guy wants to ask the client for yet boss – handle your own work responsibilities. another extension, but you think this might compromise the entire project. What do you do?

4. The SlackerProfile• The slacker spends Monday through Thursday online shopping, taking long lunches, and “networking” on her smartphone.Situation• Your client Mrs Slacker is planning to announce her company merger in front of 500 employees tomorrow midday. You’ve prepared hand-out materials, the Suggestions presentation and wrote her speech, but she has so far been “too busy” to meet with you for a briefing and to prepare. She finally returns your call, the evening • Ask if you can take the lead on projects and make before her speech, hysteric, and explains “her team” decisions independently (chances are they won’t forgot to send out the event invitations to the 500 mind you doing the extra work). employees. What do you suggest? And how do you • Think positively. You’ll gain more authority and ensure this doesn’t happen in the future? experience by taking on more responsibility. • Direct conversations to work topics, not personal issues. • Rely on other team members.

5. The EgomaniacProfile• Flawless wardrobe, big car, CEO haircut• Always looking for her own next promotion• Full of empty promises – will say anything to get what she wants of youIssue• She seems to think that the rules apply to everyone but her. She acts like everyone else (including you) Suggestions exists only to confirm her awesomeness or make her life more convenient. • Feeding the ego monster with unnecessary attention will only reinforce bad behaviourSituation • Focus on cultivating relationships with other people in the team.• You’ve worked hard to successfully complete a large stakeholder analysis piece for one of your new clients. Partner agency team leader Ms Egomaniac quickly calls the client to take all credit, blaming your team for things she thinks went wrong. Do you react? And if so, how?

6. The RobotProfile• An empty desk, no family pictures• All business, all the time• Sworn enemy of fun, levity, and any emotion• Teacher of discipline and efficiencySituation Suggestions• You’re working on a very tedious project, the team is • Give him something he can understand: overworked and morale is low. The Robot continues, Numbers. Even if it’s a chore in the immediate without any emotion, to focus purely on the work, future, your data mining will pay off and you will and on the numbers. How do you heighten team have something on paper that proves you’ve spirits? been working hard, and you deserve (and need) a little break.

7. The MysteryProfile• An expert in his field, or so they say, but you’re not quite sure what it is• Closed doors, out of office messagesSituation Suggestions• A new last-minute brief hits your desk, but your expert team member Mr Mystery is on a business trip, • Be patient or in a locked-door meeting, possibly plotting world • Try to meet regularly and reassure him of domination … all day. You’re left to your own devices. progress and to discuss things How do you progress and what do you communicate • Keep a list of questions and notes for the rare to the rest of the team? times when you can actually nab him. • When you ask questions, explain why you need to know

Think about …• Which one do YOU prefer working with?• Remember your own personality traits, strength and weaknesses• Know your team members and stakeholders, and know what to expect. Be prepared.• Make friends to gain support• Understand and respect people’s insecurities and strengths• Is it worth the fight?• Understand how to communicate to different people

Thank You!

Sources and links:6 Personality and Work Environment Types: your personality affects your work Types of Toxic Bosses -- and How to Handle ThemNext TYPES OF BAD BOSSES Types of Bosses and How to Make Them Love You Client is Livid!

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