Introduction to Team Dynamics

When I first meet a team, I tune in to my level 3 listening, to really notice the team dynamics at play. It's often difficult for someone in the team to see or hear the dynamics at play because they are embedded into it. You were probably aware of the dynamics when you were new to the team, but over time you became part of the dynamics. I am acutely aware that my presence acts as a new dynamic, so I try to create a feeling of safety early, so members can settle into their normal rhythms of working together.

The team dynamics are the psychological behaviours of the team members when doing teamwork. They are unconscious behaviours that are influenced by the members, culture, stories, the environment, beliefs and the work itself. I notice the dynamics when I challenge a belief or a new idea. Some teams embrace it, get curious and support each other. Other teams challenge me, resist and stay firm in cynicsm. Some members do all of the talking, leading the dialogue and influencing the direction of the team towards group think. Others stay silent and closed, waiting for me to lead. 


To create the right team to meet your specific goals and purpose, it is vital to understand the correlation between your team members' roles, their responsibilities and behaviours and how all these impact on each other. You can have the best, most competent and expert people in your team, but if the dynamics are off, then the team doesn’t function. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing to create a dynamic business team who possesses the knowledge and expertise so valuable for your organisation’s goals and who work really well together? 

This course will enable you to delve deeper into team dynamics in order to understand the culture, values and psychological factors that influence your team’s behaviours. The dynamics of each team is very much determined by your team members’ personalities, position and power and how they interact, so understanding how this works would help you establish how successful your team might be.  

The group or team dynamics was first explored in 1939 by Kurt Lewin, whose work is considered paramount to good management practices. 


-social psychologist and change management expert-

The term means to understand the individuals that make up a team, a method of exploring behavior and the reasons for that behavior. In group dynamics, we recognize the abilities of an individual and how they will interact with a group.   

The impact of team dynamics? 

Since a team represents two or more people who are working together to interdependently achieve a specific goal or purpose, the team members’ roles and behaviours will have an impact on the other team members or on the group as a whole. It is, therefore, important for leaders to understand what great and poor team dynamics look like and learn which factors influence the team’s performance.  

What does a positive team dynamic look like?

  • high trust
  • engaging meetings
  • get things done
  • great communication
  • sharing ideas
  • open behaviour
  • fun
  • positive mindsets
  • motivated

What does a negative team dynamic look like?

  • competition
  • disengaged
  • under-performance
  • low trust
  • fear
  • ego
  • demotivated
  • mediocracy
  • negative conflict

Think about your current team dynamics.

Are they sitting in the positive or negative team dynamics list? 
How is this helping, or detracting from team performance?
If you had to create a list describing your team dynamics, how would you outline your team’s ability to work together?

You know that teams aren't perfect all of the time. There’s always the potential to improve and we make teamwork a strategic priority. Getting clarity around your team dynamics will help you identify and improve the behaviours that disrupt work flow and results and encourage accountability, trust and mutual understanding. A leader possesses the ability to influence the team's behaviour, both positively and negatively so taking an honest look at your own behaviours is critical. That's why MySelf comes before MyTeam in the 5 MYs methodology. When you understand how you lead, you can proactively create the right team-building strategies to impact the team’s behaviours and interactions in order to motivate a constructive and productive team. 


Athe leader, you should be constantly alert to team dynamics, noticing the behaviours, energy, and conflicts. You should seek to diagnose issues and then collectively resolve them. This means you will have to speak out when you see unsupportive behaviours and hold everyone accountable. However, you can’t do this without the team buy in, so a great way to form a team and maintain positive dynamics is a team charter. Once you complete the Team Dynamics course, head to the Team Charter course to learn more. 

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