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Team Dynamics 


PART III. 

 

3. SUPPORT (0= You're on your own/ 5= I'm very concerned for the other person)

Support can mean that we equally share efforts and I'm there for you all the way to the situation where one person is clearly a weak link and the other swoops in to help carry them and bring them along until they can do it themselves. Team members normally do not mind working with a person that is not as far along as they are as long as that person is showing a genuine effort to try to catch up. Support is almost always something that comes about in a team, even if there is some degree of internal fighting. Interestingly I have seen a great number of team members defend other members from outside sources even if they weren't pleased with them at the time. It's like our children, we can be mad as heck at them but no one else better say anything about them. Teams become very supportive of one another by the very nature of the group. Team members don't have to always follow the rules like management. If you mess with one of their members one should worry about their tires being slashed in the parking lot.

COMMUNICATION (0= Protective of information/ 5= All information is shared)

Do members withhold information for their own use or to remain one step ahead of the other players? Do members feel comfortable enough to share any information that they have? Open communication is an essential element of a sound team. The team must have all of the information available to succeed with their objectives. Too often lack of communication stems directly from a lack of trust of the other people on the team. Education and practical application in dialogue and trust exercises will normally improve the communications gap. This is one area of the measurement chart that usually gets a lot of conversation at every meeting. If we fail here the project itself could be doomed so people are usually willing to discuss this if it's a problem.

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LISTENING (0= Hear but don't listen/ 5= I understand and you understand completely)

We have ears and we hear, but sometimes we don't really listen. To listen means we not only understand what you have to say, we can practically apply your thought process back to you. Listening does not mean that we even agree, it just means that we now have something that we can talk about. It is important that every member is allowed to speak and be heard. If this creates conflict then this is great—Now we have a dialogue! The best rule for every member to adhere to is: listen to understand not to refute. Listening is a learned skill which will come about only after a lot of practice. Hear the other person out before you engage your mouth. Perhaps the best training in listening can be done in the home. If you have a teenage child try actually listening to them totally day after day before you say "NO". This training will not only provide you with an excellent base to hear what anyone has to say, no matter how outlandish it might be, it might also indirectly help with the dialogue you currently have at home.

CONFLICT (0= Deny it or avoid It/ 5= All conflict worked with or through)

When conflict occurs do we turn our backs and hope it will go away? When it happens do we welcome it and discuss the issues before they can spread to negatives? Conflict is very difficult for all of us. We normally go through life trying to avoid it because it's not fun and even worse, it takes a lot of time and may endanger a friendship. What we don't realize is that if we avoid it often the friendship is now more damaged because we didn't share our feelings but yet they're still present and we're holding a grudge. Conflict is positive not negative. Conflict could be as simple as a person standing on a street corner ready to cross on a green light when another person stops them and holds them back. This is conflict: This person wants to go the other holds them from doing it. What the person doesn't know, though, is that the other sees a speeding bus coming head on that will run their red light. Now you could consider this conflict negative and walk anyway, but the only thing to be gained here is that you'll become a bus hood ornament. But you will have avoided anymore conflict on the subject. Conflict is something that must be addressed and answered as soon as possible. We will discuss this area in the final part of this paper.

To be Continued


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