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Unmasking Team Dynamics: Who's Fixing the Problem

Explore the complexities of team dynamics and problem-solving in organizations. Uncover the missing key to resolving issues and gain valuable insights into the team culture.

During a workshop with a team facing numerous conflicts and engaging in a blame game, I presented this text to provoke their thoughts. It elicited laughter from them as they humorously identified individuals, including social media personnel creating TikTok videos and a finance guy preoccupied with cost considerations.

However, they eventually realized that they were all in the same situation (pun not intended:-).

This image (whose sources I'm uncertain of) effectively portrays the typical team dynamics prevalent in organizations. It prompts the following question:

Who is responsible for solving the problem? This person is conspicuously absent from the picture, much like in most organizational settings. We all know the person who:

  • Raises the issue but prioritizes its reputation over resolving the problem.

  • Comparing our situation to that of others worse off creates a false sense of improvement and avoid taking action.

  • Focuses solely on their own tasks, neglecting the broader picture and ignoring the problem at hand.

  • Identifies one positive aspect while disregarding everything else, even making social media announcements about that solitary achievement while overlooking the blazing house in the background.

  • Thrives in chaos and dysfunction (I must admit, I find them amusing:-)).

  • Remains relentlessly optimistic.

  • Places more emphasis on the delivery of the message rather than its actual content, such as obsessing over the wrong font on a slide and missing the presentation's main point entirely.

  • Fails to recognize how minor issues can ultimately lead to the downfall of the entire team.

  • Avoids acknowledging the problem and dismisses those who acknowledge it and desire to take action.

  • Perceives every comment as criticism and harbours negative intentions, often resorting to statements like, "If you don't like it here, find another job" (I've had a boss like that).

Team dynamics can sometimes impede problem-solving and offer valuable insights into the team's culture and operations.

You can try assigning the names of your team members to the individuals in the picture and even add more names as necessary. The fewer names you can assign, the healthier your team dynamics likely are (probably).

Are you all in the same boat?? :-)

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