People often behave differently in groups than they do as individuals. When you maintain a work team of individuals dedicated to a particular job, group dynamics become a force in your projects. Often these interactions are profitable as they produce greater creativity, better problem solving and more energy. You must also consider possible downside of team dynamics which can include greater and more frequent conflict, stalemates and extroverted personalities dominating others.


One of the most valuable things about teamwork is that every member brings something different to the table. As a manager, take advantage of the various talents and abilities of your workers to create a balanced, creative work group that can produce higher quality work than individuals laboring alone. Watch out for the mixing of personalities that can be volatile or stifling. For instance, there might be extroverts and aggressive individuals that subvert the more introverted or passively compliant among the group. As supervisors, use the positives of the more vocal members, which include getting ideas on the table, but also encourage quieter individuals to discover and use their voices without fear of domination.

Roles Assumption

Part of the dynamics of group meetings is that your employees will assume roles. As a manager, you should be a part of this process but note that working these out these “playing parts” together as a team will strengthen unity and give everyone a sense of belonging. Do not feel as though you have to make assignments such as project design leader immediately. Give your team time to interact together so that it becomes obvious which person should do what. Talking together and sharing ideas and backgrounds not only reveals individual talents but will likely show who will work best together as partners, who will be spokespersons and what members work best under perceived pressure from peers. These “getting to know one another” meetings effectively help workers assume the roles best suited for them.


Alliances are a fact of the teamwork experience. These form between like-minded individuals who often find working together a smooth and enjoyable process. Coalitions can work to the good in that many of the members involved in one or more report high satisfaction with their jobs and produce solid work. Sometimes, however, these relationships can become detrimental to the group as a whole. For example, during a team meeting, a coalition of members might close ranks to control the dynamics of the entire body . This has negative repercussions as other employees will be left out and the group divides along of the lines of "in" or "out." It is the leader's job to bring an end to the negative energy associated with a coalition and to not break the relationships apart but break them open to allow others' input.


The manager of a group is the leader of meetings. She must take control of the group so that the natural interactions that occur can be steered in the direction of team unity to the company vision. The leader must observe behaviors and listen attentively to the goings on in the group so she can react appropriately, decisively and quickly to make sure the meeting is on track and productive. Watch out for one or more personalities who might have the tendency to steer the group off on tangents that will excite others and lead the team down an entirely different track than its original attention. While you want creatively and new ideas, you must be able to bring the team back to focus on what needs to be addressed during that particular gathering.