Unleash the power of team

Why Team Dynamics play a key role in getting the best out of your team.

Why Team Dynamics play a key role in getting the best out of your team.

It’s a fact that no one team is ever the same as another and they develop their own unique dynamics over time. Team dynamics play a fundamental role in a team’s success and determines the difference between a good and a great team.

Over the years we have worked with hundreds of teams and, based on our extensive experience, we’ve developed a team dynamic model which encapsulates the behaviours and dynamics of most teams.

Our Team Dynamic Model:


Ideally, the ultimate position for any team to be is in the top-right hand quadrant as a “collaborative high performing” team.

To create a collaborative high performing team you must have three important ingredients – ‘Connection’, ‘Clarity’ and ‘Context’.

But when it comes to exploring the particular dynamics of a team we need to look no further than the first two – ‘Connection’ and ‘Clarity’.


Connection is the glue for teams. It’s what holds them together through the tough times as well as the good periods. The strength of a team’s connection is based on its collective emotional intelligence.


Clarity is the direction for teams. It is all the ingredients that guide a team towards achievement. This includes having a purpose, vision, goal, strategies, values, structure, KPI’s, performance standards etc.

Combined ‘Clarity’ and ‘Connection’ provide teams with the ability to:

  • Innovate and take risks to achieve greater success in alignment with shared goals;
  • Set stretch and achievable goals and to adapt to change quickly, when required;
  • Accurately review and debrief failures and learnings as a team;
  • Make decisions fast and effectively, knowing the right people with the right skills are in the right roles;
  • Step up to leadership and take accountability for moving strategic goals forward, regardless of whether you are in a leadership position or not.

 So where does your team sit?

Creating a collaborative, high performing team takes time and a conscious effort, your team might not quite be there yet. Let’s examine the other quadrants and see if you recognise any of the following attributes.

Chaotic: You often see this with new, fast growing or teams with a new leader. These teams have low efficiency, low focus, high waste and low cohesion. Team members are typically overwhelmed and confused with their own role clarity, structure and overall strategic direction. 

Siloed: This quadrant is commonly comprised of work groups, not teams, each working in isolation to achieve their particular tasks to contribute to a known strategic direction. There is little support, comradery and engagement. They have a low tolerance for risk required for high levels of innovation. As such, even if they have bold, shared goals they are unlikely to get traction in the achievement of these goals because of their lack of connection.

 Social: These teams may have formed organically with a low sense of purpose or planning and lack a cohesive direction, structure and goals but they hold together because they get along well and consider each other friends, possibly against a common foe.  They consistently fail to meet targets or expectations due to a lack of clarity and accountability. 

If your team fits in any of these three quadrants, don’t see that as a failure. There are usually good, natural reasons why a team has evolved this way. But keep in mind that while in these dynamics, the leader is usually powerless, team performance is restricted and the power of the team is unrealised.  So, making the commitment to move towards collaborative high performing makes very good business sense.

Want to find out how collaborative high performing is your team? Take the TPT BAROMETER™ today and find out how your team measures up against these factors. Or take a bold step forward and facilitate your team through a Team Dynamic discovery.

Sarah Friis is an author, facilitator and mentor of high performance teams. She has recently co-authored “The Power of Team– A practical guide to breakthrough performance”. Sarah has a Masters in Psychology and is co-founder of The Performance Team, a leading New Zealand consultancy dedicated to unleashing the power of team. www.theperformanceteam.co.nz