Team Leadership Toolkit

Team Development

Success & the Team Climate

Unfortunately, "Team Development" is often seen simply as a worthy people/friendly activity, rather than one concerned with business performance. In fact in our experience team development delivers  - it can create a more productive and effective team. The following model illustrates this.

Success and Team Climate

Assume for simplicity that there is a fixed "Total Team Energy" in a team. That energy can be used in two ways:

  1. They can use it to carry out their Task
    In productive ways - doing the job, improving things, helping and supporting their colleagues, etc
  2. Or, they can waste it in Emotional Survival.
    The team members use the energy in bitching, back-biting, worrying, moaning, and quarrelling, etc.

At one extreme (Threatening), some teams have such a disastrous team climate and atmosphere that most of the teams energy is spent on emotional survival and little is left for the task.

At the other extreme (Supportive), other teams have such a supportive, optimistic, and positive atmosphere that they expend little of their time on emotional survival and concentrate their energy and efforts on the task.

Other teams (Adversarial, Neutral, Cooperative) will lie on the axis between those two extremes.

Note: We do not pretend that this model is a scientific proof, but it fits our experience - does it fit yours? Think perhaps of teams that you have been a member of. Does your experience broadly support the above or not?