WATCH: The Double-Edged Sword of Team Behaviour

Today, I’d like to talk about ‘Team Behaviour’ and the double-edged sword of team behaviour. 

“The Holy Grail”

The Holy Grail of all teamwork and team behaviour is to have a ‘Clear Focus’ and ‘Purpose’ for the team. Which means that there’s ‘Good Collaboration’ within the team.

Because people want to work together and you get ‘High Performance’. And, that’s the Holy Grail. Brilliant! All good stuff. 

“Creates an ‘In-Group'”

But that creates an ‘In-Group’. And, while there are lots of good things about creating an in-group like ‘Trust’ and improved ‘Empathy’ within the group. And also, that creates a sense of ‘Resilience’. Because they’re a strong group. That in-group creates a lot of oxytocin within the group.

“Creates an ‘Out-Group'”

And a by-product of that is that it creates an ‘Out-Group’ as well – everyone outside of the group, or particularly other teams that are in competition with your group. So, that creates ‘Distrust’ with those team members. Those out-group groups. ‘Insensitivity’ towards them. So, if something bad happens to one of that team. You might even feel a lack of sensitivity or if the team fails you’ll actually feel even a sense of reward because they’ve gone down, which means it’s better for you. And a lack of  ‘Cognitive Diversity’. So, this means that the team begins to get   ‘group-think’ and there’s a lack of challenge within the group.

If someone has an idea or an opinion within the group other people will take on that opinion within the group, without question. Often without Question. If someone from an out-group creates a statement or gives some feedback or gives some advice, they will naturally be distrusted. So, this fundamental nature of an in-group creates an out-group and that can cause problems.


So, the solution that I want you to think about is, whenever you have a team especially if it’s a well-bonded strong team. Watch out! Because you need to ensure that you find ‘Commonality’ with people outside of the group. Connect with them, understand, then find what you share with them. So, that you can actually include and ‘Seek their Input’. It’ll make the group wiser. Make your group wiser. And you know ‘Challenge the Thinking’. Be relentless about challenging your own thinking within the group. When everyone agrees, you know it’s an alarm bell.

Something might be going wrong. And also manage your emotions. Because within the group you can feel very cosy. And then when a challenge comes or when something comes from outside, you’re going to get your emotions stirred up. And you need to be able to ‘Manage and Regulate your Emotions’ by staying calm and using your Prefrontal Cortex to do that.

So, when it comes to Team Behaviour,

Stay Curious!



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Remember . . . Stay Curious!


With best regards,

David Klaasen 

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©David Klaasen – 2014