Logo Element - Dr. Kraus & Partner

Team development at all levels

Group vs. Team

What makes a team a team?

A team is always a group, but a group is not always a team. In summary, both concepts can be categorized and distinguished as follows.

Working Group

Teamentwicklung Arbeitsgruppe
♦ Individual work products
♦ Little to no synergies
♦ Individual responsibilities
♦ Different or multi-functional abilities
♦ Clearly focused leadership executive
♦ Objective is the same as that of the organization
♦ Mainly active at the operational level
♦ Individual work results are subject to external control
♦ Size varies between 2 and 30 employees

Working Team

Teamentwicklung Team
♦ Collective work products
♦ Positive synergies
♦ Individual and shared responsibilities
♦ Complementary capabilities
♦ Shared leadership roles
♦ A specific objective
♦ Deployable at both the operational and strategic levels
♦ Collective work results are subject to self-monitoring
♦ Size varies between 3 and 12 employees

Entwicklungen eines Teams

Die Team-Entwicklungs-Uhr

Entwicklungen eines Teams
To turn a group into a high-performance team, teams must go through four phases (Tuckman):

Polite contacts and adaptation: In this phase, members will get to know each other. They will try to find their position in the group and explore the expectations and behaviors of others on the team. Since the team structure in this phase is characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, it is important that the project team is led more strongly by its project manager and is shown where the path leads.

Conflicts and arguments: During this phase, team members become increasingly aware of their different values, needs and behaviors. Conflicts and power struggles arise. This is the critical phase in which it is decided whether the team continues to develop, regresses (to the forming phase) or even breaks apart. In this phase, the responsibility of moderating the situations in which conflicts and disagreements arise lies with the project manager. This phase can vary in intensity depending on the team. It is important, however, that this phase, even if it is sometimes unpleasant, is successfully completed. Only then will it become clear whether a project team is capable of walking through thick and thin together.

Closeness and delimitation: In this particular phase, the team has found each other. Standards on working methods and mutual interactions are established. The individual members want to work together more closely. Mutual respect and recognition are so great that conflicts can be overcome. As a result of the positive experience of conflict resolution, the team is more open with each other. Ideally, the project manager is successful in providing everyone with the understanding that they are working on something bigger, that a single individual cannot achieve in this phase. This increases the team's self-esteem in general and the motivation of each individual in particular.

Independence and openness: The highest phase of team development at the relationship level is the phase of independence and openness. The members openly give each other feedback; there is a high degree of mutual respect. The group is able to organize itself according to the requirements. It has developed self-organization skills and is able to work independently. As a team leader, you are hardly challenged at this point in the process and should intervene in a protective way only if necessary.

More complex than you may think

Important Tip

Team development

Finally, an important tip on the phase model according to Tuckmann:
The model is a theoretical construct that illustrates a team building process in a clear and transparent way. However, the main criticism of this overview is the greatly simplified representation, which suggests a sequential path.

In reality, however, the phases can take different amounts of time or even repeat themselves. In addition, it is not certain that a team enters the performing phase, or breaks apart in the storming phase, for example.

10 Characteristics of a High-Performance Team

Team development - What makes a team

1) Belonging/Feeling of us
Everyone needs to feel that they are a part of it and are needed.

2) Cooperation/Conflict resolution
The team must be able to work together and deal with conflicts.

3) Expectations/Desires
It must be allowed to express expectations or desires.

4) Information flow and communication
The flow of information within the team must work well. This means that the mutual exchange of information between team members must be ensured.

5) Dialogue ability
Team performance depends on the quality of the team members' cooperation, their ability to coordinate, cooperate and engage in dialogue. Dialogue within the team is the "art of thinking together".

6) Target congruence
The team's performance must be geared toward the goals of the company.

7) Competent leadership
A team leader who can point the team in the right direction and give impulses for problem solving, both on the factual and on the relationship level, is necessary.

8) Equality of team members
The team members are trading partners and are to be considered equal in status. There must be no differences in ranking and competence in a real team.

9) The existence of an idea generator in the group
Winning teams are characterized by the fact that they have a typical idea generator among their ranks.

10) Variety of available team roles
Different types increase the team's room for maneuvering and reduce tensions when two people compete for the same team role.

Team Development with K&P

When we are consulted

How do you turn a group into a team? How can you support, facilitate or accelerate the team-building process?

During team development, we reduce friction losses and achieve synergy effects. In change projects, we support the development of teams on different levels:
The top team/management team,
  • Change-Project Teams, 
  • Employees directly affected by change
  • and above all, teams that are newly formed in change situation.

In every team development process, we proceed systematically:
  • Diagnosis of the initial situation and clarification of objectives
  • Target-group-specific conception
  • Methodically and didactically planned implementation of team development measures
  • Specific evaluation of the transfer of measures and plans into everyday life

Our understanding of our role as "court jesters" guides our actions during every team development. 
This means:
  • It is important to us that the team develops its potential freely, recognizes its own strengths and weaknesses, develops solutions and understands that learning and development can be enjoyable. A sense of humor facilitates access to constructive solutions, even for difficult and tense problems.
  • We like to show our participants "a look into the mirror", offering honest feedback from an external perspective, but appreciative and clear at the same time.
  • Of course, we also apply our "wisdom", models, tools and theories in a situational and targeted way, using the symbol of the owl.

All for one and one for all!

Specific Inquiries about Team Development

Focusing on the team

The leadership executive and his team
We find the problems in your team and develop the appropriate solutions and interventions.

Team development for project teams
You have put together your project team at the beginning of your project and would like to transform it into a high-performance team as quickly as possible. Your project team lacks trust and open discussion.

International team development
You need new methods and tools to cope with conflicts or to recognize them in advance. For your internationalization strategy, you desire a working atmosphere such as: "Together we will conquer the market and the rest of the world!"

Elements of Team Development

A bouquet of flowers for the team

From self-awareness to understanding the team
Those who know what makes them tick can better manage themselves and have a more open view of the strengths and weaknesses of their team. In this program, we bring together the latest findings of brain research and effective methods from various communication and team development approaches, e.g.:
  • The phases of team development
  • Drivers & team behavior
  • HBDI – My thinking preferences and those of the team
  • SWOT – Analysis of cooperation, encouraging strengths and reducing weaknesses, development of an action plan
  • Different types of conflict and how to resolve them

Building blocks of an individually tailored team development workshop:
  • Outdoor elements and tasks that illustrate what is important for successful teamwork, as well as how important the role of each and every individual is.
  • Interface management: Where does our cooperation run smoothly? Where are the problems? What can be done to deliver work packages properly?
  • Action plans: In order to ensure the transfer of the workshop results, concrete action plans are developed. They form the basis for further action within the company itself.
  • Coaching: Leadership executives are familiarized with the central processes of group dynamics, reflect on their own status as part of the system and are sensitized to the possibilities and limitations of design measures.