Team Dynamics, per Dr. Vic, TEP.Global, depends on psychological safety that allows people to speak out. Leadership principles & skills play an important role.

Build Team Dynamics with “People Power”

Build Team Dynamics with “People Power”

By Dr. Vic | May 24th, 2024 | Employee engagement, Management consulting, Organizational development, People management, | 0 Comments

Team dynamics can make or break a group. The key to building positive dynamics is to create safety for risk taking and innovation.

Great teams are essential for your organization’s success.  Teams multiply individual efforts, reaching goals that are otherwise out of reach. Success starts with developing team dynamics that allow each team member to excel. When people have the confidence to be creative, take risks, and learn from mistakes, outstanding things happen.

One of the most important building blocks for team dynamics lies in “People Power”. 

This article will explore team dynamics and how developing “people power” can transform your organization.

Psychological safety is the key to harnessing “people power”

“People power” begins with safety. To achieve outstanding results, people need to feel safe to speak out, be themselves, to be creative, innovative, think outside the box, and try new things. That means accepting risks and learning from mistakes. But people will avoid taking risks if they fear looking foolish or being punished.

To overcome fear, team dynamics must emphasize psychological safety. That term was coined by Amy Edmondson, professor at the Harvard Business School and author of The Fearless Organization. Psychological safety is a shared belief among team members that it’s safe to ask questions, offer opinions, take risks, and make mistakes. It’s a team dynamic and must be developed as a team.   

These are tips for leaders to improve psychological safety in their teams:

  • Make clear why each person’s input matters.  Set the stage for open communication by explaining why each person’s voice counts. Avoid letting a few team members dominate the conversation.
  • Avoid favoritism: Sometimes leaders fear s/he will lose team members, especially when one or more quits. Out of this insecurity, the leader resorts to openly lavishing praise and showing favor to a few, while other team members feel left out and unmotivated. This is a losing game.
  • Admit your own mistakes.  Admit mistakes so the team can do likewise. Be willing to accept feedback from the group.
  • Actively invite input from team members.  Ask for input from team members on a regular basis. Be direct. “What do you think?” “What am I missing?”  Over time, team members will learn to speak up.
  • React productively.  Replace blame with curiosity and a growth mindset. Stay open minded and encourage communication.

Psychological safety is by far the most important element of positive team dynamics.

Other building blocks of team dynamics

Many articles have been written about what makes great team dynamics. Some focus on structural elements like clear direction, material support, and expert management.  Others focus on building trust between team members and intangibles like the “chemistry” between team members. 

Each of these contains part of the solution, but none gets to the heart of the matter.  

Some believe that putting high achievers with top credentials together would ensure outstanding results. It turns out that who is on a team is less important than how a team collaborates.  

The study found five team dynamics that determine how well a team will perform – with one being much more important than all the others:

  • Impact:  The belief that their own work makes a difference.  In top teams, members can see how their efforts contribute to the organization’s goals and help create change.
  • Purpose:  Each individual’s work-related purpose is different, ranging from financial security, commitment to the team, self-expression, and many others.  
  • Structure:  Teams need clear “goals, roles, and plans” to guide their efforts. Maintaining structure requires strong management support. 
  • Dependability:  Team members take their duties seriously and help keep the team on track. The members of high performing teams consistently complete quality work in a timely fashion.  
  • Psychological safety:  As discussed earlier, this is the most important foundational factor for team dynamics. Without psychological safety, teams will become dysfunctional and disintegrate.

Team dynamics can make or break a group.  When teams are empowered, they can transform an organization. Developing great team dynamics begins with solid management but ultimately depends on building “people power.”


TEP.Global not only has a combined 100 years of experience and expertise in people management, talent acquisition, executive assessment, but also deep knowledge in building teams and workplace culture in organizations of all sizes.  For more information and insights, please contact us.

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