Group dynamics

‘Deep democracy’ – it’s not my phrase, but it’s something that can help keep your team together.


Pollyanna Lenkic

What happens when you put a group of people together who haven’t chosen to be? They have inherited each other. Not unlike a family.


I read somewhere that if you think you are enlightened, spend a weekend with your parents. Most of us probably did just that over the Christmas period, with many spending time with extended family as well.


Christmas celebrations are a time of joy and celebration for many, and at some point usually when the alcohol flows, and people hook into old patterns of behaviour. Maybe there is a family member, girlfriend or husband that you struggle with, and as the atmosphere percolates and people self manage less, the volcano erupts. The result is not always pretty. 


Similar events happen in business all the time. What’s bubbling below the surface in your company? Are you a group of people who have inherited each other? Or have you moved beyond that and created a community, common goals, vision and purpose? Are your people aligned? Clear and united? Or is your office like a Christmas gathering from a B-grade soap?


Looking back over the past 12 months, what was the climate or culture of your team? What do you want to keep and nurture? And what do you want to lose?


This is a good time to revisit your relationships within your team, to design how you are going to work together in the coming year (refer to my blog from Friday, 23 November 2007 for the process for this).


Is there something that you have avoided or procrastinated on in the past 12 months that requires action? If so, what is the action that is required? When will you do it? How will you hold yourself accountable?


I invite you to begin the year by getting everyone together and creating your goals, vision and purpose for the coming 12 months. Encourage an environment of deep democracy (coined by Phil Sandahl, co author of Co-Active Coaching), meaning that all voices are heard, both the popular and unpopular.


Most importantly remember to have fun and be amazed at what you can all create together.


Good luck.




Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. She is an experienced facilitator, certified coach and a certified practitioner of NLP. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). This blog is about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round. For more information go to


For more Second Time Around, click here.



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