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“The root of team dynamics problems is almost always a pileup of armor.”
Communication breaks down when people feel threatened and strap on their armor as a defense mechanism.
“The armor we choose tends to be aligned with our preferences for flight or fight in stressful situations.”
To transform your culture, you must confront the root causes of problem areas. Once you acknowledge that threats and armor are fueling the flames of dysfunction, you can begin rehabilitation.
“Armor is justified on the inside (to self-protect), but it almost always irritates others on the outside.”
To return those people or that team to a functional state, you first need to identify the nature of the threats in your workplace.
Do they come from the outside or do they signal poor chemistry among team members?
If you ask employees to diagnose the cause of dysfunction in their workplace, they will typically single out the instigators, those people they believe are disrespectful, uncooperative, credit-stealing or prone to shirking their professional responsibilities.
“Armored behavior comes across as less professional behavior.”
“Threat/armor cycles are a very common feature of all kinds of conflict (including between couples!).”
To contribute to your team’s dynamics, ask some insightful questions, such as:
“The key to changing culture is to remove armor and return to interacting with each other.”
Owning your own armor and admitting that being armored up may threaten others is the most effective way to encourage your teammates to be more open.
“If he or she doubles down with more armor and no owning, the dynamic grows, and it gets exceedingly more difficult for the leader to lead.”
Leaders who stand up in front of the room and discuss their threats and armor make a positive impression. The more leaders and team members talk about their armor, the more they can advance their team and their organization to a healthy culture.
Industrial Mastery, Mentor, Light Worker, Nutritionist, Gymrat
Efforts to change culture by pointing fingers at the leader or “difficult” members of the team tend to backfire because defensiveness and dysfunction spread when everyone “armors up” to protect themselves.
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Stefano Mastrogiacomo, Alexander Osterwalder
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