The Six “C”s

The team dynamics model used in facilitation assumes that a team is already set up and functioning. Most often, teams will exhibit confrontational or coexistence attributes. The innate desire of the facilitator is to move team members into a co-ownership environment. This usually takes time and much work. All was not without hope before facilitation was introduced, however. Good meeting chairs were generally able to move meeting participants into cooperative postures with relative ease. Collaboration was typically the unmet desire. This section introduces each of the C’s.


The worst form of team behaviour, coercion involves the convincing of participants to take action using active or passive threats. Pointing out that executing a task in a specific way is going to reflect in a performance review is a very common coercion tactic.


In virtually all environments there is confrontation. It becomes unmanageable when the conflict seems to be the sole outcome of the team interactions. Confrontation, in some organization can be useful in energizing people to actively participate. However, like wine, too much can be very detrimental.


Once a team moves out of a purely confrontational posture, admission of others’ value starts the team down the path of coexistence. Coexistence means that the team members get along with each other, and respect each others values and opinions. Teams in this mode can get stuck into a non-productive posture by viewing themselves as purely a social club.


Co-operative teams are ones where members are actually working with each other in a supportive capacity. This must be built on a sound foundation of coexistence otherwise the co-operation will be transient. People know whom to turn to for advice. Tasks are typically assigned to and performed by distinct team members.


Collaborative behaviour begins when team members work actively with each other to solve or perform their tasks. There is a key recognition at this point that skills to perform a given task may require more than one person.


Teams take on co-ownership characteristics when members realize that all tasks belong to the team and that their individual roles are in support of the team. Team members actively take on responsibility and accountability for not only their tasks, but for the team itself.