CAG COD 1st Brigade

CAG Team Chemistry

CAG - Clan History and Structure

What Do We know About Team Chemistry?

Throughout History the one key component that all winning teams whether in sports, military, politics or at a corporate level have had in common is "Team Chemistry". It is composed of six key properties:

  • Catalysts: (leaders)
  • Elements: (members)
  • Interactions: (roles and norms/habits)
  • Energy: (motivation)
  • Attraction: (cohesiveness)
  • Mass: (size)

CATALYSTS

Leaders are the "catalysts" of a Team Chemistry because they have to be able to motivate and promote interaction among the team members. They must be able to spontaneously spark a fire, sense of urgency and encourage his team members to fight till the end. They provide direction, structure activities, share knowledge and promote teamwork.

At any level the Leadership role is the most important one a Team can have. Without Leaders a Team would fail because there is no one to follow and structure would seize to exist.

ELEMENTS

Team Members are the "elements" of Team Chemistry and there are no two alike. They are individually unique "sometimes" having close similarities to each other but each bring diversity to the team. That very same diversity if properly managed by the Leaders can be the teams greatest strength and if it is neglected their greatest weakness.

The different viewpoints, skills and experiences of each member creates an interest and competition among the team members and must be carefully monitored by the Team Leaders. If team members can overcome and accept their differences and used them in a positive way they can then begin to build "team chemistry".

INTERACTIONS

Every team member must be able interact in a productive and constructive manner in order to build "team chemistry" and perform at their best. Each team member must accept their role in the team and build positive norms and habits.

With each role a set of duties comes with it and the most prominent and important one is leadership. In order for a "Team" to be successful, more than one leader is needed for the team to interact. Although a small team such as a "fireteam" in the military performs better when there is a single leader, a bigger team such as a Squad, Platoon and Clan must have several Leaders in order successfully interact with everyone.

Each team has an assistant team leader and the rest of the team members take on roles that assist the leadership of the team. The non-leader roles may sometimes influence the leader of the team into taking a different course of action towards the team or specific situation. Such influences can sometimes create power struggles within a team which are "necessary" at times but when "team chemistry" is at its highest such issues rarely happen and the team is at its best.

Norms can be viewed either as logical informal rules learned from experience or habits which are developed but are not a liability to the team. Norms can be both constructive and non constructive norms and both may have positive or negative influences on the team as a whole.

Examples of constructive norms in teams where "team chemistry" is evident include a member of the team being a selective shooter to avoid giving the team's position away to the enemy or not running around getting killed when the rest of the team is following the leader's orders.

Non constructive norms include disobeying the leader's orders, running in front of a team member's line of sight and getting shot by his team members or not being aware of his team member's position and throwing a grenade wiping out half the team.

Sometimes a norm can be a team member taking a stand against a non constructive norm prompting the team leader or the whole team to put an end to it and eliminate it at once. Such norms are leadership traits that help the "INTERACTIONS" of the team in a positive way.

ENERGY

Energy in a team comes from each members motivation and willingness to work as hard as they possibly can. Energy comes both as positive and negative energy and both will always be present in every team. Each member's uniqueness can pose a threat to a team's chemistry but is necessary and inevitable in order to maintain team chemistry.

Team energy can take the form of disagreements between team members. If a team leader or team does not allow self expression amongst themselves and members hide their disagreements or don't speak out, "team chemistry" can be threatened and quickly dissolve.

Teams that have great "team chemistry" allow all their team members to share their displeasure, ideas, suggestions and concerns within their own circle. Being able to overcome such forms of negative energy further builds the team's chemistry making the "Team" more efficient and or efficient.

If this is achieved not only by the "Leader" but the whole "Team", the "Attraction" level of that team is elevated and noticed by others around them.

ATTRACTION

When not only team members of a team appreciate and are proud of being a member of the team but others notice and want to be a part of the team, "Attraction" has been achieved. Achieving a high level of "Attraction" by a team is probably "the" greatest achievement a team can earn.

By holding a high attraction level a team ensures the guarantee of their team being sought after by others. At this point the team has developed a cohesiveness among its members either from having spent so much time together or putting each other through an "Initiation" before they are considered members of the "Team".

The chances of a team being successful increases when a team's attraction level is high and vise versa. When a team realizes that supporting each other is the best way to win and be successful, their cohesiveness rises with each victory.

MASS

Once "Attraction" has been achieved by a team, "Mass" numbers of members "Elements" begin to make up the composition of the team. When a large "mass" is present, the possibility of team chemistry being interrupted and or threatened becomes a greater possibility.

At this point the best thing for "The Leader" to do is assign new Team Leaders and give them the opportunity to create "their own" teams. Since team chemistry is already present among all the team members it should not be hard to put together more teams and keep "team chemistry" going.

Newly appointed team leaders should ask the permission of other team leaders before they speak or invite established members of a team to their newly formed team. This ensures that team chemistry is not interrupted on teams with great team chemistry.