Managing Groups and Teams/Glossary

  1. Action oriented. This is the tendency to act and encourage others to perform. It is a intended effort to make something happen.
  2. Accountability. Accountability is entailed by responsibility. Anyone who is responsible is thereby accountable. To be responsible is to accept judgments, acts and omissions (refusals or failures to act) as one's own burden where appropriate, and in whole or in part. Accountability is a state of responsiveness. The readiness or preparedness to give an explanation or justification to relevant others (stakeholders) for one's judgments, intentions, acts and omissions when appropriately called upon to do so.
  3. Altruism. The satisfaction that comes from knowing that your responsibilities and work have a beneficial affect on others.
  4. Ambivert. One who is not strongly inclined towards the characteristics of an extrovert or introvert. Rather, an ambivert tends to transition between the two personality types depending on the setting at hand. In groups and teams an ambivert may assert himself as a leader or vocal group participant or simply take a more quiet or reserved role.
  5. Autonomy. One who values freedom in the work place and dislikes "micromanagment".
  6. Belligerent. When a person is constantly involved in conflict which they have provoked or voluntarily entered.
  7. Belittle. Use to make someone or something less important.
  8. Collaboration. The willing exchange of diverse and varying ideas, visions, and perspectives with the objective of creating a unique and dynamic idea to better the organization while working together.
  9. Competency Trap. Doing the thing we knew worked once, even though it isn't working now.
  10. Confirmation Trap. A confirmation trap is the tendency to look for additional information that conforms to our understanding of a situation rather than seeking balanced and unbiased evidence that may be disconfirming.
  11. Conformity. is the degree to which members of a group will change their behavior, views and attitudes to fit the views of the group. Sometimes conformity is distinguished by type: compliance, conforming only publicly, but keeping one's own views in private; identification, conforming while a group member, publicly and privately, but not after leaving the group; and internalization, conforming publicly and privately, during and after group membership. Sociologists believe that compliance is conformity that is usually a result of a direct order while internalization is conformity that comes from one's total and utter belief in one's act.
  12. Consensus with qualification. When every member of a team discuss a problem or idea and after certain time can't have an agreedment and the final decision is make by a CEO involved.
  13. Constructive Feedback. Communication which alerts an individual to an area in which his/her performance could improve. Constructive feedback is not criticism; it is descriptive and should always be directed to the action, not the person.
  14. Core Competency. This is working knowledge. It is comprised of our experience to do the job and having the essential problem-solving skills needed to overcome obstacles.
  15. Counterattack. When we feel that we need to be defensive and fight about something that we believe is important to us.
  16. Convergent thinking. Thought process often adopted by groups in which the group brings together similar information focused on finding a single best answer to bring closure to and resulting in feelings of security about a question, discussion or project. Convergent thinking is characterized by the need or intent to find one solution or answer to a problem. In other words, the group "converges" on an answer.
  17. Cross Functional Team. A cross-functional team consists of a group of people working toward a common goal and made of people with different functional expertise. It could include people from finance, marketing, operations, and human resources departments. Typically it also includes employees from all levels of an organization. Members may also come from outside an organization (in particular, from suppliers, key customers, or consultants).
  18. Cross-functional teams. It is the team that has the mission to work on specific problem, issue or task with the goal of improve production.
  19. Culture. Culture refers to the standards of social interaction, values, and beliefs from a given group of people. Cultural issues can affect team interactions through different understandings of communication, family, and can appear to be an excuse for preferential treatment.
  20. Divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is characterized by the production of as many ideas as possible, avoiding repetition or convergence.
  21. Diversity. Team Diversity is the uniqueness of each individual on a team. This should not only include the usual diverse selections such as religion, sex, age, and race, but also additional unique personality characteristics such as introverts and extroverts, liberals and conservatives, etc.
  22. Dud-Person[1]: A person on the team who does not have the skills they claimed to have to get on the team, or that their manager thought they had when they were assigned to the team.
  23. Emotionally Tone-Deaf. Inability to ‘read’ body language signals in others. Inability to understand how other’s emotions affect their actions/behaviors.
  24. Empire Builders. Those to believe that the team that has more members is the one that will win.
  25. Empowered Team It is the team that has the rights to plan and put in place any improvements to their process.
  26. Entrenched. Something well establish. Not for changes.
  27. Extrovert. Extroverts tend to be energetic, enthusiastic, action-oriented, talkative, assertive, gregarious and unreserved. Therefore, an extroverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. While extraversion is associated with high levels of warmth, and also with enjoyment of thrills and strong sensations, it is common also for people to have divergent levels of extraversion at this micro or "facet" level of the trait - for instance, preferring moderate group-sizes, but relishing excitement. They view team meetings as productive and energizing. A venue for essential thought provoking discussions and a place to surcease any problems that may arise.
  28. Facilitator. A person whose job it is to make sure that meetings run well and achieve the goal they are seeking.
  29. Feedback. Communication to a person or a team of people regarding the effect their behavior is having on another person, the organization, the customer, or the team.
  30. Group. A group is a collection of individuals that are linked by some associational characteristic(s). In organizations, groups can include departments (Accounting, Marketing, etc.) as well as temporary sets of individuals (task forces, cross-department groups, etc.)
  31. Group Contract. A formal written contract established by a group to eliminate confusion and set a standard for the group's expectations, individual responsibilities, forms of communication, and methods of discipline
  32. Group Polarization. A group taking on the ideas of a single group member, i.e., one liberal talking, soon the whole group is liberal.
  33. Group Potency. The spiritual energy of a team. Often referred to the team’s ability to believe in themselves.
  34. Group success. Success in groups is hard to define. The most obvious and commonly used measure of success is performance in the task (e.g., productivity). In addition, however, others (notably Hackman, 1986) have suggested the need to incorporate additional dimensions. Hackman suggests two dimensions that must be accounted for, the ability of group members to work together again (viability) and the growth of individuals participating in the team (learning). The ability of group members to work together again attempts to show that, even if a group performs its task well, it is not successful if the relationships between members are destroyed. Similarly, unless the individual growth objectives of group members are met through their participation in a group, the group cannot be considered a complete success. Although this expansion of notions of group success is valuable, the research literature on groups does not have a uniform or universal understanding of what constitutes group success.
  35. Groupthink. Process where members of a group start thinking alike and there are less individual ideas and creativity.
  36. Guided Experience. Process by which agencies can tap into the knowledge of their employees by using a coach to expedite the process and create a database of shared insights and knowledge.
  37. Halo Effect. The halo effect is our tendency to assume that if one is excellent in some dimensions that will be excel in others even though they are not related in nature.
  38. Heterogeneous Group. The people who join this kind of group usually have differente knowdlege, education, values, etc. This group usually are very competitive.
  39. Homogeneous Group. The people who join this group have similar experience, feelings, values, etc. This group usually are very supportive.
  40. Homosocial reproduction. The tendency of workplaces to promote according to social identification and individuals moving in the "right" social circles. For example, in a male-oriented workplace, corporate executives and managers may provide greater weight to the activities and interests of other men, thereby favoring them (sometimes unconsciously), giving them greater opportunity and greater access to promotions.
  41. Infrastructure. The underlying base or foundation for the group or team. This could take the form of the various roles within the team/group or the policies and procedures that exist for the team.
  42. Integration. The combining efforts of various departments, personnel, and social classes to promote diversity, collaboration and education in a safe and productive environment with the purpose of achieving a higher understanding and knowledge of any particular problem or solution.
  43. Introvert. One who's thoughts and interests are directed inwardly rather than outwardly toward others. In groups and teams introverts may be inclined to take a back seat role rather than assert their opinions or views to the other group members.
  44. Interface. A point where certain groups or teams can interact. This could be in the form of a certain person that acts as a liaison for multiple groups, or it could be a medium, such as teleconference or some other technology.
  45. In-group. (from Wikipedia) In sociology, an ingroup is a social group towards which an individual feels loyalty and respect, usually due to membership in the group. This loyalty often manifests itself as an ingroup bias. Commonly encountered ingroups include family members, people of the same race or religion, and so on. Research demonstrates that people often privilege ingroup members over outgroup members even when the ingroup has no actual social standing; for instance, a group of people with the same last digit in their social security number.
  46. Interdependence. A dynamic of being mutually responsible to and dependent on others. Each unique action is key to overall system success.
  47. Interpersonal Reflex. The social phenomenon in which one person's behavior (smiling, complaining, goofing off) can cause others to unconsciously behave similarly. Also called the "Dyadic Effect," the "Norm of Reciprocity," and the "Lock-in Effect." (Team 8)
  48. Leadership. Skill that somebody has to drive a group or a team. Be the leader mean that other members of the team come to you with questions or because they need somebody to help them when they have a task assigned. Usually is the person with knowdlege and experience, but some people has a innate leadership.
  49. Management. The close and steering direction of a group, often has a more negative connotation than leadership.
  50. Marginalize. to place in a position of marginal importance, influence, or power
  51. Mentoring. Mentoring is a supportive learning relationship between a caring individual who shares his/her knowledge, experience and wisdom with another individual who his willing and ready to benefit from this exchange to enrich his/her professional journey.
  52. Meritocrats. Individuals that feel emotion, but do not believe that emotion should play a part in making decisions. These people have problems functioning because they do not understand the motivations that drive other’s decision making processes.
  53. Mindguarding. Symptom of groupthink in which an individual or individuals in a group appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group from adverse information or disturbing ideas that might threaten group complacency.
  54. Motivate. To provide someone with an incentive to do something; proper incentives should outweigh actions required to achieve incentives, although it is not required.
  55. Newcomer. A newcomer is an individual who has recently joined the group, a newby. A newcomer joins the group for a variety of reasons, including the need of the group for greater work capacity (in volume, skill, or knowledge) and the need of the individual to accomplish his or her own goals.
  56. Openness. Be able to discuss an issue, a problem or situation with a peer, relative or superior and be honest and open about what we think and our feelings.
  57. Organizational design. It is the way a office, group or company is structured and presented to all the employees and public in general. Employees will know to what area they belong and to who they have to report.
  58. Organizational politics. The desire of those within an organization to further their own interests rather than achieving a collective goal.
  59. Out-group (from Wikipedia) In sociology, an outgroup is a social group towards which an individual feels contempt, opposition, or a desire to compete. Members of outgroups may be subject to outgroup homogeneity biases, and generally people tend to privilege ingroup members over outgroup members in many situations.
  60. Passive Conspiracy.A way of avoiding confrontation by dysfunction. It is an evolved group norm and results in an agreement to accept the condition rather than deal with it openly.
  61. Peacekeeper. Person who avoids conflict at all cost, to the point of detrimental behavior.
  62. Peacemaker. Recognize conflict; attempt to resolve rather than avoid.
  63. Personal agendas. A dysfunctional group dynamic that undermines the group objectives. Occur when the natural process of jockeying for a position of status within the group progresses into individual members of the group becoming overly preoccupied with personal concerns and position within the group.
  64. Positive Feedback. Communication which involves telling someone about their good performance. Make this feedback timely, specific, and frequent.
  65. Primacy. Primacy is the tendency to form judgements and images of people based solely on the first impression and interaction.
  66. Process Loss.
  67. Projection. Process where we see our own psychology reflected in others. You assume that others have the same motivations and responses as you do.
  68. Project Team. Are individuals working together who share a common goal that is achieved through the application of various combined skills. Common goals are essential to success, but the team unity should not be taken for granted.
  69. Race.Race is defined as a group of people, often of a common geographic origin, that share genetically transmitted physical characteristics. Racism is the belief that these inherited characteristics affect an individual’s behavior or abilities.
  70. Risky Shift A special case of group polarization, also rooted in groupthink, in which group discussions lead members to adjust their positions to a more cautious or more risky position from the one they held in advance of the discussion. For instance, in a group of individuals that are cautious, a group decision is likely to be even more cautious than the individual positions would suggest once risky shift takes place.
  71. Self-corrective. This is a term used in relationships in which all parties involved commit to making changes that will improve the relationship.
  72. Self-directed teams It is the team that is responsible for supervisory responsibilities.
  73. Self-motivated individual. An person who requires little external motivation from the team leader.
  74. Self-Serving Bias. When people are more likely to claim responsibility for successes than failures. Manifests itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests. Self-serving bias also results in a statistical bias resulting from people thinking that they perform better than average in areas important to their self esteem.3
  75. Social biases. Social biases are “shortcuts” that we, as individuals, use to make sense of the world. As people, we make systematic mistakes in the way we see the world. Social Psychology and other disciplines have worked to identify those biases and to understand how they can affect our behavior in social situations. Social biases are always related to the way in which we see and/or understand other people and their actions. They are broad, involving everything from how we form and use first impressions of others, to how we construct histories and motivations for the actions of others.
  76. Social Loafing.The tendency of individual group members to reduce their work effort as groups increase in size as displayed by the inclination to "goof off" when performance is needed in a group, miss meetings, show up late, or fail to start or complete individual tasks.
  77. Social processes. A social process is present in any situation where an individual is relating him- or herself to others. Social cognition, for instance, is present when an individual makes decisions on the basis of thinking of social categories or social interactions. Another type of social process is social interaction, where an individual actively interacts with one or more other individuals. Conversations and meetings are both examples of social interactions.
  78. Soft Skills. A set of skills that influence how we interact with each other. It includes such abilities as effective communication, creativity, analytical thinking, diplomacy, flexibility, change-readiness, and problem solving, leadership, team building, and listening skills.
  79. Stagnate. When something stops improving. Also used when a plan is not developing anymore.
  80. Stereotype (from Wikipedia). We build stereotypes to simplify the world by putting people into categories, and then fitting individuals into the stereotype of that category. For example, if doctors are all X, and you are a doctor, then you must also be X. Stereotypes are beliefs that all members of specific groups share similar traits and are likely to behave in the same way. In most cases, the characteristics described by a stereotype tend to be negative (e.g., all engineers are eggheads who can’t relate to people), although occasionally stereotypes involve positive attributes (e.g., accountants are very careful and precise). The problem is that individuals never conform to an exact stereotype, given that individual differences outweigh similarities with others in a group.
  81. Strategy. A plan of action resulting from strategy or intended to accomplish a specific goal. The art or skill of using stratagems in endeavors such as politics and business.
  82. Superordinate Goal. Goal for the team, that takes precedence over each team member’s individual goal.
  83. Supportive. Used specially in teams. Be a good member of the team, help each other and always looking for ways to help other members of the team to succeed.
  84. Synergy.
  85. Tangled. When a situation, problem or issue is confusing or complicated.
  86. Team Contract. A team document that clearly and specifically outlines the expectations for performance, productivity, quality and quantity of work, and efficiency for each team member.
  87. Team (from Wikipedia)
  88. teamwork When two or more people get together to achieve a specific goal. The succeed of the team is responsibility of all members.
  89. Veteran. A veteran in a group is an individual who has longer tenure within the group, who has a history with other members in the group context.
  90. Virtual Team (from Wikipedia). A Virtual Team is a group of individuals who work across time, space, and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology. Like other teams, they have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose, have interdependent performance goals, and share an approach to work for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Geographically dispersed teams allow organizations to hire and retain the best people regardless of location.


  1. ^ Foland, Jeremy. May 4, 2006. MGP-295.1 Managing Teams and Technology. UC Davis, Graduate School of Management.
  2. ^ Okhuysen, G.A., in "A desperate attempt at referencing," Journal of Unmemorable Quotes, 2006.