chapter  1
12 Pages

The team as a sponge*

How the nature of the task affects the behaviour and mental life of a team
ByFrancesca Cardona

The term 'sponge' describes the striking way in which a team absorbs and soaks up the central dynamics which operate within its client group, often without realizing that this is happening. The staff express anger and resistance to yet another change of management through absconding and being disruptive. When teams and managers are able to identify some of these dynamics and disentangle themselves from the web and the power of their effects, they can leave their ‘psychic prisons’; they can free up some energy to engage with the task in a effective and creative way. The team as a sponge’ is a crucial, fascinating but dangerous area of work and research for the consultant. The term ‘sponge’ describes the striking way in which a team absorbs, soaks up the central dynamics which operate within its client group, often without realizing that this is happening. When working with drug addiction, the staff constantly face issues of trust, dependency and disruptive behaviour.