Team Dynamics and the Beast Named ‘Good Intentions’

I’m an optimist. I often say that “Most people don’t get up in the morning with the express purpose of trying to ruin your day.”

And I believe that it’s true.

So how does it happen that so many times is is easy to feel like that is exactly what is happening – and it’s not just one person who woke up like that but a lot of them!

It is because of the Beast that goes by the name of ‘Good Intentions’. These good intentions may sound something like:
“I’ll touch base when I have some good progress to report.”
“He looks worried – I should wait to tell him about the bad test results.”
“I shouldn’t ask the manufacturing group again about my sample – it just takes them away from actually making it.”
“She seems so busy – maybe I should find someone else to ask about this problem.”

But how much does that help?

The team that can, together, build a culture of candid supportive expectations and behaviors will have fewer problems with the Beast that goes by this name. When messages – even less than pleasant ones – are far more welcome than silence it is easier to keep the lines of communications open. That creates a healthier atmosphere and a more productive team culture.

There is a saying that there is a path paved with good intentions that leads straight to hell. Of course the saying doesn’t mention that you don’t have to take that path or help others off of it.


Keep receipt of messages non-punitive. Encourage open discussion and facilitate exploration of contrarian positions. Keep the Beast of Good Intentions at bay.

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