Games Teams Play (or Games People Play in Teams)

Article by Ken Thompson, 06 Apr 2017

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I wrote this article for my Bioteams blog in 2008 and I think it is just as timely today.

I was inspired by Dr. Eric Bernes wonderful book “Games People Play” in which he identified the different “games” people play, often unwittingly, in social situations based on his concept of transaction analysis. Berne defines games as:" ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome and a concealed motivation." He argues that in most cases, the participants of the games are unaware that they are "playing!"

I wondered whether I could apply Berne’s insights in a general way into games people play in teams to identify the many wasteful engagement styles team members can adopt which thwarts all attempts at delivering high performance. I identify 9 wasteful team games including Freeloader, Pseudo-engager, Chase-me, Senior Partner, Inquisitor, Stop-Starter, Over-communicator, Email Fixater and Attachmentitis. I hope this short article helps you spot them in time to do something about them. You may also be inspired to identify a few more!

Read the full article Games Teams Play

More about Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Ken is a practitioner, author and speaker on leadership, collaborative working, high performing teams, change management, project management and business acumen. His work has featured in major publications including The Guardian , Wired Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Henry Ford Magazine. Ken has also spoken at many international events including TEDx, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Learn Tech (London) and NASA.

Ken is Managing Director of Business Simulations Ltd.

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