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Teamwork in Action: Observations of Team Dynamics
The team dynamics chosen for this analysis are those involving the members of The Avengers in the 2016 movie “Captain America: Civil War.” This choice is idea for dissection because the dynamics have evolved over the course of their cinematic run and a lot of the traits now present are the result of the ways previous conflicts were waged and resolved. One of the other reasons this is an interesting choice is that, as the title suggests, there is significant turmoil afoot in this installment, to the point that a division takes place. How that fissure us formed and the events leading up to the “civil war” are important aspects of team relations (Russo & Russo, 2016).
When the movie begins, the team is operating in a mode that has evolved since previous chapters. Captain America is the unquestioned leader of the group and the rest of the team readily defaults to his authority. This is a departure from the team’s past atmosphere where there was no clearly defined leader (Russo & Russo, 2016). [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
The interplay between the various team members is playful, signaling a comfort level and trust, but serious and duty-oriented. Arriving at the level of comfort displayed by the members of the team requires trust. Being as effective as the Avengers are requires trust as well. When viewed alone, the trust-building steps are largely missing in “Civil War.” When the origins of each character is considered, it is easier to digest how the team has been able to come together and maintain a bond that is able to withstand almost anything (Russo & Russo, 2016).
During this analysis, the way the team works together, communicates with each other, and addresses conflict will be evaluated. Being an action movie with a plot centered on inner turmoil and ultimately inner battle, there are several scenes that can be dissected to gather a better sense of how the team functions and what trait of each individual contributes positively toward maintaining the alliance versus those traits work to undermine unity (Russo & Russo, 2016).
Foundations of the Team
The foundations of the team in “Captain America: Civil War” center around their special gifts and affiliation with an organization called S.H.I.E.L.D.. The genesis of their union was influenced by a common enemy in a previous chapter. The organizational leader (Nick Fury) was responsible for the recruitment of the various team members, though, Fury is not relevant to this chapter of the saga (Russo & Russo, 2016).[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The parts of the foundation that are continually relevant to team dynamics include the structure of leadership. Tony Stark/IronMan is the financier of the team and in many ways a leadership figure. Operationally, Captain America is responsible for strategy and tactics. While there are rarely conflicts where rank matters, you can often see the team deferring to Captain America’s military background for planning and execution of missions (Russo & Russo, 2016).
The foundational elements of the team are tested in this installment of the series as two factions are formed when the team is faced with making a decision that was long in the making.
The main contact that is central to “Civil War” involves a request by the United States and partnering nations to bind the team in an agreement that would place authority in the hands of an international committee. Tony Stark chooses to adhere to the agreement while Captain America opts to remain autonomous as a team. It is quickly understood that the stakes of the pending agreement and disagreement among team members that the matter could cause the team to disassemble (Russo & Russo, 2016).
During previous missions, the team has caused significant collateral damage. While always in the pursuit of “justice,” the members have failed to secure safety for bystanders while carrying out their superhero duties. Tony Stark feels particularly guilty about this aspect of their exploits and that guilt inspires his decision to join the accord. Captain America, mindful of the concerns of the international community, still believes that aligning with a governmental entity will hamstring the team and disallow it to operate with impunity to secure freedom around the world (and beyond) (Russo & Russo, 2016).
Complicating these issues is a villain that plays team members against each other. One particular character, with a checkered past and a life-long friendship with Captain America, is framed for a terror attack. Captain America hopes to rescue his friend while the rest of the team seeks him for prosecution. Before it is known that the friend (The Winter Soldier/Bucky) is innocent, the competing agendas cause the team members to battle – exacerbating the new rifts in team unity (Russo & Russo, 2016).
A new character is introduced into this dynamic as well. The son of a politician who was killed in the attack blamed on The Winter Soldier is, himself, “super.” This creates a three-way conflict where team members are attempting to fulfill three separate agendas while trying to remain as virtuous and law-abiding as possible (Russo & Russo, 2016).
Prior to the conflicts, the members of the team all had different idiosyncrasies that have over time been able to be managed. Each team member had gifts that allowed the team to thrive and the objectives of each mission helped to mask what could have otherwise been revealed as personality clashes. Effective communication has always been missing among the team members but with each new challenge came a new distraction to smooth over conflicts before they were able to cause damage to the relationships (Russo & Russo, 2016).
This new conflict, instead of being a distraction, put the communication issues in the forefront. Team members who might have been able to constructively voice their concerns had communication been taken more seriously in the past now choose to fight their way toward their respective objectives. What’s revealed is that team members understand that they need each other but lack the foundation of trust and communication to deal with their most difficult test so far (Crick, 2014).[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
The moral of the story presented by “Captain America: Civil War” is that communication and relationship maintenance are necessary to bridge gaps caused by conflict. Recognizing disconnection early in a team’s existence is the best time to work on issues that may become too great to tackle in tougher times. The final scenes of the film show that the team members still care a great deal for each other but are left reflecting on what could have been had they had a more secure foundation earlier in their union (Russo & Russo, 2016).
The team has a chance to reconcile but it will take trust being rebuilt, communication skills being honed and respected, and a willingness of each individual to accept their actions and how they contributed to the breakdown of the unit (Crick, 2014).
Crick, J. (2014). Effective team communication. In Practice (0263841X), 36(2).
Russo, A., Russo, J., (2016). Captain America: civil war. [Burbank, CA]: Marvel Studios