Modern organizations depend on cross-functional teams working effectively together to achieve organizational goals.  Depending on how two or more teams work together, they usually can be described as acting in one of three ways: Competitive, Non-interactive, and Cooperative.

Competitive Team

A Competitive Team is more concerned with the success of its own unit than with the success of the organization as a whole. They may spend little time planning and focus instead on how they can win. As a result, they spend very little time assessing the other team’s needs and expectations for completing the work and working together. Competitive groups may display the following characteristics:

  • A tendency to be territorial.
  • A “we/they” attitude about other teams.
  • Demonstrating concern only with their own group and how they can win. A lack of concern regarding other groups and their needs is evident.
  • Evidence of more conflict than other types of teams. Competitive teams may have difficulty completing the project because they do not work well with others.

Non-interactive Team

A Non-interactive Team limits its focus to its own team. They may spend a little or a lot of time planning; however, planning is completed without consideration for the larger picture and the needs of the other group or team. As a result, their planning efforts are minimally effective to accomplishing the overall goal. Non-interactive teams may display the following characteristics:

  • Avoiding or failing to take the needs and goals of other groups into account.
  • A tendency to isolate themselves and the team’s thinking.
  • Lack of vision regarding the importance of working with other groups to accomplish their goals.
  • Failing to identify and share valuable information, even though no overt hostility between the groups exists.
  • A sole focus on devoting their time to completing their work without regard to other components of the task handled by others.

Cooperative Teams

A Cooperative Team shares a common goal of getting projects completed together with other groups. When planning a project or task, a great deal of time is devoted to how the groups will work together to accomplish goals effectively and efficiently. Cooperative teams may display the following characteristics:

  • Openly share information with other groups.
  • Work together to resolve issues.
  • Take the needs of other groups into account in their own planning.
  • Show flexibility in their plans, especially if changes arise.
  • Identify their own expectations that they have of other groups.
  • Practice diplomacy.
  • Coordinate action planning.

In our next several posts, we will explore the nine elements of effective inter-team functioning.



Jungle Escape can be used as a standalone team building game or as part of a more comprehensive training program. It was developed specifically for new and intermediate work groups, but it’s also an excellent refresher and energizer for more mature teams. You can also use the game to:

  • Introduce the elements of effective teamwork
  • Kick off a team-building workshop or seminar
  • Improve productivity between multiple work teams
  • Identify group issues or concerns that block team performance
  • Energize established work teams

Register for this course, morning or afternoon session available:

Morning Session

Afternoon Session

Would you like to learn more about the different types of teams, how they function, and how this knowledge can help you become a better, more effective leader? Visit us online or contact us today to learn about our leadership coaching events.