Background of teamfixx

teamfixx secrets of success


teamfixx follows a clear structure with a tight timeline and three work steps:


1. Establishing the working basis

2. Understanding the situation

3. Developing solutions


The short time frame requires focussed work. There are no discussions of right or wrong. Instead, points of view are looked at together and are accepted as individual realities.


Looking at the current situation together, without arguing about right or wrong, is the basis for developing collective competence. This leads to identifying effective and practical measures.


This is one of teamfixx secrets of success.

Practical background of teamfixx


We have been working on team conflicts for almost 20 years. In 2004 we developed a style of conflict facilitation, which we have been applying ever since – with almost no changes.


In most cases teams were happy with the results. However, from time to time there were conflict facilitations, which failed to succeed. By reviewing our work on a regular basis we were able to identify indicators that enabled us to make predictions on our intervention’s probability of success.


A second development initially causing problems was an increasing lack of resources. Our clients had less and less time available to work on difficult situations. The methods of intense analysis on formal and social level, which had been very efficient so far, were no longer useful.

Therefore – what to do?


We kept on working with teams in difficult situations, but more and more under great time pressure. This forced us to slim down our toolboxes significantly. At first we were absolutely sure that we would loose quality – but things turned out very differently.


We found out that by consistently focussing on the essentials we could still deliver good and satisfying team results.

This way, two of the three teamfixx’ key successes came about: consistent attention to success indicators and high time pressure.


We further optimised teamfixx until we reached a stage that contradicted our own fundamental conviction: suddenly we had a recipe for how to work successfully on team issues. Us – who had always dismissed recipes as unreflected actions with predictable harmful consequences. However, the reliable reproducibility of positive results with this recipe taught us something new.


We also experienced that this recipe was suited for all kinds of team issues. It was initially set up as conflict facilitation and is even more effective when used for conflict prevention and for identifying the essential.


So we are very happy now about how the essence of our long-standing experience has developed. The cherry on the cake of this effort is the powerful foundation of scientific findings of the latest research in mediation and competence.

Scientific background of teamfixx


teamfixx is a set of methods based on thoughts around “collective competences”, developing competences in borderline situations as well as our idea of mediation as a profession and the difference between mediation competence and conflict competence.

I. Collective competences


Teams are supposed to perform and to deliver results. Sometimes this works smoothly and easily. Yet there will always be difficulties, conflicts and bottlenecks. These are challenging, unexpected, unfamiliar situations when daily routines are no longer sufficient and competences are required: a team’s ability to act in a self-organised and creative way in new situations. These competences are capacities due to abilities (experience, knowledge) and willingness (the  team’s will, values, culture).
The pre-conditions for a team’s collective competences are known from recent research. teamfixx integrates these parts methodically.


a)    The members share adequately in common an idea of the team, its mission and the environment (superior leadership, market, …) and the current issue or conflict


b)    There are viable formal structures, especially clarity on authorities, responsibilities, processes and tasks. At the same time there are viable social structures (which is no longer the case in a conflict)


c)    The team has the ability to create a situational balance between the four areas of tension – formal and social (persons and individuals, assumptions and values) – adaption and lateral thinking (internal labilisation) – self management and external control (“free zones” for self-organisation) – securing of livelihood and future-orientation (profit and investment)


d)    The members have adequate individual competences to fulfil tasks and to contribute to a working team structure.


e)    The team has the ability of result oriented reflexivity, the smart and critical approach with itself. This is conducted through self-observation and self-criticism, the observation of others and changes through innovations and training.

II. Competence learning


The certified teamfixx consultants see their task in enabling the team to work on the current conflict by themselves using their own competences; this is a process of competence learning.


The occasion for applying teamfixx is a team’s “real situation of decision or conflict” which cannot be controlled with the use of previous knowledge and values and which creates “deep emotional-motivational labilisation”.


In general, this concerns a borderline situation requiring competence learning if


a) successes are sufficiently memorised and fed back emotionally and motivationally


b) successes and the related values of communication procedures are accepted and socially confirmed


c) successes in communication procedures are generalised and are applicable to other borderline situations.


teamfixx is a controlled process of communication creating progress at the rational-formal level as well as at the motivational-social level.


The teamfixx approach for self-organised consensus and solutions is a parallel process giving the team an experience of potential collaboration.

III. Support process


Being professional in support processes requires a precise methodology of implementation but also the ability to classify and evaluate the meaningfulness of action. The best methods are useless when creating a solution that doesn’t fit the problem. For teamfixx, being professional means to us


  1. Profound education and vast experience in the subject area, application of established methods
  2. Value orientation and reflecting attitude with regard to one’s own work
  3. Clarity concerning one’s own role and the individual limits
  4. Focus of work based on the client’s precise assignment and previously explicitly agreed targets
  5. Transparency with regard to the preocedure, no manipulations
  6. Promoting the client’s self-responsibility
  7. Feedback on “blind spots” and clearly naming limits that pose hindrances to continuing the mandate
  8. Work based on the premise to make oneself dispensable in order to avoid dependencies.

Mediation is such a support process, which comes with professionalism. Mediation is more than just “applying mediation techniques”. Also teamfixx is more than a stubbornly applied method. We differentiate conflict competence from mediation competence.


Conflict Competence refers to the ability of self-organised, solution-oriented approach to someone’s own conflicts. Briefly spoken, when one manages to argue in a creative and constructive way. Occasionally conflicts might escalate so far that one’s own conflict competence is temporarily not accessible. Then arguments are fighted problem-focussed and destructive and there is no end to it. In those situations the support by a mediator can help to resolve the problem.


Mediation Competence means the ability to support others enabling them to regain access to their conflict competences. This differentiation is the fundamental idea of teamfixx: supporting a team to the point where it is able to work again by finding its own collective competence.

IV. Main sources of our work


Erpenbeck, John (2010). Kompetenzen – eine begriffliche Klärung, in: Heyse, V./Erpenbeck, J./Ortmann, S.: Grundstrukturen menschlicher Kompetenzen, Waxmann, Münster, S. 13-20

Erpenbeck, John (2012). Weitere Konflikte – erweiterte Kompetenzen? in: Kreuser K./Robrecht T./Erpenbeck J.: Konfliktkompetenz, VS Verlag, Wiesbaden, S. 43-59

Heyse, Volker/Erpenbeck, John/Ortmann, Stefan (2010). Grundstrukturen menschlicher Kompetenzen, Waxmann, Münster

Robrecht Thomas (2012). Organisation ist Konflikt. Kompetenzbasiertes Handeln für Beratung, Führung, Mediation, EWK, Elsendorf

Kreuser Karl/Heyse Volker/Robrecht Thomas (2012). Mediationskompetenz. Mediation als Profession etablieren, Waxmann, Münster

Kreuser, Karl/Robrecht, Thomas, Erpenbeck, John (2012). Konfliktkompetenz. Eine strukturtheoretische Betrachtung, VS Verlag, Wiesbaden

Kreuser, Karl (2014). Unternehmen um halb zehn – auf der Suche nach Kompetenzen der Organisation, München,öffentlichungen/skizzen-unserer-arbeit

On request we are happy to send you a detailed list of literature. We are not interested in taking credit for others’ hard work and respect the intellectual work of others.