During the lifetime of a group, tension is a natural event.
It happens because of change. It creates change. Change invites tension.
It’s the moment when the group searches for a leader, for someone who resolves this tension.
If the defined leader isn’t able to contain the tension or make visible why he is holding the tension, the group will shift its attention to those who promise to release the tension.
It’s when scapegoats and prima donnas are made. The person who takes up the role of the scapegoat is in danger of being ejected. The person who takes up the role of prima donna is being welcomed as a savior.
Both build on shame.
The group either concentrates shame on the scapegoat in the hope that the problem will disappear with the scapegoat. Or the group accepts shame to let the prima donna do as he wants in the hope that the prima donna will make the problem disappear.
In this fight or flight reaction, the group concentrates on what’s wrong.
It assumes that tension is wrong. It doesn’t see how tension can contribute to keeping the group alive.