When the manager and the business unit are faced with a critical project that has more than it’s share of intensity, the manager and team must increase the intensity of their interaction and mutual cooperation. To a great extent, the manager needs to have fostered this “holding together through positive interaction.” You need a base of relationships and comfort facing challenges together before you need them. That said, the manager can foster this when things get intense.
There are two real world ideas that can promote this unity in the face of intensity. First, at the start of the project or at the point when something creates a high-intensity level, the manager can indicate the need and expectation for the team to come closer together and face the challenge. Once the intensity starts, it will be necessary to call “time-outs” during the course of the day, get the team to take a breather and share thoughts and ideas on dealing with the issues. Another variation is to pull the team together at the end of the work day, bring in some pizza and let the team “debrief & vent” but only if they re-commit to working together to over-come the challenges.