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Free «Working in Teams» Essay Sample

The Criteria for Evaluating an Effective Group/Team

An effective team or group is one that meets particular criteria. To determine the effectiveness of a team, it is crucial to assess the input factors. These can be at the individual, group or environmental level. For instance, individual factors include the skills possessed by the individual members, attitude of the members towards the teamwork, and their personality characteristics. The group-level factors include group composition and tenure; while team leadership is a key input factor at team level. Reward structures and levels of environmental stress, characteristics of the industry, and resources offered are other factors of the environmental and organizational level respectively (Herre, 2010).

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The second criterion is the processes. According to Herre (2010), one can measure the effectiveness of the group/team by observing the team’s behavior, as the process always affects the outcome of the group’s activities. This involves the activities or behaviors necessary to attain the goal of the group and may include the methods and strategy employed by the group. Other examples are: communication, the time spent together, conflicts, boundary management, strategy discussion, and encouragement among the members of the group.

Herre (2010) says that to reach an improved team performance, the following behaviors are necessary: good team leadership, mutual performance, supporting behavior among members, adaptability, feedback, conflict resolution, and a two-way communication. Lastly, the outcome of the team is a good criterion for the evaluation of performance of the team. It is, basically, the degree to which the set goal is reached. It is the measure of commitment, satisfaction or absenteeism.

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Looking at the team in the Working in Teams video, some of the members, Simon and Rosa, do not show commitment to the team work. Rosa does not go through what needs to be discussed before the meeting. She asks Cheng to show her some of the content they were supposed to download before. When it comes to division of roles, they give excuses and complain so as to evade responsibility. They value their individual work such as meetings and phone calls more than the team project. However, the leader, Joe, intervenes and makes them understand that the project is equally important to their individual jobs. The team spends good time together, comes up with the different roles necessary to accomplish the project, and shares it among the members. They, also, come up with strategies of accomplishing the individual tasks. There is a two-way communication, and every member is allowed a chance to air his or her views or complaints about the issues. The leader is effective, and the group members promise to help each other. Based on the above summary, one can declare that the team is effective.

Task roles: the initiator is responsible for starting things off and helps change direction. In this case, Joe Tanny acts as the leader of this group. He initiates the discussion, reads out the items to be discussed, and controls how the other members contribute to the discussion (Halverson & Tirmizi, 2008). He is also a supporter. At the beginning, he asks ever team member to air his/her complaints or any hindrance that is likely to limit their performance. He supports the other members by acknowledging their good points. He also acts as the clarifier. Simon is a process observer; he contributes when the team seems stuck and also asks questions concerning the tasks of the team.

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Formation

 
 
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According to Jacobs, Masson, and Schimmel (2011), the first stage is forming: it takes place on the first meeting of the team. At this stage, introduction of the team members is done. They share about their interests, experiences, and background. They also learn what project they are to work on, discuss the objectives of the project, and figure out what role they are supposed to play as a team. The second stage is storming, where members tend to compete among themselves for status and acceptance of each one’s idea. They raise different opinions on what and how tasks should be done, thus causing conflict. However, as they progress, they will learn how to solve the problems together, function together, and adapt to roles and responsibilities of the team. They, finally, accept each other and learn to cooperate for the good of their project.

The third is the norming stage. At this stage, people begin to work well as a team. They are focused on finding a way to work together rather than focus on individual goals. They have trust among themselves and seek help from each other, and start making progress. The team members take more responsibility in decision making; therefore, the leader does not have to be much involved. The performing stage involves high motivation to accomplish the task. Decisions are solved effectively and quickly and do not involve the leader. Some strategies and processes are changed if found not to work properly. The final stage is adjourning, where the project comes to an end and team members disperse. It is the time they celebrate their success and wave each other goodbyes as they go on to pursue their next endeavors (Jacobs, Masson, & Schimmel, 2011).

The team in the video falls in the storming stage. They had already a set goal. When the leader initiates the discussion, Rosa tells him to skip the explanations and proceed to the main points. Rosa, Cheng, and Simon raise their concerns about how they may not make it to work on the project effectively due to time restraints. They focus more on their individual work and personal matters rather than the project at hand. They all come up with different ideas on how to do the project, and at one instance, Simon says that it had already been tried out before. When it comes to role-sharing, they show some resistance. However, they finally agree on how to do it and take up the responsibility and promise to cooperate.

The individuals in this video are a team. They come from the same department. They have a specific goal, and each one of the members has a specific role in the team. They have met to plan work, solve a problem, and make decisions about work.

   

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