Aranda, Robbins, Thompson, and others (2000) believe important parts of a successful team are Chartering, Expectations, and Confidentiality of the team’s information. According to them, “Chartering is the process by which the team is formed, its mission or task described, its resources allocated, its goals set, its membership committed, and its plans made. ” In other words, Chartering is the definition of the team. Why was the team was made? What is expected of team members? Who will be the team members? What do you want to accomplish and who would be the best people for the team.
Answering these questions is vital to the success of the team. Otherwise, there would be no team created. What is expected of the teammates? What kind of work is needed? This also is an important ingredient to a successful team. Knowing the intentions of the team, such as, how long they have to perform the work, and how much work is needed of each team member us crucial to achieving team success in accomplishing the goal or work of the team. If the team members believe they have longer period than is allowed, the team project will not be finished on time.
Procrastination happens when people think they have a long time to complete a project when in reality it is a very limited time. Knowing what is to be completed and how long you have to complete it allows the teammates to manage their time wisely. When discussing the outcome of the teams work and research, members must agree how, when, where, and by whom the information will be spoken of outside of the team. The information discussed within the team assists the team in making informed decisions.
Discussing the information outside of the team can cause conflict within the team if the information is sensitive to a particular team member. Making decisions on who should be the speaker of the group, what information will be given outside of the team and what nformation will remain within the team, and the punishment if someone discusses team meetings outside of the group. Knowing the consequences for leaking information will most likely prevent team members from discussing outside of the team. Confidentiality is vital to team success.
When the details of a team are not worked out for the charter or when members have their own ideas on how they participate within the team, the team experiences difficulties. Two kinds of problems that can arise are personal problems and technical problems. Knowing the different problem’s teams can get into will prevent these problems from arising. Addressing potential problems early is important in maintaining stability within the team and avoiding conflict. Personal problems such as family issues, money problems, and other kinds of issues tend to slow team members up.
When a team member is not meeting team expectations due to family or personal issues, it can result in a slower progress for the overall team. Unfortunately, if a member is having these kinds of problems, you cannot simply ask them to stop having them. The only way to solve such a problem would be to pick up the slack of the team member. Everyone has a bad day and you cannot expect everyone to always ave a perfect life. When teams get started there are certain roles everyone tends to take on within the team. There is the leader, the researcher, and the non-worker.
Some leaders of teams tend to lead to their own tune as long as it follows along with how they want it; they never consult the other team members. Never allowing others to make decisions results in team members not finishing work and giving their opinions on decisions. Some team members believe that in order to promote themselves they have to do something within the team to make themselves look good. They might not take the teams genda over their own personal one. Some other problems that may arise is not finishing the job on time, teammates not doing any work, and pressure put on members to complete their work.
The result would be a failing team. Recognizing the problems that can arise and solutions that we can apply will help to making a team function properly. Many factors make up a team. The dynamics of a team is defined by the willingness of everyone participating, the ability to resolve conflict and the general make up of the team. A team will not be successful without proper communication and a willingness to work. An assembled team does not have the advantage of knowing one another and must be able to assign tasks accordingly. That is the main reason a good team will fail.
Three strong minded individuals do not necessary make a strong team; they must be able to understand the task and be able to work together to accomplish it. The dynamics of a team are such that, cohesion is the main ingredient. The team must “gel” with one another to achieve maximum success and be able to make the “gel” when the team is not on the same level. Many times in our lives, we will be thrust into team situations where the outcome is not always clear. The main question is how we can work together to ensure an effective outcome is reached.
One of the main suggestions was to gain trust. The team lacked faith in the project. Many members had negative experiences, and they were letting past issues influence their decisions. If the team leader can show progress is wanted, the team will know their ideas are valued by the organization. Listening among the group was missing. Group participation and understanding would increase dramatically if members would actively listen to what each member is saying. The facilitator cannot let one individual control the team.
One person in he group can set a positive or negative tone. Members may not voice concerns, because they are afraid to be laughed at or ignored. If the facilitator establishes a trust within the team, they will feel free to address concerns and work on shared goals. When one member is allowed to control a group the outcome may not be what the whole group is striving to achieve. If the controlling individual can be neutralized, the team can focus on issues and how to resolve them. This article illustrated how proper training may have eliminated conflict within the group.
The facilitator needed to establish guidelines and goals for the team members. Without assigning tasks to individuals, they will not know what direction to take. Members on the team advanced to their position by focusing on their own interest and they may not know how to work as a team. By not training the group, the facilitator caused a leadership-team struggle. Members of the group should start meetings with progress checks. All members’ views should be heard and agreements should be reached. If progress checks are incorporated into meetings, the team will know what goals are completed.
Once training is completed, members will be able to see how other departments’ function. When members understand how different departments work, they will accept different opinions. The group will also see different department perspectives. Members will work together more efficiently and have a tolerance for others ideas. Once resistance is eliminated, the team will be able to strategize and work on ideas for improvement. Lack of leadership can cause teams to not function fully. In the article, the facilitator did not take charge.
By not controlling the meetings, certain members were over active and some did not participate. The team will not respect the facilitator if he or she is not a leader. Being a leader involves allowing all members to express ideas, but not allowing certain individuals to overshadow other members. Leadership is not instantaneous. People need to be taught and practice leadership skills. The facilitator needs to be involved with the team for it to succeed. In order for the leader to be successful, the organization needs to support him or her.
Experts advised the CEO to be active. I believe this is good advice. If the team does not believe management supports them, the members will not fully contribute. Working as a team can be complex. Teams can bring out the best or worst in a person. If certain steps are incorporated in developing teams, members will work more effectively. Each department serves a function and he or she wants to improve the organizations. By understanding other department perspectives resistance can be decreased. Leadership needs to be in place for teams to function efficiently.
If leadership is absent, the full potential of the group will not develop. The team as a whole has to listen and be open to other ideas. No one person makes a team. A team is only successful when every member participates. Team building is an effort in which a team studies its own process of orking together and acts to create a climate that encourages and values the contributions of team members. Their energies are directed toward problem solving, task effectiveness, and maximizing the use of all members’ resources to achieve the team’s purpose.
Sound team building recognizes that it is not possible to fully separate one’s performance from those of others. Team building works best when the following conditions are met (Francis and Young. 1979). There is a high level of interdependence among team members. The team is working on important tasks in which each team member has a commitment and eamwork is critical for achieving the desired results. The team leader has good people skills, is committed to developing a team approach, and allocates time to team-building activities.
Team management is seen as a shared function, and team members are given the opportunity to exercise leadership when their experiences and skills are appropriate to the needs of the team. Each team member is capable and willing to contribute information, skills, and experiences that provide an appropriate mix for achieving the team’s purpose. The team develops a climate in which people feel relaxed and are able to be irect and open in their communications. Team members develop a mutual trust for each other and believe that other team members have skills and capabilities to contribute to the team.
Both the team and individual members are prepared to take risks and are allowed to develop their abilities and skills. The team is clear about its important goals and establishes performance targets that cause stretching but are achievable. Team member roles are defined, and effective ways to solve problems and communicate are developed and supported by all team members. Team members know how to examine team and individual errors and weaknesses ithout making personal attacks, which enables the group to learn from its experiences.
Team efforts are devoted to the achievement of results, and team performance is frequently evaluated to see where improvements can be made. The team has the capacity to create new ideas through group interaction and the influence of outside people. Good ideas are followed up, and people are rewarded for innovative risk taking. Each member of the team knows that he or she can influence the team agenda. There is a feeling of trust and equal influence among team members that facilitates open and honest communication. Characteristics Of Good Team Building
High level of interdependence among team members Team leader has good people skills and is committed to team approach Each team member is willing to contribute Team develops a relaxed climate for communication Team members develop a mutual trust Team and individuals are prepared to take risks Team is clear about goals and establishes targets Team member roles are defined Team members know how to examine team and individual errors without personal attacks Team has capacity to create new ideas Each team member knows he can influence the team agenda Team building will occur more easily when all team members work jointly on task of mutual importance.
This allows each member to provide their technical knowledge and skills in helping to solve the problem, complete the project, and develop new programs. During this process, team building can be facilitated as members evaluate their working relationship as a team and then develop and articulate guidelines that will lead to increased productivity and team member cooperation. As part of this process, team members need to learn how to be willing to manage conflict, evaluate performance of the group, and provide feedback and support that will encourage each member to meet their commitment to the eam and the organization. Team performance can best be evaluated if the team develops a model of excellence against which to measure its performance.
Team Effectiveness When evaluating how well team members are working together, the following statements can be used as a guide: Team goals are developed through a group process of team interaction and agreement in which each team member is willing to work toward achieving these goals. Participation is actively shown by all team members and roles are shared to facilitate the accomplishment of tasks and feelings of group togetherness. Feedback is asked for by members and freely given as a way of valuating the team’s performance and clarifying both feelings and interests of the team members. When feedback is given it is done with a desire to help the other person.
Team decision making involves a process that encourages active participation by all members. Leadership is distributed and shared among team members and individuals willingly contribute their resources as needed. Problem solving, discussing team issues, and critiquing team effectiveness are encouraged by all team members. Conflict is not suppressed. Team members are allowed to express negative feelings and confrontation within the team which is managed and dealt with y team members. Dealing with and managing conflict is seen as a way to improve team performance. Team member resources, talents, skills, knowledge, and experiences are fully identified, recognized, and used whenever appropriate.
Risk taking and creativity are encouraged. When mistakes are made, they are treated as a source of learning rather than reasons for punishment. After evaluating team performance against the above guidelines, determine those areas in which the team members need to improve and develop a strategy for doing so. The team leader should be the liaison between the team and upper management. The team leader needs to know and work with upper management to obtain a full commitment from them in support of the team’s program. However, when this happens, team members must realize that they have a major responsibility to make maximum use of the resources and support provided.
The team leader can encourage team member growth, and should be willing to take some risk by having members whose resources are relevant to the immediate task provide the leadership. The team leader should be fair, supportive, and recognized by team members as one who can make final judgments, work with upper management, and give irection to the team as needed. To assist the team leader in evaluating the level of team development, have each team member answer the twelve questions in Table I. This should be followed by a discussion of the questions to determine where and how changes should be made to help facilitate the development of a strong team.
As team members build commitment, trust, and support for one another, it will allow them to develop and accomplish desired results. This commitment, trust, and self-determination by each team member is critical in achieving a sustained high level of performance. Team members will learn to ppreciate and enjoy one another for who they are and will help keep one another on track. The team will have developed its working methods so that they become an informal set of guidelines. A Focused Team When the team resources are focused and members are all working to accomplish the same purpose, teamwork can be very rewarding and productive. This is best accomplished when team members use a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach to accomplish their purpose (Adams, 1987).
The proactive approach manifests such characteristics as: The team members take a very positive approach in jointly determining the ay they are going to work together as a team and what they want to have happen. When individuals and the entire team choose to operate this way and are willing to set petty differences aside, unbelievable results become possible. When individuals adopt this attitude and commit to use their resources, knowledge, and skills to contribute to the goals of the team, alignment with the team’s overall purpose comes about. This will not happen unless both the team leader and team members choose to do so. Having a well-defined purpose or vision of what the team will accomplish is a very powerful force for the team leader and members. Goals are aligned with the team purpose, and team members are empowered to accomplish the goals.
This process leads to a high level of team productivity. Team members have a positive attitude toward change and are willing to accept and allow change to occur as needed in order to accomplish desired results. Team members understand that patience is required, and that for some goals, a long-term commitment is needed to accomplish the desired results. Interests of both the team leader and team members are focused on desired results rather than on shorticulture-term problem- solving activities. If people learn to focus simultaneously on both the current situation and the desired results, problems that arise will be solved as part of the total process of achieving the desired results.
The sixth characteristic of a well-functioning team is that the members have a strong feeling of control within the team. They are able to establish priorities and then commit time and resources for accomplishing these tasks. The seventh characteristic of a well functioning team is team members verbally and publicly support each other. They recognize that negative comments about others tear the team down. Team leaders and members that make a conscious, sustained effort to make these seven characteristics a part of their mind set will find that both creativity and accomplishment of desired results will be much higher than it would be otherwise.
Team Leader There are several ways in which the team leader can contribute to creating a positive climate within the team. One of the most powerful forces is to put forward, in cooperation with team members, an exciting vision/purpose of what the team is to achieve. Once the vision is developed, it needs to be kept in front of the team members as a reminder of what they wish to accomplish. The team leader where possible should help select or influence the composition of team members. Selection should be based willingness of people to work in a team setting and the resources, both people skills and technical components, they are able to bring to the team.
The team leader can provide the leadership for helping the team develop an understood and accepted set of principles that will contribute to their success. Included in this set of principles should be norms for operating within the group, criteria for evaluating success, standards for determining quality of performance, and an identified reward system to ecognize the team’s successes. A major advantage a team has over an individual is its diversity of resources, knowledge, and ideas. However, diversity also produces conflict. As more and more organizations restructure to work teams the need for training in conflict resolution will continue to grow.
Varney (1989) reports that conflict remained the number-one problem for most of the teams operating within a large energy company, even after repeated training sessions on how to resolve conflict and how to minimize the negative impact on team members. One reason for this may be that mangers and other leaders ithin organizations are not giving the issue of resolving conflict enough attention. Varney’s research showed that although most managers are aware of disagreements and have received training in conflict resolution, they seldom assign a high priority to solving conflict problems. With this in mind, it is critical that team members possess skills to resolve conflict among themselves. Conflict arises from differences. When individuals come together in work teams their differences in terms of power, values and attitudes, and social factors all contribute to the creation of conflict.
It is often difficult o expose the sources of conflict. Conflict can arise from numerous sources within a team setting and generally falls into three categories: communication factors, structural factors and personal factors (Varney, 1989). Barriers to communication are among the most important factors and can be a major source of misunderstanding. Communication barriers include poor listening skills; insufficient sharing of information; differences in interpretation and perception; and nonverbal cues being ignored or missed. Structural disagreements include the size of the organization, turnover rate, levels of participation, reward systems, and levels of nterdependence among employees.
Personal factors include things such as an individual’s self-esteem, their personal goals, values and needs. In order for conflict to be dealt with successfully, managers and team members must understand its unpredictability and its impact on individuals and the team as a whole. “Several things are important to the team effort including: organizational skills, abilities to take initiative, oral and written communication, flexibility, time management skills and self-motivation” (Dessler, pg 138- 139). Excellent computer skills are also a requirement to ensure that ontributions to teamwork are equal, allowing us to be successful in class. Without these qualities in place we could not have an effective team.
Acknowledging that each one of us within the group is different, we also realize that each of us brings different skills and abilities. Some of us are better at certain skills than others, but this diversity can be coordinated to allow the team to work together harmoniously. Critical thinking, problem solving, and synchronizing our efforts are all part of our contribution to the team. In the past, we have been able to work quickly and efficiently to achieve ur deadlines and resolve conflict. We also have been fortunate to have email. Email has been the most helpful tool in communicating with each other at any given moment. As we bring different skills and abilities to our team, we must also address our differences.
Our team effectiveness is sometimes hindered because all the members have similar weaknesses. Public speaking is a skill that we all feel we need to work on. As a team, we can support each other and work towards improving our public speaking skills. As each individual’s weaknesses are overcome, the team will become stronger and more effective. An additional problem that could occur could be that not all team members are willing to participate or work on improving their skills. If this happened, conflict could ensue. First of all, for a team to be more effective there must be the 3Cs; these are the communication, coordination and cooperation. Communication involves meaningful exchanges of information with the other party.
It is essential because without it or incase of noise in communication, people will not understand each other, they won’t be able to create synergy or they will interpret things differently which may create big problems. In coordination and cooperation, work is essential. Team members are aware of what others are doing, where the process is, they are supportive and all together these concepts led to synergy. In order to be a team, these 3Cs must exist fully. Coming to the details, for teaming several other issues need to be examined. These are team size, team cohesiveness, and team roles. “Team members tend to play certain roles, which can be classified as task specialist roles or socio-emotional roles. “(1) People who play the task specialist role spend time and energy for helping the team to reach its goal.
These individuals propose new solutions to team problems, ask for task relevant facts, pull ideas together into a summary perspective and energize the team into action when interest drops. On the other hand, people who adopt a socioemotional role support team member’s emotional needs. They tend to be warm and receptive to other’s ideas, help disagreeing parties reach agreement and reduce tension. When most individuals in a team play a social role, team is socially oriented. Members do not criticize and do not forcefully offer opinions or try to accomplish team tasks. Teams with mostly socioemotional roles can be ery satisfying, but they also can be unproductive. At the other extreme, a team made up primarily of task specialist can be effective for a short period There are teams every where especially is the workplace.
We see product teams, quality teams, project teams, special teams and many others different teams. Teams play an important role in business as each person has to be able to adapt to the workings of a teamwork environment. This is why one of the greatest frustrations is the failure of teams to function smoothly and effectively. Therefore what makes a team effective? First we must define what a team is? A team is not a just a group of people, they are a group of people trying to achieve a goal or complete a task. You can’t just put a whole bunch of people in a room that don’t agree on what the objective is going to be and expect a good team. Great teamwork doesn’t just happen.
It requires commitment, effort, a willingness to accept the uniqueness of others and an appreciation of diversity. You build teams in your company the same way you build relationships with friends and co-workers. A strong team, like any strong relationship, is durable, productive and reliable (Bouchard) To have an effective team you need to have many certain haracteristics or behavior that make the team run smoothly toward there common objective in working as a team. One characteristic is that you need to have is a clear purpose of the team sometimes know as mission statement, goal or task. When clear purpose is defined the team knows why they exist and what is should be doing. Another characteristic of an effective team is one that has informal setting.
If the atmosphere is informal, comfortable and relaxed people can feel free to open up. A team can succeed easier if they enjoy the people and the atmosphere around them, which will make the eam more effective. Each member of the team will look forward to the meeting and not dread it. A way to make the meeting more in formal is add humor and other off related subject in the beginning to get everyone loosen up. Next your team needs everyone to participate so no one is dominating the meeting otherwise the team is useless. Ask a question and get an answer from all, this will help to make everyone feel that they are being heard and have a choice in the decision making.
The following is the biggest characteristic that separates effective teams from ineffective, listening. This characteristic is needed by all member of the team. Members of the team must use effective listening such as questioning, paraphrasing, and summarizing to get out ideas (Parker). Members of a team should use active listening and give feedback to the other members that you are listening closely. This helps team members develop self-understanding of the issues at hand. Also, teams must be able to disagree without there being a fight or people leaving hating each other. Teams need to create a climate in which people feel free to voice there opinions even if there opinion is different from the rest of the group.
Teams also need open communication which is that all member can express there opinions on the tasks at hand and how the group is operating even if it will cause some conflict. There must be no hidden agendas by anyone on the team; all the “cards” must be laid of on the table. This gives members of the team trust which is needed in your group. This can be done by openly sharing views and encouraging other to do the same. This open communication should also take place outside of the meetings with fellow group members (LaFasto). All members should be able to take criticism from the rest of the members as there will e disagreements. All members must be flexible and open to all points of view.
Another characteristic of an effective teams is one that has clear roles and work assignments. There should be clear expectations about the roles played by each team member. When action is taken, clear assignment are made, accepted, and carried out, with work fairly distributed among team members. The members of the team must be held accountable for there roles in the team otherwise the might not take there assignment or role serious. You need shared leadership in order to have an effective team and o stay away from any blaming of one person for problems or conflict that may occur. The leadership needs to be able to shift, as in skills of the member leader and as the needs of the group change.
If a certain subject is better suited to be talked about by another member then yourself you shift and they can become informal leader (Lafasto). The formal leader can stay the same by keeping appropriate behavior and help establish positive norms. Those positive team norms which include; to be candid about ideas and feelings, to be open, to experiment, to help others to be candid about heir feelings, to help others to be open, to help others to experiment, individuality, concern and internal communication Another characteristic of an effective team is one that has broad spectrum of member types who emphasize attention to task, goal setting, focus on process and questions about how the team is functioning. This is known as style diversity.
The last characteristic of an effective team is one that stops to examine how well there functioning and what may be interfering with their effectiveness (Wellins). This will give the group a chance to decide if they are moving oward there goal or do they need to re-evaluate there team. Not all of these characteristic are needed but are wanted among member to complete there common goal. What makes a team ineffective is that is can’t reach any or few of characteristic needed for an effective team. Those characteristic are clear purpose, informal setting, participation, listening, open communication, clear roles and work assignments, shared leadership, style diversity, and self-assessment.
There are signs that show you if your team is headed toward trouble. One of the signs is if your team cannot easily describe the eam’s mission statement or goal. This is really important in the early stages of the teams beginning. Its trouble if you have meetings that are formal or tense and have no informal atmosphere. Most people do not due there best work in an uncomfortable atmosphere so you want to stay away from those formal teamwork meetings. Also if there is a great deal of participation but little accomplishment by having a lot of talk but not much action (Parker). Also, having a lot of talk but doesn’t communicate with each other can be a problem.
You need to be active listening which is a major key to successful effective teams. Another sign of trouble in your group is if you have a leader that is making all the decisions without meaningful involvement from other members. You need a true consensus of the member in order to be able to reach your goal. A bad sign is if your members are not open with each other because trust is lost among members. Members must feel comfortable in saying there true feelings about the task and issues at hand. There is trouble if confusion or disagreement about roles and work assignments come up. They need to be established in the beginning or whenever it seems that there is confusion happeni