A team is a group of like-minded people working together to achieve the common goals. As a result of this interaction it is possible to achieve much better results than working alone. However, I am going to look at teamwork from different angles. Thus, the main aim of this project is to discuss the work of a small team where I have been a part of.
First of all it is necessary to mention that my small team consisted of 6 members and it was a kind of brainstorming team. Our team was created for the purpose of to improve our basic skills, making them better. Thus, the main purposes were to practice communication skills in constructive interpersonal team; to practice skills of effective problem-solving; to create a resource of positive emotions to work effectively.
Teamwork refers to the category of special cases of delegation of authority and responsibility. In the traditional structure, the problem and permissions assigned to it are given to the owner of the workplace. Joint competence of members of the group must ensure the objectives and goals, which identify a range of powers conferred on the team, but in my case the team was created for the purpose of to improve and deepen existed knowledge, and to implement their practical use. It has led to the fact that all team members were in equal positions.
The stage of forming can be described by optimistic and inspired behaviour, all members were communicating with each other trying to be polite; the stage of storming showed the first crisis in relations because it included getting into the real situation, the accumulation of difficulties and challenges, when all team members became irritable and showed own primacy in all possible ways. The third stage of norming can be characterized by the rules establishment, and it was a kind of the completion of the adaptation period. All team members felt that a sense of justice was achieved and it became possible to work normally. And thinking about the fourth stage, the stage of performing, it can be described as an active team work full of various ideas and enthusiasm.
A problem the team encountered was connected with impossibility to establish an active search of clients using phone negotiations. All members of my team understood that communication by telephone is an integral part of professional activity for many people. The prestige of the company, where the communicator works, and his own business in complex with financial well-being, largely depends from the ability to competently engage in dialogue an invisible companion. Thus, the first step to solve the problem was planning of the phone negotiations. This process included several stages and all of them showed the necessity to generate team efforts to find the most effective phrases and patterns for the beginning and end of negotiations. It was a pleasant that the team was able to generate a successful solution because each team member has had own experience and cooperation of efforts helped to find the optimal decision.
Our team leader was a young woman, who had a big experience in negotiations, but she was not able to be as effective at her workplace as she wanted to be. It was a patient woman with a strong character and she used democratic leadership style, which required a high level of participation of followers in the process of elaboration, adoption and enforcement of decision. Problem-solving steps included practical communication, when we were playing role games and each member of the team was trained as an effective negotiator and dissatisfied client. One member of our team was afraid of to be a negotiator, working in a pair with other person, but this problem was solved in a fast way, when all team members changed their partners and continued the work in new pairs. It seems to me that it was not as effective as it used to be because a person should be able to work with any person and additional exercise should be used to destroy the fear and make the person, who is afraid of to be a negotiator, self-confident and more open to others.
In general, the team work was rather effective because all members have had an opportunity to implement existed knowledge in practice and to find new behavioral, verbal and nonverbal patterns. The ground rule of our team was the following: the team as a whole is responsible for everything that it makes and not makes. Our team agreed that the overall responsibility lies on all its members, even if they initially expressed doubts. It was also agreed, if a team on a particular issue can not reach unity, then the decision would be made by majority vote. In this case all team members would be responsible for further general results obtained on the basis of this decision. Disagreement with certain members of the general solution does not relieve them of responsibility for possible consequences.
Observing the roles, it is possible to mention that each team member must provide own strength, knowledge and ability to achieve the goals established by the team. At the same time, he should not, following the selfish reasons, to conceal the ideas and decisions that are necessary to the team for their subsequent use for the main job. In conclusion, I can state that the above mentioned rules and characteristics affected the team’s ability to accomplish its purpose and solve the problem it encountered in the positive way, helping team members to be open to the new information.
The work in the team involves independent thinking as it includes both staff and the involvement of employees in general work to achieve the set objectives for the team. The team makes it possible to implement projects that are beyond the power of one person and in this case exactly effective communication contributed to cohesiveness in different ways. Observing the team, engaging in a discussion of values, I have noticed that 80% of cases referred to the values were associated with the communicative culture which includes openness, sensitivity, and ability to listen and hear. Indeed, today, a normal human communication becomes a luxury, even in teams. Therefore, working on the formation of values of the team, we specifically set aside time to train our team members to use basic methods of human communication in our team communication. Special communicative training helped us to communicate with one another in more effective way that led to the fact that we have reached resolution of the problem in faster period of time.
Thus, it is possible to say in conclusion that goals, roles, ground rules, and norms are integral components of the existence of every team. All these components helped to determine effectiveness of the work because on their base were also formed special criteria of estimation. There are no doubts that all these characteristics affected the team’s ability to accomplish its purpose and solve the problem because the truth is impossible to memorize, but it is possible to form using own experience. In addition, it was a very useful experience for me because it helped me not only to obtain new knowledge, but also to find an experience of team collaboration.
Davidson, J. & Sternberg, R. (2003). The Psychology of Problem Solving. Cambridge University Press.
Hanlan, M. (2004). High Performance Teams: How to Make Them Work. Praeger.
Melton, J. (2003). When Teams Work Best. Business Communication Quarterly, Vol. 66.