Essay Sample on Teamwork

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1255 words
Harvey Mudd College
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Difference between groups and teams

Groups and teams differ in various ways. While both consist of two or more persons, a group it is just a collection of persons who coordinate their individual targets. In the case of a team, the people involved move towards achieving a common goal. The characteristics that make the two distinct include the fact that in a group there is usually one leader, the results are usually from individual efforts and thus there is independence while in a team; the leader is more than one, the work products are as a result of collective effort and therefore there interdependence.

There is usually a sense of common purpose in teamwork because the members realize that they cannot achieve what they want unless they work together. In situations where there is group work, every individual concentrates in doing their tasks that they take no interest in what others are doing or recognize them for their role in achievement of the results thus creating a lot misunderstandings and suspicion. Teams on the other hand have the knowledge on what the composing associates are doing towards the achievement of the desired result and this insight on each others tasks contributes to even better outcomes. The resolution of conflicts in a team usually takes a collaborative approach where everyone takes personal responsibility in resolving it instead of just leaving it to the manager. There is usually more trust the team-playing environment due to the openness of the communication. It also leads to problems getting various perspectives on their solution. The management focuses on getting the commitment of the members to fulfill a certain obligation instead of controlling of what and how the persons involved perform the activities required in the group setup. The fact that there are always avenues created to appreciate people as a feedback mechanism other than complaining only when things go wrong helps to ,motivate the workers into exceeding what they are expected to do.

Behaviors that develop trust at work

Some of the behaviors that can help build trust in an organization include constant communication, admission of mistakes when one is wrong acknowledging the limitations that someone has, members keeping the promises that they make and making sure that they stick to the commitments that they make. Treating others fairly such that there are no favorites also helps in building the trust among the staff especially for those in the positions of leadership. The success of the team should be always be put ahead of the personal ambitions that one has as a leader. It is also important that there is constituency in the way people act and this can be done if rules such as on accomplishment of tasks are given deadlines such as having reports by a certain date. When it comes to leaders in the team, it is vital for them to lead by example in order to give inspiration to have the same behavior. For instance, if you anticipate the colleagues to extend working beyond the stipulated time to accomplish some tasks then you should endorse the idea by doing it yourself.

Role of communication in effective teamwork

The communication skills and its effectiveness are major determinant of the success the team effort will attain. It helps in the building of relationships, promotes the sharing of thoughts and it assists when it comes to coaching and mentoring. Effective communication leads to increased cohesiveness because of improvements in the way teammates relate and helps in development of the careers. It also helps in attainment of goals because every person knows their responsibilities. It serves as a motivator when people in the organization know what expectations are there for them and understand the contribution that their effort has in the overall company success. On the other hand, when there is poor communication it leads to rampant conflicts as the team spends most of the time that they would be engaging in productive use misinterpreting the information. If there are no clear channels then it gives room for rumors to sprout and spread. The team therefore becomes dysfunctional as the relationships between the members suffer from the constant collisions and confusion.

Stages of group formation

The Tuckmans stages for the developing a group are forming, followed by storming, norming, performing and finally adjourning. In the forming phase, it is when the unit is coming together and it usually has the characteristics of anxiety due to a lot uncertainties. The members are usually very careful in the way they behave, as their main aim is to get the acceptance of the members. Anything that can bring about conflict or any controversy such as personal opinions are avoided as the members start to understand each other. The focus of almost everyone is to get familiar with each other and therefore work is not given much keenness. For instance when someone joins a new organization the first time, they are usually very cautious in the way they interact with the other members of staff and their aim is usually to get impressions of others before becoming free with them.

In the storming phase people understand tasks involved and have a general sense of the group in terms its role and the membership. They start to address issues such as responsibilities or even anything they have against the other members and thus there is a lot of competition and conflict here. Some of the people take the opportunity to establish dominance over the others. The norming stage is the point where the cohesiveness of the group forms. The morale of the teammates is normally high as they start to recognize the talent, expertise and experience that each of them possesses. There is a sense of common purpose and thus more flexibility, interdependence and elements of trust among those composing the unit. There is seamless flow of information due to a feeling of security among the members.

In performing, it is clear to everyone in the team why they are doing what they do. The shared vision is clear and therefore the unit does not need the constant input of the leader thus autonomy is high due to the desire to achieve more than the expected. At the adjourning phase , the group breaks up after it has hopefully accomplished its mission and everyone momoves on to new challenges.

Benefits of knowing preferred roles

By having the knowledge of the role preferences of the members of the team, it leads to increase in the contribution they have in overall achievement. The quality of the decisions made in the various tasks also improves. The individual engage more and they get satisfaction from what they are doing thus increasing the motivation levels. There is also a reduction of the conflict occurrence. The reason for this is that the basis of distributing roles to individuals could be on the interests that they have. Most probably, it is what they are comfortable doing and have the matching skills and therefore easily irritable when performing it as it makes them happy.

Importance of effective working relationships

Having good working relationships is beneficial because it leads to improved teamwork. It assists in improving the morale of the employees because of the time that they spend together where friendship grows and they look forward to the next time they meet. The organization also gains from having high rates of employee retention due to the connection they have with the company. Productivity also increases, as the employees are happy in their working environment


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