Working as a team means that there is a performance of a certain function in a collaborative manner. A group is therefore built by people who have a variety of skills, each one of them possessing a unique from the other and having a different task who work together on a common project. They might as well work on a service or goal which they have set together for an overall development of their organization (Procter and Radnor, 2014, p.149). The group would however cease to exist as a whole if people acted on their own and without overlooking their differences and diversities. The measure of a group’s achievement and accomplishments can be looked at a view of the products that the group is able to produce collectively. The driving principle for a work group is collaboration, respect and creativity which always result to trust and maximized production (Levi, 2015, p. 33).
Personally, I have been in a position to experience a wide scope in a team work. I remember when I joined the Gulf International Bank Limited as an accountant after being a student in Wales university. Each of us had their role that was to play in the insurance department that I was working under. In our group of twelve, we were also supposed to team up and reach the public, teach them on the services we offer as a bank and call them out to enjoy our services. In our workplace, I came to realize that each of us would display their unique behaviours in the group.
Group structure and the development process
The group we had, came from the need that arose in our work place to reach out to the public on our services as the insurance experts in the Gulf International Bank Limited. Our visible structure started from agreeing on the divisions of tasks, labour, roles and responsibilities so as to get the essential and important duties performed. This was the formational stage. At the start, the deal was discussed among the members as we laid our opinions on how we would make it a successful group. The duties shared among the twelve members were in some different positions like, the chairperson, the secretary, the treasurer, the welfare director, the interest coordinator, communication and transport coordinator, the organising secretary and finally the Public relation coordinator. The task was to be accomplished after a period of six (6) months. According to Tuckman (2000), the group structure was prospected to go through the whole formation process as per the Tuckman’s model, that is, from forming, storming, norming, performing and mourning. To my observation, all went on as planned. The norming stage came to the situation where we were to solve our differences and start working out our conflicts for the development of our group (Engleberg et al., 2017, p.13). After all, we were able to move to the performance stage and this is where we were to implement all our key issues and move forward to the actual group’s activities.
Reflection on real life experiences with the Group dynamics theories and models
In reflection to Belbin theory of team roles, I discovered that every one of us would act on roles that Belbin talked about in the nine contributions that people in the workplace play. In my group, one of the role that I perceived was the resource investigator role that a team member played (Meredith, 2011, p.57).
When we happened to attend an insurance campaign, I was very curious and inquisitive on how we would go about our task. The role I reflected was the resource investigator role. I just noticed that at time I would be overwhelmed by joy and grew over optimistic when I thought that the experience could be very productive and earn me more shares on the exercise. However, my role was empowered towards bringing up a chance for my group members to carry out a productive exercise (Batenburg, Walbeek and Maur, 2013, p.901).
The team secretary was noticed to exhibit some skills in developing the groups cohesion. She was in a position to strengthen the social bonds between the group members in that, he was able to create internal discussions on how each of us would make the group stronger and active for the aim of reaching the populations with our services. The main components of the group cohesion were well considered. The social relations on how one would relate to the team member of any gender and discuss issues was a lesson. How one would undertake the task relation process, the perceived unity and also how people in the group unit would handle the emotional relationships within themselves and also with the others (Pöysä-Tarhonen, Elen, and Tarhonen, 2016, p.787).
Some people in the group, especially our Organizing secretary seemed to play the plant role. From what he possessed, he was so creative all through the endeavours. He was a problem solver and always strived to have things work right for the whole group. He could imagine things out and come up with a concrete wholeness of ideas during the program. Though he could at times be pre-occupied to communicate effectively, that did not overtake his admirable team development skills (Bradley, Anderson, Baur and Klotz, 2015, p.243).
However, the group members seemed to have difference in opinions and thoughts, the experience could whatsoever show that each individual was a little different from the other. Though sometime there was duplication of roles, that is, two or more people who had interests in the same role, the cases were rare and of course very minor in our team.
Other roles that a group participant could play, according to Belbin (2011), are for example; specialist role, which its possessor brings in-depth knowledge and skills of a specific area of the team, secondly there is also the shaper role possessed by a member who provides group directions on the moves to take and the ones to assume, the implementer’s role who plans the working strategies and finally the completer finisher who is mostly used along the end of the group task to polish and scrutinize the work, produce the reports on the errors and areas which need amendments for the aims of high standard work (Ooi, 2015, p. 52).
The most interesting bit is that though the diversities of the members, socially, economically and also intellectually and emotionally, there were things in common in our group. The members could all show that the actions and steps they took, even the decisions and ideas they brought to table, would be reflected towards the interests of the group and its development to achieve the group objectives.
The group evolving performance and the mourning phase
As time went by, the members of the group would realize that they gave member ‘A’ a specific task but later, they could realize member ‘B’ would do it better and therefore, there emerged the shifting of duties. Group members realized some more potential from their friends and they were forced to re-organise the line of responsibility with time. Personally, as a secretary of the group, I was shifted to a new position and I was made the transport and communication coordinator from the vast knowledge I got in this area (Kameda and Tindale, 2015, p.443).
Some members started to lose interests and some were bored in the process. Before achieving the aims and objectives of the group, every member who was seen to lose interest on what we were doing in the field for the six months the group was functional, we were to sit down or call an emergence meeting and go through our norms as a group and motivate each other.
The group finally achieved its goals as it was able to meet its objective in manipulating the public on the Insurance services that our bank company would offer. At this stage, the group’s project draws to an end. After this, the members found themselves departing from the group. However, the objectives were met and the banking company found that our team had done much under unity and oneness in the whole operation. I had much to learn on the people’s personality and the group dynamics from that experience (Brawley, Flora, Locke and Gierc, 2014, p200).
Improving team performance
Team performance can be improved in a variety of ways. One of them is by following the correct procedures of group formation. According to Tuckman (2000), a group has five stages of formation. They are; forming, storming, norming, performing and mourning (Rickards and Moger, 2000, p.273). The first three stages are very important. A group cannot assume the first three phases and expect to perform. This gives all the reasons for any team with a common goal to follow keenly these phases.
Division of duties are also very crucial in a group. I can testify from my reflected experience that duplication of duties or the so called multitasking would not work appropriately in a group (Meredith, 2011, p.57). In fact, each team member should be given a task to perform as no man or woman who is totally blank of ideas therefore, let every person, as long as he is a team member, participate in the group roles and activities. Our group for instance was successful for the fact that duties were shared appropriately among the members.
Another thing that a group can do to be active is having well stated aims, objectives and clearly noted motives. What directs the group is the goals and the vision of the group. The team’s objectives entails all what it wishes to meet. The reason as to why the group exists should be known by the members (Seck and Helton, 2014, p.160). If a new member joins the group, they should be oriented using these stands that were laid by the beginners of the group. If the group fails to state these elements properly, they could easily miss the mark and go astray and the likelihood of the group to collapse before meeting its objectives is as well high.
Team performance could show better results than individual working. When people co-operate in a group, they can be able to accomplish much than obvious. According to the theories and models discussed by Belbin (2011) and Tuckman (2000), it is evidently clear that groups have diversification of skills and abilities which cannot be possessed by a single individual. Utilizing these skills makes the difference as one is in a position to explore other peoples streams of thoughts at all views and critically appraise or moderate theirs (Batenburg, Walbeek and Maur, 2013, p.901). However, the efficiency of the team could fail to be hundred percent but it can at least be higher than individualised working. There are many shortcomings of working as a group as mistakes happen. The way to handle them can be different and in the team, there could be better solution to a problem as the problem solving skills are present amongst many people (Billson, 2015, p.83).
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