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Team Dynamics

Discuss about the Learning and Collaboration in Innovative Teams.

The effectiveness of a team does have the potential to ensure the volume of success for any project. However, it entirely depends on the project manager how the individual dedicates him/herself to develop a team (Gilley et.al, 2010). Developing effective teamwork and teams have never been limited to any particular organization. This has also been referred to be an approach that can always be used every time there is a project that needs an effective team. Team members must believe in developing a well-organized and coordinated environment; the level of coordination would certainly put constructive impact over the process of goal achievement. Project head or the project managers play a crucial role regarding achieving project aims and objectives. It also is necessary for a team manager or the project manager to consider the 4Cs that would help them to develop most dynamic teams ever. The 4Cs of team development are- "Context," "Composition," "Competencies" and the "Change," "Context" refers to the idea of "Laying down the foundation for ensuring team success." While the "Composition" refers to the idea of "Boarding right sort of individuals/team members in the team." The “Competencies” refers to the idea of "Developing appropriate skills for the team members for ensuring better performance." The "Change" refers to the idea of "Developing more efficient ways of working in team manner" (DeChurch and Mesmer-Magnus, 2010). Successful team building can as well be useful regarding solving precise problems related with teams. Organizational teams are mostly developed with people belonging to different racial backgrounds, educational backgrounds, different ethnicity groups and others, which can always trigger conflicts among them. It is necessary for a team manager to be precise and dynamic and enthusiastic regarding reducing the conflicts. It also is necessary for the team manager or the project manager to get rid of any unhealthy covenant that can reduce the team performance. The four Cs in a combined form can help in designing the best possible teams.

Team dynamics can be referred to be the psychological and unconscious elements that do have the potential to influence team performance and behavior. These can be referred to the idea of undercurrents of sea that can drive boats in a direction that is needed rather intended. These dynamics can be designed in consideration of the team work’s nature, working relationships, individualities within the team along with the environment that the team works within (Cur?eu et.al, 2010). The list of team dynamics that every happy team includes are mentioned underneath:

  • A leader: For obvious reasons, a team needs a leader that would drive the team members to achieve certain goal or objective. One common mistake that every failing team does is they fail to recognize or identify a team leader. The leader wouldn’t give order or to tell team members to do certain task. These individuals would guide and assist the members in attaining their objectives.
  • Establishing responsibilities: Each one of the team member needs to work in collaboration with one another. To do so, they must develop a clear understanding regarding their roles and responsibilities. Such understanding is significant for ensuring success; establishing responsibilities would help each one of the member to evaluate their self-abilities against their responsibilities.
  • Establishing a set of objectives and personal goals: Team members must be aware of the objectives along with their personal goals. Every organization has certain long-term goals that must be achieved; team members would be provided with precise milestones of such projects.
  • Establishing a schedule for supervising tasks: Tasks without a schedule would certainly draw negative or sluggish growth. It is imperative for organizations to set schedules that would strictly be followed by the team members. Organizations must shorten their schedules at times, as analyses show certain groups of people do perform in a better manner under pressurized conditions.
  • Timely and adequate employment of quality tools: Knowledge and precise use of technology are the best possible combination that would drive the team members to perform effectively in their tasks and responsibilities. However, it also is necessary for them to use such tools on perfect time; using tools in an untimely manner would certainly cause zero outcomes (Shelton et.al, 2010).
  • Quick startups: There are situations when teams waste a significant amount of time over discussions, meetings, and other activities. While, there are certain tasks that need quick and dynamic response, wasting time in such conditions would be dreadful.

These above-mentioned team dynamics can be significantly helpful regarding ensuring better and improved team performance. These would certainly enhance the quality of communication that team used to engage previously within, the intensity of motivation, enhanced efficiency and finally the results would be innovative.

It would be entirely unfair to expect a new team to perform in a manner that professionals do, however organizing training sessions would certainly ensure better performance in far future. Bruce Tuckman developed the theory during 1965; Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing are the four fundamental stages of this particular model (Chatenier et.al, 2010). However, he later (during the 1970s) added another (fifth) stage called "adjourning." The model can be referred as a helpful and elegant explanation that is helpful in developing the most effective and efficient team and shaping their behavior. However, there are certain similarities that can be found if compared with other similar models such as with the “Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum” or the “Situational model of leadership” developed by Blanchard; these models were developed quite the same time when Tuckman developed these models. 

Bruce Tuckman's Theory

The theory, in particular, describes that a team, as it grows it tend to hone its abilities, level of maturity, establishes relationships, even the leader tend to make significant modifications in his/her leadership pattern. A leader at his premature stage tends to act as a director, with time and maturity he advances to become a coach, followed by a participatory, then a delegator for finishing things up.

The team depends on the leader extensively, expecting direction and guidance from the individual. Until leader's signal, the team members do not give the team aims and objectives much importance. Team members during this particular stage aren’t much aware of their personal roles and responsibilities. The leaders are accountable for answering multiple questions related to the purpose of the team, external associations and objectives (Morgeson et.al, 2010).

This particular stage is entirely concerned about developing opinions and decisions that would be helpful in attaining final results. However, devising decisions within a team is never easy; team members compete for developing a relation with the team leader and establish dominance over other team members. This competitive environment might clarify the purpose and any other conflict associated with it, but chances of multiple uncertainties persists (Day and Antonakis, 2012).

Consensus and agreement are two common elements that every team develops, which response effectively to facilitation by the leader. During this stage, team members accept their roles and responsibilities clearly. Certain important and big decisions are developed in consideration of team agreement. While smaller or less important decisions are delegated to few group members to deal with (Decuyper et.al, 2010).

Teams tend to be significantly aware at this particular point in time; the team also knows its actions and purposes. At this particular stage, teams are communicated with the vision and mission they are to serve. This helps them to perform their roles and responsibilities without any interference or guidance from the leader. The prime focus of the team revolves around achieving the objectives; however, they are accountable for consulting with the leader whenever needed. Members at this certain point enjoy a great amount of autonomy, disagreements persist in the team but, after this point team members can deal with such aspects successfully (Künzle et.al, 2010).

A typical team does engage an intrapersonal pattern of relation since team members provide assistance and guidance to one another for achieving common goals. This ultimately helps them to achieve the common and shared goal.

As far as the relationship pattern of a team leader and team members are concerned, leaders tend to develop a multifaceted relationship with their teams (Northouse, 2012). A leader has to play multiple roles within their teams throughout different stages ranging from "Forming to Performing." During the initial stage of “forming” the leader has to act as a director, who would give directions to their team members to act in a certain manner. While during the consecutive “storming” stage, the leader initiates gathering opinions and perception to be considered for further performance activities (Künzle et.al, 2010). During the following “Norming” stage, team leaders describe the roles and responsibilities to the team members, and during the final stage, the team members perform their proposed tasks in consideration of the leader’s guidance and supervision. The leader at certain point delegates his/her authoritative control to certain team members for, this helps in developing further leadership skills within those team members. Team leaders don’t hand out their authoritative control to any random team members; they watch over the performances of the team members and then select the person (s) that the powers can be delegated to (Meirink et.al, 2010).

Relation between Team Leader and Team Members

There are certain ways and manner the team leaders can develop a constructive and positive relationship with their team members. These ways are mentioned underneath:

  • Convey clearly: The leader must be clear and precise regarding conveying his/her expectations from each one of the team members. This would help the members be aware of the knowledge that team leader knows their talent individually. Giving verbal boost is another constructive way that would encourage the team members at the time they have to perform a particular task that is out of their comfort zone (Levi, 2015).
  • Demonstrating self-accountability: Showing compassion and faith are two most critical and effective way that team leaders can extract most out their team members. The team leader can also make a projection that his/her superiors do have full faith and are relying to the maximum extent (Hoch and Kozlowski, 2014). The leader must also perform the best performance, which would ensure a role model place among the team members.
  • Developing relationship among team members: A team needs coordination and coordination are not possible without harmony among the team members. It is necessary for the team leader to encourage positive vibe within the team, which eventually would help them to form a team that is positive and effective (Dyer and Dyer, 2013). Team members must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of one another, which would certainly be helpful in case of an absence of the team leader.
  • Being a good listener: A leader must as well be a good listener; a leader cannot just impose his opinions and judgments of the team members. For achieving respect and obedience, the leader would have to listen to what the team members have to convey (Fransen et.al, 2014).
  • Developing personal attachment: Providing glimpses of personal life would certainly encourage better and deeper relationship among the team members. The leader must also encourage the team members to do the same.
  • Building relationship unofficially: Besides from official and professional relation, a good leader would always look forward to building a relationship with the team members outside the office premises. Celebrating birthdays, get together, going for outing more often would certainly be beneficial for developing strongest team (Bryde, 2013).

Teamwork has been defined to be “An accommodating and mutual procedure, which does allow people with average skills attain extraordinary outcomes” (Mahembe and Engelbrecht, 2014). Teams (in an organizational context) have also been referred to be platforms for people to develop mutual relationships that eventually assist every team member to be an integral part of the goal attainment procedure. Working in teams do have significant benefits such as, team members tend to share knowledge and experience with every team member, which automatically enhances the knowledge base of members with inferior working abilities. Every piece of literature dedicated towards the notions of team and teamwork consistently highlight the fact that teamwork is the key to attaining quality results and outcomes. Many literature experts portray the importance of the factor “synergism” and how it contributes towards attaining maximum out of a team (Rushmer, 2013). However, team members must also believe in the practice of reciprocity; they must be adaptive to any change organization intend to bring upon. Teams are made up of employees and employees tend to be highly reluctant to any sort of change that organizations intend to draw upon.

The organizational change means transformation and implementation of new technologies that every employee must learn to operate with. Employees being reluctant to change would certainly act as the major obstacle that would restrict organizations to attain their long and short term objectives. Thus, it is necessary for the employees (team members) to be supple and adapt to any change the organization desires to draw (Thomas and Galla, 2013). Past studies have provided multiple attributes that are essential for ensuring the success of a team along with successful objective achievement. Some of these attributes of successful teams are mentioned underneath:

  • The sense of commitment: The success mantra for most successful teams is that each one of their team members does serve the project objectives with a sense of commitment. They share knowledge, experience, and the shared goal. Authors also advocate that these team members are highly engaged, aims for attaining a highest possible level and motivated to the maximum limit (Driedonks, 2014).
  • Interdependence: Teams must be interdependent, which means they must develop an environment that would encourage them to contribute as a team rather than acting as an individual. Following this fundamental principle would help them to deliver most favorable outcome as there would be multiple brains working on a single objective. The team leader has to play the leading role of motivating, encouraging, contributing and even learning from their fellow team members (Kor and Mesko, 2013).
  • Interpersonal skills: It is as important to consult and convey possible issues as it is to communicate about the objectives. Each one of the team members must develop the ability to communicate freely regarding the probable issues that their project might face during the processing till the finishing tenure. The term “Interpersonal Skills” refers to the basic ability to communicate personal thoughts and opinions with others. In a project management environment, every member’s accountability is vital since, each one of them would be working on separate elements under the same project topic (Hawkins, 2014). Being sound at communicating problems would certainly be beneficial for the project and the person as well, as he/she would get recognized for their ability to communicate in the most effective manner (Nancarrow et.al, 2013).
  • Positive feedback and open communication: Feedback is the key to enhance future outcomes and reduce probabilities of future mistakes in a parallel manner. While at the same time, open communication would help the team members to be communicating with team leader and others effectively. Open communication is a notion that almost 99.99% organizations value that considers "horizontal integration" o an organizational structure, which has no limitation or restriction upon communicating with the paramount personality. While on the other hand, feedback from the paramount personality would certainly be considered on the supreme level of importance (Watkins and Norris, 2013). Although, despite the position of an individual within an organization, every member associated with a project must be given equal importance. Thus, both of these aspects are associated with one another in an inherent manner.
  • Appropriate team composition: Choosing the right team incorporating the right quality people is as vital as it is to decide the number of members that the team would have (Brock et.al, 2013). For obvious reasons, the composition and size of a team do put significant impact over the final outcomes. It entirely depends on the span of team objective how the team leader would compose the team. Optimal size wouldn’t mean that the results would as well be optimal; selecting right quality of people or members is the most vital part of composing a team. In comparison to a large team, few people can never form a team together, and even if they do there wouldn’t be much skills and knowledge to accomplish the common goal. Thus, composing a team together is vital and must be done in the most effective manner (Fapohunda, 2013).
  • Commitment to leadership, team processes, and accountability: The team leader is accountable for ensuring the common goal is being served. However, he/she cannot force the team members to accommodate the goal requirements. It is necessary for the team members to develop the urge or sense of commitment towards serving the common goal. Commitment towards leadership would automatically mean that the team members are committed towards their leader. The members must also agree to the common process for conducting the goal achievement activity. Last but not the least, each member of a team is accountable for their personal contribution and must adhere to the rules and regulations imposed by the team leader and the organization (Wang et.al, 2014).

Conclusion

On the contrary to a successful team, there are times when a team fails to attain its goals and objectives. The same aspects that would contribute to the process of achieving the common goals, if ignored would certainly bring devastating results (Wheelan, 2014). For example lack of commitment; just as there is an abundance of highly driven and committed members, there is an abundance of least interest and motivated members. Such team members do not prefer communicating with other peers and colleagues. As a result, the team and the project are suffering. Thus, it is necessary for the team leader to ensure that he/she is entirely dedicated to ensuring that the members of the team are highly motivated and driven by the principles of teamwork (Banks et.al, 2014). The study overall consistently showcases how well-organized teams perform and show their enthusiasm towards achieving the team goals and project objectives. It also showcases how team attributes are the key to forecast if the team would achieve success or not. It’s not the size of the team but the members in it, the larger team doesn't mean the team would highly efficient, and on the other hand smaller team also doesn’t mean that the team would be inferior. However, size does matter, when it comes to the need for skills, knowledge, and experience.

References

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Brock, D., Abu-Rish, E., Chiu, C.R., Hammer, D., Wilson, S., Vorvick, L., Blondon, K., Schaad, D., Liner, D. and Zierler, B., 2013. Interprofessional education in team communication: working together to improve patient safety. BMJ Quality & Safety, 22(5), pp.414-423.

Bryde, D., Broquetas, M. and Volm, J.M., 2013. The project benefits of building information modelling (BIM). International journal of project management, 31(7), pp.971-980.

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Cur?eu, P.L., Kenis, P., Raab, J. and Brandes, U., 2010. Composing effective teams through team dating. Organization Studies, 31(7), pp.873-894.

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