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You have completed a team PechaKucha presentation in week 5. Critically reflect upon the role you have played during the project. In your observations, comment upon the team dynamic, the role you have played and how performance could be improved in your team next time. Tie your critical reflections to the academic literature that you have encountered throughout this semester, especially teams and leadership chapters.

A thorough research and treatment of the contemporary literature in the topic area.

A range of references that should demonstrate breadth and depth of research.

The incorporation of organisational examples as illustrative evidence.


An ability to utilise the wider literature in constructing the narrative is displayed throughout.


A display of critical evaluation and diagnostic skills in the choice of the data included.


A display of critical evaluation in the choice of the information sources used.

Understanding Team Dynamics

Team dynamics can be defined as the atmosphere in the team, which tends to motivate the team members to perform better and understand the objective and goals of the team. Leadership and team conflicts are two factors, which play a key role in building the team dynamics. Recently, as a part of my project on PechaKucha, I had to work with some team members to complete the project (Apesteguia, Azmat and Iriberri 2012). This report throws light on the team dynamics and leadership in the group. The description will be provided along with the critical analysis of the situation. The learning’s taken from the experience have also been given.

While working for the class assignment I was in a group of six members. All the team members were very different from one another but they believed in hard work. The team members were attempting to do the particular task for the first time and all the members were clueless about how to proceed (Baggetta, Han and Andrews 2013). The team leader as appointed by the team members was Mandeep. The quench for gaining new experience and ideas helped to develop the relevant degree of team dynamics necessary. However, there were certain issues that occurred when we were together. Some of the members belonging to the group were extremely late whereas some were quite punctual (Pieterse, Van Knippenberg and Van Dierendonck 2013). This caused brief arguments among the members. Some of the team members were quite rude and did not want to take in the suggestion of our team leader Mandeep. They got cultural issues in between and tried to give an explanation that it was difficult for them to communicate with the leader (Bradley et al. 2013). Despite these issues, the project undertaken was a successful one.

The members of the group belonged to different cultural backgrounds. It is a well-known fact that culture plays a key role in communication and tends to have an impact on the leader and member relationship. As the different members belonged to different backgrounds, the members had communication problems with one another especially the leader (Warner, Bowers and Dixon 2012). A particular member was extremely rude to the leader and used to tease him because of his accent. He would not pay attention to the various discussions, constantly interrupt, correct others, and make rude comments on their accents (Braun et al. 2013). The leader tried to avoid it for some time; however, it was extremely difficult to do so when the member behaved in that manner almost all the time. The leader was in a state of dilemma. According to Jonsen, Maznevski and Davison (2012), leadership plays an important role in any assignment and there are certain cultural factors present that tend to have an effect on the leadership and their relationship with the various team members. This is where the role of a leader is tested. A leader should be able to lead in a primary manner and not reflect his cultural background in his leadership style. It has been stated that culture plays a key role in determining the leadership style of the leader (Buckingham and Goodall 2015). However, if the leader had applied the principles of leadership in his style, these problems would not have taken place. Later the issue got resolved as the team members felt motivated by the leader and his consistent efforts to blend the teams together. It is the duty of a leader to motivate the employees and make them reach their potential (Warner, Bowers and Dixon, 2012). Mandeep was successful in doing that and hence, was successful in the task. I believe it is the duty of a leader to motivate his team members and take them to the path of success.

Leadership and Cultural Diversity

The team in the early stages of the formation of the group had got into an argument regarding the punctuality of team members. Since all the students had different schedules, it was extremely important that the team members reached at the previously discussed time for the meetings so that everyone`s schedule was not affected. However, certain team members were unable to reach on time and this had upset the punctual team members as they felt that their time was not being valued. Team conflicts are a common part of any team. Team conflicts may arise at any point of time and they are unavoidable (Georgiadis 2014). However, it is extremely crucial that the teams members resolve the matter quickie and understand that the goals that a team needs to achieve are more important than their internal needs. It is extremely important for the leader of the team to make sure that the situation where the team conflict arises is addressed at an early stage of conflict (Schippers, Homan and Knippenberg 2013). If a conflict is identified at an early stage then it becomes easier to resolve it. For the well-being of the group, it is extremely necessary for the leader to solve the issue in an organized manner and see to it that all the members of the teamwork in harmony.

My experience from the team was quite satisfactory. I was given the role of searching for information about the social responsibility. The leader was extremely cooperative towards me, understood my queries, and responded accordingly. From the given case,  I understood that the role of a leader is extremely important in any given situation and that the leader must take considerable efforts in order to understand the requirements of each team member and allocate them tasks accordingly (Haines III  and St-Onge 2012). He must also understand the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the team members. This shall help him to strategize and plan accordingly. I also learnt that,  in a group there may be members belonging to different cultural backgrounds. In such a case, the members need to oblige by the different cultures and not make fun of any culture. It is the responsibility of the leader to make sure that the team members’ work as one and that his leadership style, although affected by the culture he belongs to, should not come in his way of making fair judgments. Lastly, I also learnt that team conflicts form an essential part of team (Pichler 2012). They are not good for the health of the team but they cannot be avoided easily. Where there are different members in a team who have different ideologies and different takes on aspects it is obvious that they may not agree at everything. It is important that the conflicts be identified at an early phase so that they can cause fewer rifts among the team members and are resolved easily.  The role of a team leader is extremely important in case of a conflict as he is the main guide of the team and his responsibility lies in the welfare of the team.

Managing Team Conflicts

Conclusion

Therefore, from the discussion it can be stated that working in a team is tougher than working individually. A person with good communication skills and an open mind will be able to adjust in a team easily when compared to a person who is not that comfortable in social interactions. The role of a leader needs to be envisioned clearly in the beginning of the group formation phase in order to make sure that there lies no confusion with respect to what is expected out of him. The leader needs to be a person with a strong personality who needs to understand the requirements of all the members and act accordingly. Team conflicts have a crucial impact on the bonding between the team members and this bonding needs to be kept strong at all times. The members of the team need not be judgmental about each other. Our team had faced certain problems regarding these issues initially however, later on their rose a mutual understanding between the various group members and our performance could be described as good.

References

Apesteguia, J., Azmat, G. and Iriberri, N., 2012. The impact of gender composition on team performance and decision-making: Evidence from the field. Management Science, 58(1), pp.78-93.

Baggetta, M., Han, H. and Andrews, K.T., 2013. Leading associations: How individual characteristics and team dynamics generate committed leaders. American Sociological Review, 78(4), pp.544-573.

Bradley, B.H., Klotz, A.C., Postlethwaite, B.E. and Brown, K.G., 2013. Ready to rumble: how team personality composition and task conflict interact to improve performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), p.385.

Braun, S., Peus, C., Weisweiler, S. and Frey, D., 2013. Transformational leadership, job satisfaction, and team performance: A multilevel mediation model of trust. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), pp.270-283.

Buckingham, M. and Goodall, A., 2015. Reinventing performance management. Harvard Business Review, 93(4), pp.40-50.

Georgiadis, G., 2014. Projects and team dynamics. The Review of Economic Studies, 82(1), pp.187-218.

Haines III, V.Y. and St-Onge, S., 2012. Performance management effectiveness: practices or context?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(6), pp.1158-1175.

Jonsen, K., Maznevski, M.L. and Davison, S.C., 2012. Global virtual team dynamics and effectiveness. Handbook of research in international HR management, pp.363-392.

Pichler, S., 2012. The social context of performance appraisal and appraisal reactions: A meta?analysis. Human Resource Management, 51(5), pp.709-732.

Pieterse, A.N., Van Knippenberg, D. and Van Dierendonck, D., 2013. Cultural diversity and team performance: The role of team member goal orientation. Academy of Management Journal, 56(3), pp.782-804.

Schippers, M.C., Homan, A.C. and Knippenberg, D., 2013. To reflect or not to reflect: Prior team performance as a boundary condition of the effects of reflexivity on learning and final team performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(1), pp.6-23.

Warner, S., Bowers, M.T. and Dixon, M.A., 2012. Team dynamics: A social network perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 26(1), pp.53-66.

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