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The stages of team formation

Question:

Discuss about the Transforming Personal Skills.

The purpose of this report is to reflect on the subject of team-work. The critical self-reflection of this report will help me discover personal strengths and improve areas of weakness. I along with my five siblings decided to work in a team and generate ideas and develop a business plan for a potential family business.  Brainstorming with team members results in free flow of innovative ideas. So working in a team with my five siblings was an incredible experience to generate new ideas and practice skills of entrepreneurship. The experience I have gained from this teamwork has taught me skills of time management, inter-personal communication, ethical communication and these skills will help me in future when I decide to enter the corporate world. In modern era, business organizations operate in a competitive global environment. Multi-cultural teams are part of global organizations and team-work is even prevalent in start-up organizations. Every team of an organization has its own goals, objectives and deliverables which contribute towards the achievement of the overall organizational objective (Belbin 2012).

Context

The first stage of formation of our team was the forming stage (Crawford and Lepine 2013). We were anxious and uncertain during the forming stage of the team. During the forming stage we brainstormed about ideas of a business projects.  During this stage of generating ideas, we were unbiased and avoided conflicts and controversy.  My five siblings and I listed all the ideas that came to our mind without evaluating the feasibility of any of these ideas. In the storming stage of team formation, we analyzed the practical feasibility of each idea.  This stage resulted in constructive conflicts among members of our team. Some of my siblings were more dominant team members while others were less confrontational and tried to suppress their ideas. I acted as a team leader and encouraged our team to evaluate the feasibility of each idea without any personal bias.  The authors Carl Larson and Frank LaFasto in their model of the Five Dynamics of Team Work and Collaboration suggested that team members must share a cordial relationship for the effectiveness of a team and to enhance the skills of problem solving among members of a team(Wang, Waldman and Zhang 2014 ).The authors Douglas Smith and Jon Katzenbach have proposed a triangular model of team work with personal growth, work products and performance results at the three apexes of the triangle(West 2012). I have contemplated from my teamwork that accountability, skills and commitment of each member of the team is important to achieve the objectives of a team. In our team, my younger sibling played the role of a sharper because she loves challenges and is dynamic. I as a team leader played the role of an implementer, team-worker and coordinator. As a coordinator, I had to demonstrate listening skills and delegate duties among members of the team. As a team-worker I gave priority to cohesion among team members. My role as an implementer has taught me to convert ideas of a team into actual actions. Interpersonal communication played an important role in the storming stage of our team. It was essential to adopt an open model of communication among members of our team to minimize the conflicts that resulted in the process of evaluation of the business ideas. I could contemplate on the role of communication within teams in an organizational setting.  In the modern era organizations have adopted flatter structures and encouraged open communication among team members. An open communication model helps in understanding the roles and responsibilities of members of a team and also helps in the management of diversity among team members (DeOrtentiis et al. 2013). I learn to communicate clearly and effectively and respect opinions of my team members from my experience of working in a team. I could relate my experience with the practice of communication adopted by global organizations. In multi-national companies communication plays a vital role to minimize biases and stereotypes related to gender, caste, language and ethnicity that is prevalent in cross-cultural teams (González-Romá and Hernández 2014). In the norming stage of our team, we selected a particular business idea and studied the micro and macro-environmental factors and the competition in the marketplace to benchmark our business idea against the best practices of the industry. The idea we chose was to sale micro-brewery machines for brewing beer at the convenience of home.

The importance of communication and ethics in team functioning

I could contemplate from my teamwork that Goals, Role, Process and Interpersonal relationships play a pivotal role to enhance team performance (Wang, Waldman and Zhang 2014). The goal of our team was to develop entrepreneurship skills by preparing a business plan of a commercially viable business. The practice of setting well-defined goals is prevalent among highly effective teams of business organizations. The goals of a team are specific, quantifiable and the members of a team should be clearly and transparently communicated about the individual roles and responsibilities which will contribute towards the achievement of the objectives of a team. The process of work within a team should have clarity and should be transparent (West 2012).  In our team, the process of work followed a particular sequence of activities like generation of business ideas, evaluation of the ideas, choice of a potential business idea and market research about the idea chosen to prepare the business Plan of our idea.  The performing stage of our team commenced with the preparation of the business plan. The business plan had several parts like the operations plan, the marketing plan, the financial plan and the human resource plan. The performing stage of our team demonstrated high amount of loyalty and members of the team supported each other to prepare the business plan. I played the role of a transformational leader at this stage and the performing stage of our team enhanced my skills of problem-solving. This stage enabled us to accomplish the goal of our team.

During the entire process of working in a team, we followed ethical code of conduct by respecting our team members, avoiding biases and stereotypes and communicating effectively. The role of ethics is indispensable in an effective team. Ethics are the set of conduct that members of a team follow to align their activities with the ethical values of an organization (West 2012).  The ethical code of conduct that we followed in our team was a written code of conduct with mutual agreement followed team members.

From my experience of teamwork, I could contemplate that team-knowledge is essential to understand the process of interaction among members of a highly effective team. The team knowledge can be related to specific tasks that a team undertakes as well as team knowledge can be related to knowledge about individual strength and weakness as well as values, attitudes and inner beliefs of members of a team (Beardwell and Thompson 2014). The team-knowledge is essential for developing cohesion among members of a team and can be positively co-related to the effectiveness of a team.

Setting and accomplishing team goals

I could contemplate from the experience of my teamwork that it is essential to be completely aware about the goals of a team and prepare a plan to achieve this goal. The awareness about environment and situational awareness also plays important role in the formation of a team (Bratton and Gold 2012). I could comprehend that team members should be willing to contribute to execute the plan which will lead to the accomplishment of the goals of a team. From my experience of teamwork, I understood that it is essential for team members to be aware of individual capabilities, strength and weakness in order to efficiently contribute towards execution of the plan. I have discovered some of my strengths and weakness while working on our team. I could contemplate that delegating responsibilities, organization skills, skills of time-management and interpersonal communication are some of my strengths. While working in our team, I played the role of team leader. I could effectively communicate the goals of our team to our team member in the formation stage of the team. I could also handle conflicts among team members during the storming stage. I could contemplate that conflicts rise among members of a team due to difference of opinion among team members.

While analyzing the business ideas of our team, I have noticed that team members expressed different opinions based on personal biases. It was necessary to overcome these personal biases to choose the best idea. Constructive conflicts are essential for members of a team (Bradley et al. 2012). From my experience of team-work, I could demonstrate abilities to create mutual trust and understanding among team members which led to better collaboration among members of our team and effective resolution of conflicts. However, from my experience of teamwork I could also contemplate on my weakness and arenas of personal skills and characteristics which require improvement. I realized that I need to enhance my skills of innovation and creativity as well as analytical skills. I could understand this weakness in the brainstorming sessions. Innovation and creativity plays an important role in organizational teams (Galegher, Kraut and Egido 2014). So, I would like to improve this skill by practicing tools of creative thinking like mind-mapping. During our teamwork, I have developed skills of time management. I delegated a to-do-list among members of our team while preparing our business plan. Time management is an essential sill that enhances team performance because by mastering this skill we can prioritize our tasks and achieve the target of our team. Time management is also important to avoid procrastination and enables team members to accomplish the goals of the team within time (Armstrong and Taylor 2014).  I have discovered that during our team work that networking skills and researching skills were helpful for our team. Organizational teams communicate with the external environment to derive information about competitors, market and customers (Boies, Fiset and Gill 2015). In our team, we demonstrated the ability to embrace changes and flexibility was a part of the work process. In our business plan, we also developed a contingency plan to manage risks effectively. I have understood from my experience of teamwork that some people perform excellently within a team while some others are individual performers. I demonstrated qualities of conscientiousness and extraversion which enabled me to be an effective team performer. I could empathize with my team members and the overall performance of our team was more important to me than individual team performance. However, some of the members of our team were introverted and focused on individual performance. The contribution of these members was also equally important because they demonstrated analytical skills and creativity (Hendry 2012). I could understand that there are some skills like communication, listening techniques, skills to mange conflicts and values like reliability and respectfulness which are essential to be an effective team player. Thus by demonstrating these qualities, I along with my team member could develop a business plan for the micro-brewing machines which will make brewing easy and efficient at the comfort of home.

The role of conflicts in team effectiveness

Conclusion

In the modern era of highly competitive business environment, team-work is of paramount importance to achieve the organizational performance. I developed some of the essential skills of team-work like interpersonal communication and conflict management while working in a team comprising of our siblings. The goal of the team was to develop a business plan for a commercially feasible business. Though this team was developed among members of a family, it has given me opportunity to reflect on my strengths and weakness and develop essential skill sets which will enable me to be an efficient team player in an organizational setting. Our team went through the stages of forming, storming, and norming, performing and adjourning like most other teams. Each stage had its own challenges as well as learning outcome. The teamwork has taught me to respect the opinion of my team members and manage conflicts efficiently. I played the role of a team leader and collaborator and delegating tasks among my team members was an important role that I have played. Also, I could contemplate that it is essential to monitor the performance of a team and check whether our actions are in alignment with the goals of a team in order to enhance the performance of a team.

References

Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.

Beardwell, J. and Thompson, A., 2014. Human resource management: a contemporary approach. Pearson Education.

Belbin, R.M., 2012. Team roles at work. Routledge.

Boies, K., Fiset, J. and Gill, H., 2015. Communication and trust are key: Unlocking the relationship between leadership and team performance and creativity. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(6), pp.1080-1094.

Bradley, B.H., Postlethwaite, B.E., Klotz, A.C., Hamdani, M.R. and Brown, K.G., 2012. Reaping the benefits of task conflict in teams: the critical role of team psychological safety climate. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(1), p.151.

Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2012. Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Crawford, E.R. and Lepine, J.A., 2013. A configural theory of team processes: Accounting for the structure of taskwork and teamwork. Academy of Management Review, 38(1), pp.32-48.

Galegher, J., Kraut, R.E. and Egido, C., 2014. Intellectual teamwork: Social and technological foundations of cooperative work. Psychology Press.

González-Romá, V. and Hernández, A., 2014. Climate uniformity: Its influence on team communication quality, task conflict, and team performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(6), pp.1042-1058.

Hendry, C., 2012. Human resource management. Routledge.

DeOrtentiis, P., K. Summers, J., P. Ammeter, A., Douglas, C. and R. Ferris, G., 2013. Cohesion and satisfaction as mediators of the team trust–team effectiveness relationship: An interdependence theory perspective. Career Development International, 18(5), pp.521-543.

Wang, D., Waldman, D.A. and Zhang, Z., 2014. A meta-analysis of shared leadership and team effectiveness.

West, M.A., 2012. Effective teamwork: Practical lessons from organizational research. John Wiley & Sons.

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My Assignment Help. (2018). Self-reflection Essay: Improving Teamwork Strengths And Weaknesses.. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/transforming-personal-skills-report.

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[Accessed 13 July 2024].

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My Assignment Help. Self-reflection Essay: Improving Teamwork Strengths And Weaknesses. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 13 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/transforming-personal-skills-report.

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