What makes and effective team opposed to an ineffective team
At one time or another in our lives we are required to work with others as part of a team, whether it be for school or the working environment. Everyone can attest to how rewarding it can be to work with others, but also how challenging and even frustrating it can be all at once so then why are some teams more effective than others. The most effective teamwork happens when individual contributors coordinate their efforts and work toward a common objective that are set out. Good teams are made through hard work, commitment and frustration which usually bring success. Teams that have persevere and found the ways to create a cohesive group are rewarded with higher productivity, a decrease in internal struggles and a more enjoyable working experience.
The best leaders are reliable and usually follow through on their commitment always willing to provide the necessary leadership that is required by the team. Micromanaging nor a complete hands-off approach is never the best approach, for a team needs a leader who is available and approachable, one who listens and values the input of the team members, who resolves issues speedily and recognizes them for a job well done. While it is critical to have a specific set of roles and responsibilities for each team member, on the most effective teams assigned tasks roles are resilient and flexible. Team members are willing to take on more responsibility and do work that may not be in their job description just to get the job done and they do so collaboratively. The idea is not to be power hungry and dominant, but to enhance the other team member’s efforts in this regard. The best teams are the one where members take responsibility for their own tasks and the overall completion of the goal.
The right team members bring about a diversity of thought, experience and skills to a team. Leaders who recognize and encourage team diversity are rewarded with inventive new ideas of accomplishing a job. Effective teams are always willing to try new solutions to old problems, they are also open to new or creative suggestions and don’t shut down any solution without consideration.
Within the most effective of teams, communication are regular and interactions with team members as well as the team leaders essential. Regular team meetings are proven beneficial to discuss the ongoing assignments, if problems arise during brainstorming ideas, discussion should be dealt with as soon as possible. Impromptu meetings, emails, whatsapp and conference calls are the fastest ways to communicate. The first rule of communication is listening making clear that all ideas are considered, and listening to feedback from everyone else before commenting.
Conflict usually happens in every teams for creating new ideas and solutions can come from differences of opinion. Even though conflict happens it should not be discouraged. Putting a process in place as soon as possible after a conflict occur, a level of trust is required in doing so. If persons are respectful enough keep the conversations professional, listen to each other and this trust will develop naturally.
This model was first developed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. It is one of the most known team development theories and has formed the basis of many further ideas since its conception. Tuckman’s theory focuses on the way in which a team tackles a task from the initial formation of the team through to the completion of the project. Tuckman later added a fifth phase; Adjourning and Transforming to cover the finishing of a task.
Tuckman’s theory particularly relates to team building as it pertains to the completion of any project that is undertaken. Out of this beneficial team building assignment, is that within a short period of time, we had the opportunity to observe each other attitudes and behaviours within a specific time frame.
The team was form with two members of another group and our group and the task was allocated. Team members in general tend to behave independently and although cordial behaviour did exist we did not know each other well enough to confidently trust one another. Our time was spent in gathering information, generating ideas and collaborating.
Our team started addressing suggested task ideas. Many different ideas started to compete for the roles that are to be played out, if it was poorly managed this phase could have been very destructive for the team for ideas started to bring about a bit of tension at intervals.
Our team kept focused on the objectives of the assignments plan which proved the importance of having a team that had strong organisational and leadership skills.
As our team moved into the Norming phase it brought into it the harmonious working practices as we started agreeing on the rules and values by which we operate.
We began to trust themselves and started accepting the vital contribution of each member to the team, at this stage as every individual member started to take greater responsibility.
The only threat I feared during the Norming stage is hoping that no team member became complacent and started losing their creative edge or enthusiasm that brought them to this stage in the assignment.