1. Description of my team, project, and your perception of its performance.
Since today is an epoch of organizational reform and innovation, this is also a time which is marked with rapid changes in the demography of workforce, changing corporate culture, and changing institutions (McKenna, 2000). People live and work within the framework of some kind of organization, a context that provides written and unwritten, formal and informal rules and guidelines about how its members should conduct themselves. Individuals belong to different families and each family has distinct religious beliefs that differ from another family. Referring to the theoretical viewpoint of Bruce Tuckman concerning how groups are formed whether these groups can be seen in formal or informal organizations and set-ups of all kinds. This is especially applied on the teamwork and/or teambuilding.
Understandably, before teamwork is effectively put in place and in operation, the first three stages or phases should have taken place. People adjust to new things and new situations and as Tuckman describes it, it is inherent in the process that progression from non-cohesiveness to more cohesiveness; which also implies that people cooperate less and then if the norming is achieved, will exhibit cooperativeness among themselves. This is also the process of teambuilding. Sadly, many organizations have not manifested teamwork or have not achieved the performing stage where tasks become important to everybody but not only that, all contributions from all members are crucial and necessary. In my case, it is fortunate that I had developed a bond that enabled us to fulfill our responsibilities such that Frontier Airlines became a worthwhile endeavour. Performance in our respective tasks was more than at a minimum level and this was decidedly dependent upon our personalities working together in a cohesive and cooperative manner. A good performance in this project was expected since the adjustment to one another’s capabilities, strengths and limitations were recognized, accepted and tolerance was noticeably evident.
Our team obviously had one who took his place as the leader and this was agreed unanimously. Understandably, this is critical as well to our group’s success. My understanding is that leaders should be able to manage and must possess leadership traits or abilities. The leader occupies a position that enables him to recognize the specific areas that can be handled by his group. He has people skills or traits that make him handle his members better or effectively (Clement, 1981).
2. Analysis of my team’s productivity and process.
As a team aspiring to accomplish specific tasks and goals on a project such as Frontier Airlines, our strategy to attain the desired output had somehow succeeded. Both the process and productivity had no evidences of mediocrity; rather, a great camaraderie ensued as well as satisfaction in our performance had been attained. All this despite the conflicts we inevitably encountered along the way. Individual personal conflicts are inevitable occurrences that are usually taken for granted because of its “ordinariness.” Unless people undertakes a formal study on conflict management, he/she goes through life hitting and missing (at most) at ways of resolving issues and inner conflicts and in all probabilities, somehow manages to escape conflicts. The following important features in team dynamics are specifically indicated here and described precisely because these are crucial points in developing effective management of conflicts and developing efficient team dynamics such as what we have experienced. Defining conflict, it is the “state of disharmony brought about by differences of impulses, desires, or tendencies” (Rayeski & Bryant, 1994, p. 217). There are benefits as to the presence of conflicts but definitely when these are worked out. It includes the following:
– Facilitating Team building through a variety of strategies
Working teams in relationship to conflict resolution strategies provide benefits including personal and team growth as team members acquire insights with relationships and how these relationships are utilized to better reach worthwhile goals. In addition, working teams have optional choices rather than solitary attempts at confronting conflicts, such as higher possibility arriving at the solutions of the problems, promoting cohesiveness among the team, and increasing the involvement or participation of members.
– Team agreements
Team agreements start off with ground rules to be able to achieve or attain at something. Because we realized that irritations are unavoidable, we made sure that ground rules were thoroughly discussed at the outset and evaluated along the way. Coordination in any given work must take into careful account that everyone starts at somewhere and concur at a particular set of guidelines to direct the group to definite goals. Uncoordinated teams will still definitely go somewhere but perhaps not where they or someone in charge of them would want them to be. What are involved then in team agreements? Team agreements develop, protect and help preserve unity and the aspects this specifically takes on are the responsibilities and expectations, communication, participation, decision making and problem solving, managing those disagreements, conduct of participants or “cooperators” during and between meetings and consequences. The baseline agreements like these are different when management of conflict is the issue. Research reveals that whenever teams utilize this strategy, difficulties and even conflicts are reduced to a minimum (Davison, 2003).
Disagreements with how one sees life situations are just a few of the reasons that conflicts happen so ordinarily. Just as conflicts are also integral parts of daily existence so does negotiating through them. Studies reveal that there is “no one size fits all” when it comes to navigating the disagreements and weather through storms where conflicts are concerned. However, there are principles that are observed when successful conflict management has taken place. Managers, group leaders or any person who handles a team must have the abilities to handle people problem before this proceeds or develops into a team problem or before this affects performance. Conflicts therefore must be confronted and understood at the individual level where a person experiences inner personal struggles at varying degrees. However, this short study tackles in detail a much larger picture as it attempts to provide a succinct look at conflict resolution strategies in the area of team dynamics by examining, describing and explaining various concepts as to the understanding of these significant concepts (Davison, 2003).
3. Analysis of your contributions to your team’s performance and process.
Acceptably, I was the least contributor between them but I did well in terms of my skills. However, it was not something that can be easily taken for granted. My role and the tasks and responsibilities I accomplished, though not as grandiose as my other team members nevertheless were not inconsequential nor were they dispensable. They served as the bolts and nuts that tie loose ends together and provide strength to all the different big pieces. During the procedure of making our respective contributions, there were no qualms about the distribution of tasks and assignments hence, the reason that conflicts never arose after attaining our goals. There was maximum tolerance in the procedures as well as being accepting specifically in the limitations and overall performance of each member of the team. From time-to time s person may be placed in a job not exactly suited to his qualifications or be given responsibilities that he is not prepared to handle. It is important that the group recognize such errors promptly and take immediate corrective action (Davison, 2003). This doesn’t necessarily mean that the member should be eliminated, although sometimes, this may have to be done. This requires knowledge of the member’s skills and interests, so that the employee’s skills and interests, so that person may be placed in tasks where he can utilize his skills and be fully productive. In the last analysis, the group’s position in the overall organization, its competitive advantage, it’s profitably or productivity, its success as a business enterprise (if any) will depend largely upon members’ caliber, talent, and productivity (Davison, 2003).
Though efficiency is something that is expected in the context of team performance and where people are evaluated on this term, generally speaking, we consider one person more efficient than another if he accomplishes more in the same time, or with the same energy expenditure. Other factors that have an important bearing on efficiency are: (1) the adequacy of training for the job; (2) the characteristics of the machine and other devices; (3) the motivation and related conditions of work; and (4) the degree to which performance is free from fatigue. In our case, I consider myself as an efficient person since the skills, contributions and total output I made was more than adequate and sufficient. It must be mentioned here that I was greatly motivated to render a good performance right from the start. Working relationships are a central portion of a person’s life. Motivation and dedication to any endeavor (e.g. work) and the pleasure from it are collective concerns of the organization and the individual. There are definite factors that generate satisfaction, the so-called “motivator” factors according to Hertzberg. These factors push the worker to the highest levels of accomplishment possible. They are an inherent part of the work itself and consist of the nature of the work, the person’s sense of achievement, level of responsibility, and individual development and improvement. These motivator needs can only be rewarded by stimulating, challenging, and absorbing work. Consequently, the goal of motivation should be to enhance individual growth and advancement, develop sense of accomplishment and liability, and provide recognition (Davison, 2003).
At the motivational level, it is theorized that resistance to change is decreased if individuals participate in decisions regarding change and that individuals accept and are more committed to decisions in which they have participated in making. The best incentives I believe in my case was the fulfilment that I did a good job, my ideas were incorporated and there was fun in all that we did.
Effectiveness or efficiency is measured in terms of the application of what the members have learned and they have expended these during the course of the project. This application in turn is affected by various factors, the most important of which is the organizational framework and climate within which to apply the ideas learned from the course. Group cooperation is not considered effective until it is well-integrated and successfully applied in a given project for which it was intended. Not all knowledge or skill can be used immediately in all situations but the individual person will have it ready for his use when the need arises (Clement, 1981).
Vital to the life and continuity of a team or organization is the proper dissemination of information. This includes enough knowledge of those things and people that are involved in the whole set-up. When team communication is prioritized, teamwork is enhanced and the achievement of goals is within reach. There are many more qualities that can enhance team communication; nevertheless, this paper limits its approach to only three strategies. However, the smallness of amount of strategies in this thesis does not mean lack of comprehensiveness in dealing with the need for effective communication. The points herein discussed are generic and therefore applicable to any given situation and can be expanded to cover other details necessary to secure good communication in a team (Davison, 2003).
In a work group, the individuals are human beings with widely different feelings, aspirations, and thoughts. As long as they think for themselves, misunderstandings and complaints are inevitable. A person who thinks he is mistreated is mentally and emotionally tense. This tension affects his performance because he becomes more occupied with his personal troubles than with his work. One of the most important aspects of the day-to-day relations within a certain group is the manner in which the problems (real or imagined) are treated. These relations can be materially improved by setting up a workable procedure for entertaining one’s complaints. The day-to-day problems must be skilfully handled and settled as promptly as possible. The speedy settlement of grievance is essential to harmonious relations within the group (Clement, 1981).
Clement, R.W (1981). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Management training. Human Resources Management, Volume 20, pp.8-13.
Davison, Sue Canney (2003). Creating Working Normas and Agreements. Accessed May 31, 2009 < www.genderdiversity.cgiar.org/CreatingWorkingAgreementsDavison3.doc >
Rayeski, E., & Bryant, J. D. (1994). Team resolution process: A guideline for teams to manage conflict, performance, and discipline. In M. Beyerlein & M. Bullock