Leadership and Teamwork
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In the contemporary business and social arena, there are diversification of interest and need for specialization, which comes with competency culminating to ample returns. These factors have resulted to teamwork being inevitable and effective teamwork being a must, but not an option. These teams will require a leader of influential caliber to spearhead the team’s undertaking, maintain team cohesion, and steer team development and learning. In this manner, the team will be adequately suited to assume the responsibilities and commitments bestowed to it. Therefore, it is imperative to understand how teams come to play, develop, learn, and withstand the day to day challenges and emerge successfully. This paper will address vitality of team building, principle of effective training, phases of team development, communication in teams, and how team learns.
“Two heads are better than one” when it comes to handling a task (West, 2012). In this respect, teamwork has been embraced and patronage leadership sourced with the aim of sustaining these groups. It is imperative to champion for team development if the team has to realize its full potential in cruising through a rough path and deliver amicably. A well-developed team means a strong team that is capable of overcoming their team members’ differences for the common goal of the team (West, 2012). For instance, a developed team will be able to refrain from allowing personal interest skew the team from it vision course. Working together may at times be challenging due to diversities of view, yet consensus is inevitable for the sake of moving on as a team. The ability to remain solid, solve conflicts and problems affecting a group in a professional approach can only be realized in a developed group. This will also prevent cases of stagnation at one point, either project wise or team wise. The main goal in a team is boosting speed and scale of achievement through coalesces of different capabilities of all the team members (Diamond, & Diamond, 2007). This will certainly be achieved within the borders of an effectively developing team.
Effective training principles are the values that facilitate ease training while aiming at attaining the best results for the group. Every team player has to respect each other’s opinion and embrace open-mindedness in a discussion forum. The core principles of training that need to be observed in teams include understanding the goal, creativity, competency and persistency (Humphrey, & Over, 2010). It is only through coherent understanding of team’s goal that all team players will walk the same path. For example, a team comprising of IT experts, Marketers, Doctor, Lecturer and Lawyer seems to have divergent line of specialization, yet with a common goal they can form a winning team. The goal bids them together. Creativity will revitalize the learning process while competency enables the team players to be committed to their task. It is through persistency in pursuing their dreams that the team will achieve its mission.
A team undergoes several stages of development right from the time of creation to dissociation. There are five stages of team development. The first four were postulated by Bruce Wayne, in 1965 while the last was added by after a collaborative study conducted by Bruce Wayne and Mary Jensen, in 1977 (Diamond, & Diamond, 2007). The first stage is forming, which entail coming together of the team members and familiarizing with the project intended to be initiated. It is a crucial stage that requires the leader to facilitate setting of team norms, goals and objectives that are inclined to the vision and mission of the group. The second stage is storming, which is the most challenging stage. Team members will be in conflict of interest as they try to understand and accept each other’s ideas. The leader has to remain vigil and directive to ensure that the teams avoid breaking in to personal or emotional approaches addressing their issues. For instance, team members will be fighting for status in the group, and the most vocal may gain favor, resulting to feeling of discrimination or demeaning among the less vocal groups. After the team has survived storming stage, it progresses to norming stage, which is characterized by the sense of understanding and less competition for status (Diamond, & Diamond, 2007). The team comes in to terms on the approaches of handling their problems. The leader is expected to offer guidance and motivate the team members to remain on course. The fourth stage is the performing phase where members are fully committed and dedicated to achieving the goals of the team. Motivation is derived from team success, and there are minimal conflicts to be resolved (Humphrey, & Over, 2010). However, over trusting each other may lead to division of responsibilities threatening the group to fall back to storming stage. The last stage is adjourning where dissolution of the teams ensues after completion of the project successfully. Once the goals are achieved, the team dissolves for the wellness of the members. For example, after the last paper in a semester is completed, most discussion groups will witness adjourning stage.
A team will mostly depend on effective communication for realization of results. Where more than one individual is involved in a project, relay of messages has to be aptly strategized (Humphrey, & Over, 2010). This will avoid confusion, which can result in skewing from the main course of action. For instance, passing information from party A to B, the B to C, then C to D will end up distorting the message. The message reaching D will somehow be different from that reaching B. Therefore, it is advisable to pass information from source to all members directly without involving intermediate channels. For example, favorable form of communication involve memos and during meetings.
Individuals are unique in broad ways and bring in different capabilities in a team. However, the diversities in interest, personality and approach to topics may create an unfavorable environment amounting to conflicts (West, 2012). Harnessed aptly, these diversities can a concrete and most solid foundation of group success. Therefore, the leader has to devise a plan on how every person will invest his capabilities in the team for the benefit of meeting the set goals and objectives. Teams learn from previous mistakes, from each other, and through mentorship. Of all these learning approaches learning from each other reinforces the team stability. For example, team members will correct each other giving moral and psychological support.
In conclusion, teamwork is the answer to solving the many challenges in the society that requires inputs from different approaches. It should be noted that not all teams survive to maturity. Teams have to develop effectively, evolve through adequate training, and embrace effective communication to realize full potential gains.
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