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Team Dynamics

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Essay title: Team Dynamics

Team Dynamics

Todd Lujan

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Introduction to Team Dynamics

The purpose of any team depends on the reason it was formed. Each team has different goals and outcomes. However, the dynamics of each team are generally the same. Regardless of the end goal of the team, the process of team development will follow a recognizable pattern. Teams are valuable and are frequently used because their ability to develop unique workable solutions. The definition of a team is:

noun 1. A group on the same side, as in a game. 2. A group organized to work together. verb 1. To harness together to form a team.2. To form a team.[From Old English t am] (American Heritage)

There are as many benefits to using a team as there are draw backs. Teams provide enhanced organizational efficiency. This is only true if the team has a solid charter with clear goals and expectations. Thompson, Aranda, and Robbins, discuss a major draw back to groups in Tools For Teams, "Sometimes it is used as a euphemism for suppressing legitimate disagreement with the manager's viewpoints or submitting to the will of others at all costs". (25) One benefit of using a team is to develop the best possible outcome. While the learning curve of a team is flatter than that of the individual, a good team will out perform the individual.

Roles and responsibilities

Each team has different needs, and each member may have different roles and responsibilities. Some of the roles will overlap. There are a number of undefined roles that member fill, sometimes with out their conscious knowledge. According to David Boje PHD, the following four roles are essential in having a balanced team: Trouble Shooters are the problem solvers, negotiators; they focus on putting out fires. Traditionalist are rule and policy makers, inspectors, they focus on hierarchy. Visionaries they are the designers, long range thinkers, they focus on the possibilities. Catalysts seek harmony and cooperation; they focus on people, strong need for positive feedback. (screen 5-6) Obviously there are more formal roles and responsibilities, teams have a leader, recorder, time keeper and members.

FORMING-In this stage, an appropriate team is formed in order to complete a project. After appropriate members are located, they begin forming a common ground and begin to interact to get to know one another and figure out what must be accomplished as a team. Team members learn where they fit into the team.

Defining the Goals of the Team

This is the first stage of team development and the orientation stage of what team members will be best to fit a project. The team must become comfortable and be able to interact to begin work on a given task or project. They each must come together to fulfill a certain goal. In this stage, these goals may still be undefined and the members are just beginning to form and get to know one another. Information is beginning to get exchanged about the task at hand and that may become the first topic of conversation. Ideas and suggestions are beginning to be thrown about and the main goal is communication and organization, in the forming stage. A broad topic must be broken down into smaller parts, so the team has an ability to come together to form a larger project. In this stage, it is important that the team begins to come to an understanding about how the project can be divided and that the common goal is understood. Communication and brainstorming occur in order to form individual goals, once the main goal is established. These goals become much clearer after the initial meeting of members.

Locating appropriate members

It is important that the right people be assigned to a team. In locating members, factors such as expertise and knowledge are taken in to account. Diversity can be an important factor. Diversity of the members can bring in a broader range of ideas and create a number of angles in completing a project. Each member will represent different stages of a given project; therefore, various professions, expertise, ethnics and genders are most likely to be involved and can be important in the development. There are other considerations that can be considered, depending on the project that is to be accomplished, such as; how big is the project? How many members are needed in order to realistically fulfill the given project? What resources are needed in order to make the project successful? The roles for the teams' success must be evaluated. Who will be a leader or facilitator of the group? Who will be the one who

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