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Managing effective teams

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There is something about the quality of uncensored interaction among group members in a team that makes it unique as a group process. There is not and never has been another situation in living which parallels group. This is true historically as well as cross-culturally (Halpern). In a team, people gather together to share with each other as completely as possible their uncensored reactions to one another so that each may experience growth that will carry over to life outside the group.

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Thus, to expect that members will know how to process is unrealistic. The manager must take the responsibility of inducting his members into ways of using the uniqueness of a group and its teamwork.  (Halpern).

Teamwork process

Managers must not to anticipate that group members instantly know team work skills. There are no experiences in most of our lives which even begin to approach the team experience. The skills needed to interact productively in the uniqueness which is the team are quite different from those which keep social interactions comfortable.

Polite consideration of other’s feelings is important in any social interaction especially those belonging to a team. (Schwarz, 1995, 99-103). Managing teams is a skill and managers remind team mates to forego their normal social habits when in a team. Members are asked to attempt temporarily to give up customary politeness and good manners, to refrain from censoring, and to respond to other group members with multi-level presentation of self. This is however, all done with utmost respect for each member in the team. Team members are requested to divulge their feelings, their thoughts and their spontaneous reactions to each other freely without sanctions about the usual social rules of appropriateness. Members are to interact with each other at levels which would be awkward if maintained consistently in the world outside the group. It is here where facilitation can help groups develop their effectiveness. (Schwarz, 1995, 99-103).

Uniqueness of teams

Each prospective group member should explore in depth, in the privacy of the counseling office, his anticipations of group membership, his fantasies of what he imagines group might be like, what he expects to happen, how he expects to feel, will he like the experience, and does he fear it? Berne (1966) calls this fantasy of group life the “group imago” and points out that this is private and unique for each member. Berne (ibid, p. 153) also states that a member’s group imago” is the most decisive structural aspect for the outcome of an individual’s therapy. The leader who explores each potential group member’s fantasy concerning group membership will gain important idiosyncratic information about each member which will be useful in specifying objectives (Berne, 1966).       Managing teams implies that each member takes full responsibility for the success of the organization. It is a place where people can make mistakes and learn. Accountability is something a person chooses for himself, without having to hide or fear being caught. Members still have to hold themselves and others accountable, But that does not mean that it will automatically happen. (Otto). It is here where an effective manager tests his/her effective management skills of teams.

‘Teaching’ Team members

It is clearly a function of managers to “teach” group members to have teamwork and to transmit to group members an understanding of their unique characteristics. This involves presenting members with a cognitive understanding of the process, specifying their responsibilities as group members, and providing experiences of existing with a group. A feedback loop is thereby created which cause members to learn about the group process and come to an awareness of their responsibilities as participants as they are experiencing the process itself.

The Essence of a Group Leader

Team members and managers can work hand in hand as they struggle with their responsibilities. The group shares the pain of the constant metamorphosis which is becoming, and this kind of sharing can be catalytic to the process. This sharing, however, hold special implications for the essence of the leaders. If managers are destructive beings, a member can be hurt. If leaders are unskilled, a member can be hurt. Since a manager as well as a team member is himself in process of becoming, leaders need some source of what Carkhuff and Berenson (1967) term “human nourishment.” The most elegant and harmonious choice for nourishment would be continuous, lifelong counseling for the leader, both individual and group. Managing teams is stimulating, but demanding. A group where a manager can participate as member, where he can maintain his own growth to self-actualization, seems essential as a way of professional life for those who lead groups.

Team Member’s Responsibility

Each member needs to examine the responsibility he carries for his chosen alternatives and face fully that he had no one on whom to shift this responsibility. He and he alone must accept the consequences of his action. He also must recognize that others will be affected by his actions and choices and he must bring into awareness the effect of his choices on others, for this represents part of his responsibility. Managers must not overtly or covertly try to take away each member’s responsibility in and out of the group. Managers are responsible for the group process, not for members. If a member chooses to be late, that is his choice; the leader begins on time. If a member chooses not to enter into the interaction, that is his choice; the leader creates the climate where interaction is available (Shostrom).

Team Cohesion

For most people there is some satisfaction to be derived from attaching themselves to a lively body of people who give them a sense of belonging to something warm and secure. This kind of attachment a form part of our wider social containment, and is an important part of the satisfaction that many young people are seeking when they join a youth organization. The sense of belonging arises in part from the attachment to the other people in the establishment, but in part also from a commitment to the ethos, the aims and objectives of the organization.

The aims and objectives with which people may identify what we normally call team goals. There is a distinction between personal objectives and team goals: our personal reasons for belonging to an organization may not be goals held corporately with the other members of the group. There is also a distinction between the objectives of the sponsors of the organization and the goals held in common with the members of that organization: the sponsors of a youth organization may have purposes concerned with the education and social training of the members that could not be further from the minds of the young people themselves. Objectives do not become group goals unless they are shared corporately by the members of the group (Otto).

The commitment of the members to a team is a result of their accepting the group’s goals. For example, people may belong to and identify strongly with religious or political bodies without liking or even knowing most of the other people in that organization. All over the world people are laying down their lives for ideals that represent the goals of the groups to which they belong. (Otto).

Teamwork can be influenced by the status of the group and the reflected glory that it confers upon the members. This is a kind of halo effect. Some national and local groups have this effect and it is regarded almost as an honor to belong to them. Outside benefits conferred in this way by membership of a group add to its attractiveness and cohesiveness. The same effect might work either way in youth clubs, or in specific classes in school. (Schwarz,).

As these principles applicable to any group setting, in sum, the research reinforces the idea that when everyone is dipping their fingers in a program from the very start, the whole group suffers and it is clearly seen that the people do not work as robots, like in a so-called mass production but in a more warm setting of “team production” which increasingly means that people in the process become knowledge workers who are knowledgeable about their group, the process and the services they offer wherever they go.

Indeed, team mates are expected to behave differently in thought, feeling and spirit. The true test of managing teams is the ability to see one’s own self-imposed limitations and to break through to a new sense of oneself that transforms one’s attitudes, behaviors and approach to managing a team. There is a collaborative method that can break the crisis cycle by mobilizing the team members, building value for a new direction, and refocusing the company’s energy.





Berne, E. (1966) , Principles of Group Treatment. New York: Grove Press.


Carkhuff, R. R. and Berenson, B.C. Beyond Counseling and Therapy. New


York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968.


Drucker, P. (1990). The Emerging Theory of Manufacturing. Harvard Business Review,

Halpern, D. Creating Cooperative Learning Environments. Association for

Psychological Science.

Otto, H. A. Group Methods to Actualize Human Potential. Beverly: The Holistic

Press, 1970

Panchak P (1998). The Future of Manufacturing. Industry Week


Magazine. Sept. 21, 1998. Retrieved Sept 24, 2007 at:




Schwarz, R. The Skilled Facilitator: Practical Wisdom for Developing Effective


Groups.  Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART, Vol.


5, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 99-103


Shostrom, E. L. Group Therapy: Let the Buyer Beware.  Readings in Psychology


Today. CRM Books, Del Mar, Ca, 1970. pp. 149051.


The Emerging Theory of Manufacturing. Harvard Business Review, May-June 1990.





Cite this Managing effective teams

Managing effective teams. (2017, Mar 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/managing-effective-teams/

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