The main objective of this paper is to conduct the self assessment in order to evaluate the role of the individual within the team in regards to other team members and therefore the effectiveness of the team work. Moreover, it is crucial to appraise the correlation between the roles and duties assigned to each member and success. The basis of this reflective essay is the theoretical framework, experiences from the business world, aligned with the personal experience, which would help me to identify and compare the difficulties that have arisen and the correct way of overcoming those.
In order to achieve the aim of this paper, it is essential to determine the essence of the teamwork. Teamwork is an activity performed by several individuals, aimed at achieving one main objective. (Means L.T., 2003, p.91)There are several types of teams, depending on the goal it is managing to attain. In this case the team has been formed by our professor in order to do presentations. Guffey E.M.& Rogin P (2009) identified 4 phases of team evolution: forming, storming, norming and performing.
The first phase of the team evolution, called forming, implies team building by members’ mutual introduction to each other and acknowledgement of the characters and talents involved in the team. The members of the team have been selected from different nationalities and backgrounds by our professor. There are six individuals in our group, one of them comes from Germany and the other one comes from Latvia. The rest of our four come from China. Therefore, at this point it is very significant to maintain good relationships with other team members and start managing the synergy inside the team. According to Lehman C.M.,(2007) it is quite challenging in the first stage of teamwork due to the different characteristics of the team members. Thereby our team formed a restricted regulation for each members, everyone were supposed to observe it and be punctual to participate in every meeting owing to German’s time discipline.
On the personal experience, the appropriate trust building activities, divided leadership and an open communication have helped our team to overcome this challenge and shift to the next phase, called storming. The aim of this phase is to assign the appropriate team roles to the team members, so that each one of them would get the duty he/she can perform most effectively. (Guffey E.M., et al, 2009) Dr. Belbin cited in Biech E.,(2007) identifies nine major team roles that are widely used nowadays in business communication: plant, monitor evaluator, coordinator, team player, resource investigator, specialist, implementer, shaper and finisher. The Belbin’s framework of the team roles is portrayed in Appendix 1. All these roles have been specifically designed in order to be more effectively succeeded in an achievement of the team objective. Thereby, it is very vital to assign these roles in regards to the talents each team member possesses.
Notwithstanding, the challenge that our team faced during this period is the lack of primary talents in order to assign each team role necessary to each member, therefore we have looked out for the secondary talents and characteristics that could be related to the team role that was missing. This process occupied a period of time due to the complex process of defining the roles’ mismatch, followed by the negotiations in regards to the effective roles’ re-allocation.
The role that has been appointed to me from the beginning, has been the completer – finisher which implies examining the work for errors and “polishing” it, so it would be delivered in the high quality. The main strengths of the finisher is an attention to detail and punctuality, since the last stage of the project and delivery on time depends on him/her.(Belbin 1993 cited in Bee R.,Bee F., 1997). Lehman C.M., (2007) also defines the communication as the most important aspect of the team, however due to the personal characteristics of the individuals, the flow of communication can be suspended, which my team has experienced during the storming stage. Nevertheless, we have recovered the flow of communication gradually owing to the encouragement and the starting open lines.
After the team roles’ and communication problem has been resolved, the next phase of the team growth, called norming, slowly emerges. (Guffey E.M., Rogin P., 2010) This phase is the result of successfully passed previous stages of team evolution, which includes quick and smooth flow of communication between the team members. This communication is based on the open sharing of the knowledge, approval of opinions and compromise. During this stage the tasks are being most effectively achieved. (Hellriegel D.,Slocum W.J.,2007) . Levin G., (2010) argues that at this stage it is very easy to regress back to the storming phase if some of the points has not been considered. It is the first task of the leader during this time to keep the team members highly driven in order to aim for the success of the project. Shermerhorn R.J., (2009) adds that the main objective of the team during this period is to shift away from the possibility of break-up, by maintaining the team spirit and motivating the team members to concentrate on the strategic aims of the project. This is the stage where the team leader shows his strength in the possibility of managing the inspiring and confident communication in the combination with the leadership skills. Guffey E.M. & Rodin P., (2010) state that it is very rare when the team achieves the last stage of the team growth – performing stage, however our team has reached this stage.
There is a number of challenges that does not allow the team to achieve the target, however, our team has overcome these challenges at the start of their appearances. As it was stated above, one of the challenges in our group has been the confusion of the goals at the end of the storming age. Nevertheless, the appointed leader has explained the aims and the purpose of the project and made sure that all the members have understood it. In addition, the description of the resolved roles problem has been described above.
Poor feedback from our professor has been another challenge for our team for a period of time. However this problem hasn’t been identified for a while. But in the end, it was resolved by the positive attempts of open and easy flow of communication between the team members, so that each one of them got the knowledge he/she required. It is obvious that during the teamwork, some conflicts may arise and it is considered as another challenge that group might face and needs to resolve. Our team has not been exclusion. I insisted on putting a video on my part of presentation in 30th of November , which I thought it would be more persuasive and vivid when talking about UK retail industry. However, the other team members disagreed with me and asserted that the video should be cancelled. One of the solutions maintained within the group has been to look for the compromises on the basis of fair decision, after listening to everyone carefully and analysing each one’s point of view meticulously. (Guffey E.M. & Rodin P., 2010). Eventually, they reconciled with me after a long period of running- in.
Schermerhorn R.J.,Jr (2009) identifies one more phase of team evolution – adjourning stage, which implies the last phase of the project and the break-up of the group. The main goal of this stage is to feel the satisfaction from the thought of successful accomplishment of all the tasks. The success of this stage is well defined by the increased emotional feelings involved while leaving the group. This implies the prosperous shifts in between the previous stages. (Lussier N.R., 2009 ) This has not been well described by the other researchers due to the complexity of reaching this phase. Therefore not so many teams were successful in achieving this target.
On balance, the success of the team depends on many factors, including correct team roles assignment, smooth shift from one stage of the team evolution to another and opens communication. Nevertheless, even with a successful application of these factors, the challenges and conflicts may still arise, since they are as well part of the team development. Therefore it is crucial for me and the team members to overcome those obstacles, while concentrating on the strategic aims of the team in order to achieve the principal target.