Communication is Key
In order for a team to work well together there is a fundamental necessity to communicate in an efficient manner. Without communication, teams would not exist. There are many forms of teams and many ways that teams may be formed. The University of Phoenix website advertized an important question to ask when building a team: What kind of team is needed? One mistake people often make is thinking that a team is just a team. There are different kinds of teams for different kinds of goals. Is the team meant to accomplish a task, manage or improve a process, come up with a new product idea or design, solve a problem, or make a decision? For instance, you may be placed in a team by an instructor or you may choose to join a team because you share the same values and ideas about a certain topic. In either of these situations, communication is the key to success. Communication within a successful team is derived from the leader, the participants, and the type of communication available to them. Leader and Communication
The most important member of a team is the leader. According to an article written by Tom Isgar, Joyce Ranny, and Sherm Grinnell(1994), “…team leaders need to know how to conduct efficient, effective, highly participatory meetings (p. 46).” They carry the most responsibility and challenges within their given role. The leader is responsible for making sure that the team may contact them with any questions regarding the project at hand. A successful leader needs to make sure that they are well informed of the task at hand as well as the requirements to make it successful. By being well informed they will need to convey these requirements in a clear and concise manner to the other team members. The relationship between team leaders and team members is similar to the relationship between an instructor and students. According to an article written by Diana Page and Joseph Donelan,“To maximize students’ successes, the instructor should establish clear objectives at the outset of the project. Setting clear objectives includes providing students with clear timelines… (p. 125).” If the objective is not clear, the members of the team become lost and may be less likely to go to their team leader for clarity. The leader also has the responsibility of being the mediator over conflicts that may arise during a particular task. It is a leader’s duty to assess the problem and take the proper steps in order to find a solution in a timely manner. A leader needs to be available and approachable in times of conflict so that a solution can be reached. A leaders’ availability increases their chances of refocusing the team on the task at hand. Keeping a team focused is probably the most important responsibility of a team leader. They need to be able to steer the team in the right direction in order to achieve a goal. Whether that goal is an A on a paper or finding a way to make budget, a team leader is responsible to find what makes their team click and to keep it going. If a leader cannot keep their team focused and motivated, they will never be successful. Participants and Communication
The team leader does not have all the responsibility. According to an article written by Stephan Lundin and Lynne Lancaster, “The longer and harder we look at leadership, however, the more we realize that the success of great leaders depends on their ability to establish a base of loyal, capable, and knowledgeable followers (p.18).” The remainder falls on the team members to be dependable. Team members need to keep the line of communication open, not only with their team leader, but with each other. Members should feel comfortable bouncing ideas back and forth to one another and receiving constructive criticism. Goals for team members should be trust one another, work together in problem situations to find a solution, make each other want to succeed, and finally, to succeed. (Isgar, Ranney, & Grinnell,...
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