Group Dynamics

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Working with my team in Group Dynamics throughout the semester proved to be a rewarding, enlightening perspective into how groups and teams work together. We encountered challenges along the way but for the most part we succeeded in setting out what we wanted to accomplish this semester and were able to reach our designated goals. One of the challenges I encountered first in my team was the varying degrees of trust and friendship I shared with my group members. I had known Karen since we were in undergraduate classes together and had worked with her several times. Denise had been in a few of my classes before but we had never worked together previously. Lastly, John and I had never shared a class together so we maintained the least social relationship compared to the rest of my team. The varying degrees of our social relationships worried me slightly because social relationships in teams can have a profound affect on communication, performance, and motivation (Levi, 2011). In order for our team to perform at its highest functional level we each needed to work on developing our social relationships with each other. We noticed some of our differences around the time that our first assignment was about halfway completed. During a class session we were asked to rank ourselves in terms of stage we thought our group was in from Tuckman’s Group Development Model; forming, storming, norming, or performing. Interestingly, we all had different opinions as to where we thought our group was within this model ranging from the storming to performing stages. This signified a problem for us since we couldn’t agree on how developed we were and it caused some minor conflict amongst my team members. At this point we worked on further improving our social relationships which we realized were not as developed as they should be for a successful team. We also focused more on creating specific roles for the group members to help with organization, time-management, and goal keeping. As the semester progressed we each completed the in class exercise to determine our behavior types based on Bolton and Bolton’s Behavior Styles. I discovered that I was a driver and focused mostly on what needed to be accomplished and how to reach that goal. Karen turned out to be the analytic thinker who was concerned with organization. Denise discovered that she was the amiable behavioral type meaning that she tried to seek out decisions and methods, which would benefit everyone. John, the expressive behaviorist, generated much of the motivation for the group during the semester (Bolton & Bolton). This exercise was very informative because it gave each of us greater incite into our individual characteristics and why we behave in certain ways. It also helped us greatly in moving past some of our differences and we referred back to it for the remainder of the semester. We were now able to understand why we had disagreements on certain aspects of our project and why our work styles sometimes didn’t mesh well. Interestingly, the roles and norms we had previously established tied in well to our newly discovered behavioral styles. For instance, Karen had chosen to be the editor of our group, which was right in line with her analytic personality. Being a driver, it came to no surprise to me that I chose to be the record keeper for our group and sent out weekly update meetings to transcribe what we had discussed as a team and what every member should be focusing in the coming week. Throughout the semester I felt that my team members and I were able to develop many of our teamwork and conflict resolution skills by working together on our group projects. I noticed that our group communication developed greatly from where it began in the beginning of the semester when my group members did not communicate very frequently and when we did it was often unclear. As our trust and social relationships...
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