Group Performance

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During our recent group presentations, we covered negotiation, building teams, working in groups, managing conflict, effective meetings, facilitating team success, managing decisions and solving problems creatively (De Janasz, Wood, Gottschalk, Dowd, Schneider. 2006, pg 196-314). Our team was given working in teams for success as a presentation topic. I believe we not only clarified the topic but managed to use the content to our own benefit and produce a successful presentation. This essay highlights our ability to work co-operatively in a team, initiate a successful presentation, and reveal what we can do next time to improve our work techniques.

“Negotiation is the process of two individuals or groups reaching a joint agreement about differing needs or ideas” (Saaty, Thomas L.1990). From the beginning of our group work the six of us negotiated an effective meeting time. Some were more lenient than others, but after a quick discussion we came to an agreement. “Groups must be able to coordinate themselves in a flexible manner, and there must be commitment to group goals which both direct and motivate members” (Oliver, Jim R, 1996). We all wanted to help and cooperate as much as possible to give us the best chance of reaching our outcome. The outcome being a successful presentation. Our decision making process needed to assess, “which aims are more important than others? What is likely to take place? What should we plan for and how do we bring it about? These and other questions demand a multicriteria logic” (Saaty, Thomas L. 1990). Three major sub goals were divided; technology (slide), speeches (information) and creativity (games and short films). “Identify the overall goal. What are you trying to accomplish? What is the main question? Identify subgoals of the overall goal, and identify criteria that must be satisfied to full fill the subgoals of the overall goals” (Donna L. Mcalister-Kizzier). Breaking down the work load was an extremely effective technique and I would not hesitate to use this technique during during future evaluations.

In 1996 Jim Oliver described negotiation as "negotiators jointly searching a multidimensional space and then agreeing to a single point in the space"(Oliver, Jim R, 31 July, 1996). We were to meet at a specific place and time, with some home research relevant to the task ahead. When it came to the meeting, one person was half an hour late, with no material, two more members with no material, two with relevant material, and one of the members with no written material but a slide show base created to fill with the relevant information. “Groups require open communication, mutual supportiveness, effective conflict management, discussion of strategy, and the appropriate weighing of individual inputs into group decisions” (Barron's, 2008). From then on we had to re-assess and communicate who was doing what work load, and make sure that each individual pulled their weight.

Despite the lack of input from some members the meeting did not fail. “The process of team building includes, (a) clarifying the goal, and building ownership across the team and (b)identifying the inhibitors to teamwork and removing or overcoming them”( Pages 1307-1325). Our meeting established team building as we clearly had two leaders, two thinkers, and two followers, we overcame the shortcomings of those who did not contribute towards the initial material by discussing what we believed was still missing from our now forming presentation and dividing it between those three students. Together we brainstormed to create a fun activity to incorporate into the presentation as well as find a short film for the start of the presentation.

Tuckman’s terminology enables us to look for four stages throughout the teams development; if these four stages are recognizable we generally have a properly functioning group, one that will ultimately perform efficiently. These stages “are to form a cohesive social...
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