April 17, 2006
University of Phoenix
The Dynamics of a Successful Team
Understanding the dynamics of a successful team will assist team members in comprehending their individual roles. A few aspects of team building include: leadership; communication; roles and responsibilities; behaviors and ethics; and collaboration. Throughout this paper, we will discuss each individual aspect of team building. Leadership
Often when we think of a team, we think of a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. However, in order for a team to achieve success, relationships have to be established and nurtured from the beginning. The use of teams in the workplace, school and other settings are increasingly becoming the norm. “A team is a small group of people with complementary skills committed to a common purpose and working toward a specific set of performance goals” (Katzenbach, 1998). When building a team, it is likely for one member to assume or be elected as the team leader. A leader can also be affectionately called the “doer”. “A doer is a person who perceives him/herself as “the” leader or “the” person with the answers” (Simon, 2000). There are two types of doers; the forceful doer and the cooperative doer. “A forceful doer is a leader that will create goals, objectives and rules to complete specific tasks. A cooperative doer is a leader that emerges initially then gives up leadership once everyone begins working together” (Simon, 2000). Cooperative leaders of a team will not micro-manage, but instead will assist in the completion of tasks. This strong type of leader may also begin to share leadership with the whole group. Team members then tend to understand that they play a big part in the structure of the team’s effectiveness and in turn help to build healthy work environments.
The Office of Personnel Management lists 10 leadership competencies that a positive team leader should have: conflict management; flexibility; influencing/negotiation; interpersonal skills; leveraging diversity; oral communication; problem solving; resilience; team building and vision (2006). Having these competencies will increase trust within the team and empower everyone to follow a strong leader that has the ability to create synergy for accomplishing the group’s goals. As with any group, conflicts may arise between individuals in a work team. The team leader should not avoid or discourage conflict. Groups have to realize that conflicts encourage change and that without change there are few opportunities for personal or team growth. Knowing how to successfully manage conflict is a key foundation of leadership. A good leader must be able to confront individuals in the team regarding their conflicts and negative behaviors, while also knowing skillful ways to resolve all types of situations that may result from obstacles that can hinder the development of the team. Successful work team leaders have to always remember not to get involved emotionally in conflicting situations, and know that as a leader a negative reaction or by overreacting can be very detrimental to the team as a whole. Conflicts between cliques can also be a factor during the development stage of a work group. Some individuals can have feelings of “us” versus “them” that can cause alliances to form. A strong leader needs to be able to take over and revamp their strategies and learn the skills and personal attributes of what it will take for the team to effectively work together. Communication
Whether you are a leader in a team or a participant, communication can be the key to success or failure of any project. The lack of fluid and structurally sound information can cause a breakdown in communication, and in a sense bring a project to a complete stand still. In today’s rapidly evolving e-Technology environment, the face of communication...