Teams and Groups

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Whether at work or at play, young or old, at some point you will undoubtedly find yourself in a small group or team. In our modern, yet highly technological world, we are interconnected through various means. The manner in which we communicate can enhance our connectivity and sense of belonging within a small group or team. According to Harris and Sherblom, in an effort to be effective in a small group or team we need to consider several factors such as roles, customs, and unity, as well as the methods we use to do things. They go on to say we must also review our verbal and nonverbal communication skills (2011). Listening is also an important factor. With so much diversity in today’s workforce, these communication skills are desperately needed if you want to be successful.

Personally I have been participants of both small groups and teams. I find the small groups more personal yet equally important in regards to accountability. The small groups I have participated in tend to come together for a common goal or purpose despite the different backgrounds we came from. Over time cohesion between group members usually developed allowing the common goal or purpose to further blossom. Usually a group drives personal accountability rather than a shared accountability we might find on a team.

Effective teams need members who work together for the common goal as a shared responsibility. Our authors state they need to “develop common understandings, monitor performance, identify mistakes, provide feedback, anticipate needs, recognize responsibilities, work to achieve balanced workloads,… and respond to change changing conditions” (p. 13). These coordinating mechanisms are the key to being effective.

Most organizations believe teams are the future to change. They believe teams can utilize different skills and mindsets to foster innovation and solve problems outside of the box. Of course team building does not happen overnight, nor does synergy amongst the...
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