Teamwork: Group Development and Team Members

Topics: Group development, Basketball, Team building Pages: 8 (2467 words) Published: December 9, 2012
The biggest torture for a human being is to put them in isolation. We are social beings, we need to talk to someone, express our emotions or sometimes we just need someone there to help and support us. One aspect of our learning that is stressed is teamwork. We may hate it at times, we may love it, but there are many reasons as to why teamwork is very important especially for college students as they will soon be pursuing a professional career. Teamwork enhances communication, intellectual and leadership skills in college students along with many others to prepare them for their careers and for the workforce.

Now Teamwork and group work is used interchangeably many times. However there is a distinct difference between the two. A team is a cohesive coalition of people working together to achieve mutual goals(cite book) whereas a group is a collection of individuals. The important part here is the word cohesion. For example, the UCONN men's basketball team were after one mutual goal, which was to win the championship. Teamwork is all around us some examples include; Corporate organization to progress their company and create new ideas; Schools have teams of professors to come with a cohesive curriculum for students; Athletic teams have one goal in mind - to win; Governments use teamwork to progress their country on an International level and many more. In my own definition, a team is a group of individuals working together to accomplish a mutual outcome. If we look at the definition in that way, then we have teams everywhere, and we are daily a part of a team. This teamwork is what helps us develop essential skills to help us be successful in our careers. However, in order to develop these skills, you have to have a successful team. There are many steps to achieving success in a team.

The stages of Group Development Model was presented by Bruce Tuckman who was an American organizational psychologist. In 1965 he proposed a four step plan also referred to as the Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing Model. Each phase is very important in the team development and for the team to achieve it's goals. I have described below the phases using the UCONN men's basketball team as a real life example.

The initial phase is the Forming phase, when a group comes together for the first time. All the players come together, some already are aware of each other, as they are upperclassmen and have played with each other beforehand. The new freshman are introduced to the team and are the ones that are more anxious. Also during this time the team members are excited and nervous to join the group. They want to be accepted, to be liked, to understand and be understood. This phase usually takes place at the first practice or two.

The second phase is the Storming phase, when members of the team let down their guard and open up to one another. For the UCONN men's team this would take place in the fourth or fifth practice. "Group members begin to explore their power and influence, and they often take common ground." One negative of this phase is that there is a tendency to form cliques within the team. If there is no appointed leader, someone will take charge, and others might look negatively towards their "leader."

After any or all the drama has been resolved the third phase is called Norming. In this phase, team members start to relax and become friends. For the men's basketball team, this means they have found out what works and what doesn't work for them. Who to pass to in crunch time, who will defend the opponent very well, who to look out for, etc. Everyone has discovered their role and they are comfortable as a team to play against anyone, anywhere.

The final phase of this model is known as Performing. This is when the team is cohesive and united in their activities to reach their goal. For UCONN's men's basketball team this means, everyone is working together to pass, defend and shoot. However, the main...
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