Development, Communication and Learning in Teams

Introduction

Teamwork is synonymous with contemporary business activities. For this reason, managers need to understand the group’s actions, behavior alongside team concepts. Team building requires close follow up of systematic planning and implementation of various plans that reflect organizational goals. Classical teamwork, therefore, brings together members with a common understanding of some specified universal goals. Taken together, team building enables smooth coordination of activities at the workplace by reducing barriers, training, empowerment, and feedback. Generally, organizations form teamwork with specific targets in mind; therefore, a team becomes an important tool that facilitates goals accomplishment at the organization level. This report discusses and explores the importance of team development, effective training principles, stages in team development, communication in teams, and team learning.

Importance of Team Development

Traditionally, organizations required tools for development in order to achieve their desired goals. For that matter, team development reflects the commonly used tool towards achieving organizational targets. However, there exist unique challenges to a group despite managers’ efforts to form a cohesive component. To address such challenges, leaders need to take stringent measures to challenge the status quo. For illustration, incorporating emergency training exercises enable medics to respond rapidly and effectively when the need arises. As Smith and Mounter (2008) posit, cross-training ensures high team performances by approximately 26%. Therefore, such training reduces human-related errors at work.

Effective Training Principles

Effective training entails training principles that facilitate employee’s skills and knowledge. Moreover, effective training ensures that employees reap the maximum benefits and knowledge from the available training kits. Going by this, managers should properly analyze the needs and objectives for forming teams. In so doing, critical evaluation, coaching, transfer training, and team building should be adopted where possible. As Cannon and Griffith (2007) posit, coaching augments effective training by improving an individual’s ability to understand. From this perspective, operational coaching focuses on relevancy, reality, and alternative approaches to solutions. Lastly, team building orchestrates the goals of effective training by offering intervention measures to the problems. Properly built team increases trust levels among players; for example, top managers are expected to set examples for others to follow.

Stages in Team Development

Forming a team is the most difficult task at the organization. Generally, there is a natural development path that guides the formation of a group constraint to specific objectives. Groups are common and complex arrangements that help achieve organizational goals and objectives. For example, personally I tasted the experience of team development when I led my group in formulating a new software management system to replace an obsolete one. However, we faced numerous challenges such as harmonizing individual’s goals with those of the organization. This phase is the most vital stage because it is coupled with anxiety and cautiousness of team members that lowers productivity. To limit such challenges, group leaders highlight the rules and regulations that guide behavior of all team members.

The second stage of team development is storming. At this phase, members become increasingly impatient with the structure of the group. Therefore, this phase reflects decision-making process. The third stage is the norming. The norming phase represents a cohesive units and a functional group of members. In essence, the group restores its stability therefore developing workable strategies to goal achievement. Consequently, the group members develop a sense of community with universal goal to achieve.

Fourth is the performing period. Here, the team focuses on having work completed successfully. In addition, the team operates efficiently and meritoriously in solving its conflicts that eventually increases the levels of mutual trust, productivity and morale among players. At this point, the group experiences self-directing thereby limiting the role played by managers and team leaders. As Wheelan (2005) alludes, at performing stage, most groups achieve their targets by almost 85%. The last stage of group development is the adjourning phase that represents the completion of a project. Upon successful completion of a project, members may celebrate and bid goodbye to others.

Communication in Teams

Formation of an effective and a cohesive group requires strict adherence to certain communication procedures. Foremost, team members should converse freely on work-related issues. On this precinct, both verbal and nonverbal communications enable members to interact while executing their duties. Likewise, failure to observe such communication guidelines might lead to project failure (Hirokawa, DeGooyer & Valde, 2000, p. 580). Miscommunications can negatively affect the growth of the team in terms of continuous conflicts and fights within the team. In extreme cases, miscommunication causes death. Therefore, adopting effective and better communication approach limits chances of project failure associated by miscommunication

Team Learning

Due to high competition at the business environment, team players need to adjust their game when it comes to learning. Bearing this in mind, many businesses have adopted various measures aimed at improving learning abilities of their employees. With numerous impediments to effective communication, organizations need a dynamic system to maximize on the skills and knowledge of workers to boost performance. With rapid globalization, many organizations tend to invest their capital in training members. Effective learning involves factors such as concrete experience, active experimentations, conceptualization, and reflective observations. What is more, constructive feedback in communication improves productivity of the team members. Apparently, team leaders should remain dynamic in readiness to learn, renew, and grow subject to current and future challenge.

Conclusion

High competition in the current business environment necessitates need for Teamwork. Accordingly, teamwork increases diversification, innovation, and creativity. On the same note, formulation of team development and effective training improves production capacity at the organizational level. Therefore, to achieve greater heights of the intended plans, it is important for the team leaders to maximize knowledge and skills of each individual. Such performances are achievable by following team development cycle that comprises: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.

References

Cannon, M., & Griffith, B. (2007). Effective groups: Concepts and skills to meet leadership challenges. Boston: Pearson.

Hirokawa, R., DeGooyer, D., & Valde, K. (2000). Using Narratives to Study Task Group Effectiveness. Small Group Research, 31(1), 573-591.

Smith, L., & Mounter, P. (2008). Effective internal communication. London: Kogan Page.

Wheelan, S. A. (2005). The handbook of group research and practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.