A team refers to a group of individual who come together with the sole purpose of achieving a common goal(s). Members of a team go about their activities in a manner that integrates their individual abilities and skills. The formation of a good teamwork depends on the proper matching of the skills possessed by members and the various roles that they play. In addition, good teamwork depends on a supportive environment, clearly defined team goals, as well as the defined team rewards (Baquley 19).
Most organizations have integrated teamwork in the workplace so that employees with common goals and objective may come together and combine their skills and competencies and in the process, enable the organization to achieve its set goals and objectives. In the same way, the formation of work groups in college is also intended to bring together students who share common goals and objectives in as far as their academic affairs are concerned. In the current assessment, the writer shall endeavor to describe the experiences of members of a study group to which he belonged. In this case, the four stages of teamwork development shall be explored with respect to the experiences of the members, up to when the study group was disbanded.
During our second year in college, we decided to form a study group of 10 students. The aim of the study group was to help members of the group to improve our grades because we realised that all of us were not doing too well in certain course units. Therefore, during our first meeting, we decided to select a study group a chairman who was charged with the responsibility of clarifying the goals and objectives that would be set by the team. In addition, we also selected the plant, whose role was to generate ideas that would be used to enabled the team realize its objectives. He would be assisted by a resource investigator whose role would be to explore new ideas. Finally, there was also the team worker who would be charged with the responsibility of not only listening, but also communicating with the other members of the team, thereby resolving conflicts.
All teams are formed with the intention of fulfilling specific purposes. In addition, the development of a team involves various stages. According to Tuckman, the formation of teams entails five stages. The first stage is the forming stage whereby members get to share their personal information. This is the time for them to get to know one another, after which they focus their attention to group tasks. In the case of our study group, at the forming stage, we did not know one another very well although we had been classmates for one year. Thus, we had a chance to share our experiences, likes and dislikes (Newstrom 87). The second stage of forming a team is the storming stage where members compete for positions or status, in addition to arguing about suitable directions that the group should take.
During the brainstorming session of our group, virtually all the members had their own version of the direction that the group should take. The next stage is the norming phase whereby the group starts to move forward in a cooperative manner. At this point, the emerging group norms are useful in that they guide individual behavior. Our norming phase was informed by the fact that all of us had come together with the sole purpose of improving our grades. As such, even though all of us had an intention to have our individual idea heard about how the group should move forward, once the brainstorming phase was over, we were able to chart a common path. During the performing stage, the group should by now be able to deal with difficult challenges. At this stage, members of our study group were able to accomplish tasks efficiently. The adjourning step is the final stage of a team. During this stage, the group is disbanded. In our case, the adjourning came when we had completed our final semester at the university.
We need to realize that teams are made up of individuals and although they have come together because they share common goals, nonetheless, there is the need to ensure that they stay motivated. Motivation affects teamwork. For example, if members of a team are not motivated, such a team is not likely to achieve the set objectives. Similar sentiments are also echoed by the Adam’s Equity Theory which argues that in case employees perceive that they are giving more to the company that they are receiving, they are likely to become de-motivated (Baquley 24). Team members who share a can-do attitude and who have autonomy and are committed to a worthy cause tends to be more motivated. In this case, team leaders are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the group members are motivated enough to realize their goals. Team leaders should also be able to handle the problems facing the team and also handle the issue of team member turnover. Old members of a team may leave and be replaced by new ones and as such, it is important to ensure coordination of the turnover in order to preserve the effectiveness of the team.
Baquley, Phil. Teach Yourself Teams and Team Working. London: New Ed. Publishers, 2003. Print.
Newstrom, John. Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007.