The Forgotten Team member is a excellent example of team development as well as developing leadership skills. Christine is faced with a group member Mike whose personality fits well with the teams but because of time commitments, does not feel included in the overall team atmosphere. This causes him to not contribute as much, which was not beneficial to the team as a whole.
During the weeks that the group was together for this class project, Christine was aware of the distancing of Mike from the rest of the group. Each week provided different cases of this distancing, from Mike being unable to meet with the group due to other commitments, to his reaction to not joining the group when he saw them all together. If Christine had known the stages of group development, she would have realized that the team was at the passed the norming stage, and that Mike was still behind. He was unable to build relationships or work together with the team. If Christine was more familiar with the stages, she could have addressed the group, and encouraged the group to accommodate their schedules to try and include Mike more. She could have also addressed the issue with Mike, which would have led him to feel like he was wanted in the group.
In order to improve group performance, each member has to feel like they are needed and their input is important for the group’s success. Christine knows that Mike can contribute to the group, yet he fails to understand how individual membership in groups work. Christine ends up relaying information from Mike to the group, but fails to follow up with Mike after the group meetings. Christine really needed to focus on making him feel part of the group. This would encourage Mike to try harder to work out his schedule and be present at the meetings.
Unfortunately, Christine is not as effective of a group leader for several reasons. The biggest reason is her lack of action to include Mike in the group. It is mentioned that the Professor was available to gear groups to finding solutions for issues that would arise in the teams. As a leader, Christine should have talked to Mike right after the cafeteria incident. She should have explained what happened and had Mike discuss his response to the group. She could have then come up with purely social gathering, and made sure it was a time that Mike could meet. By doing so, he could have bonded with the team and moved forward in the Norming stage.
If this didn’t work, t she should have gone to the Professor to seek advice to solve this issue. Instead, she kept the issue to herself. Since he specifically told her he had to balance work, school and his stressful love life, she should have asked him what she could do to help accommodate him. This would give him the feeling of acceptance and empathy but would be more productive to including in the team and making him feel self-worth as a team member. An effective leader can identify problems and take action. Even though she was very good at creating quality work, she is not effective in bringing the group together which would result in high quality performance.
Courtney from Study Moose
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