Teamwork is used to describe a small group of people, who have complementary skills, working together cooperatively to achieve a common goal. (BusinessDictionary.com2015) There are different processes involved in teamwork- forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Successful completion of each process will lead to a successful outcome due to the efforts of team members involved in a team to achieve the desired goal. This seminar introduces us to different stages involved in teamwork, conflicts associated with each stage, and their effective management, moreover, it also depicts the role of a leader in each process and how positive behavior can be reinforced to achieve the desired goal efficiently.
The first stage is Forming, this is the stage when group members try to know each other, moreover, the team members rely on the team leader to decide the structure and to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each member. This is more of a familiarisation period, being a member of a team, I would try to familiarise myself with other team members or colleagues.
Initiating communication with others will gradually lead to the development of trust in my group members. We elect a team leader who will be able to direct the team towards its desired goal. According to Wittenborg University Personal Development plan-phase1 66 the task objectives, I and my team members try to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses which helps a leader to assign roles and responsibilities accordingly.
Moving on to the second stage, storming is a process in which intergroup conflicts may take place because of the difference in work style or work approach, it may also occur if the roles and responsibilities are not clear to team members.
Team members challenge each other’s viewpoints which may cause a lack of unity among the team members. During this stage, I will try to talk in favor of the overall benefit of the team, accepting each one’s views and opinions, as I accept individual differences.
The third stage, norming depicts a phase in which team members started respecting each other, and the authority, moreover, we became committed to the team’s purpose. Even if a disagreement took place, there was freedom for each member to express their viewpoints, even if the views do not match with other members of the team. We identified our roles and responsibilities, and the group developed unity within the team.
Next, in the performing stage, we felt enthusiastic to take part in group activities. We communicated our opinions and viewpoints openly without fear of being rejected. In this stage, everyone was performing with their utmost efficiency to meet the desired outcome. We enjoyed working together, and we were confident to see our progress towards our goal. I felt excited to take part in team activities and was confident to express my opinions openly.
Finally, in the adjourning stage, everyone in the team developed close relationships, we felt stressed because of change and transition that would take place. However, the team members became experienced after the successful completion of the target, in contrast, there were feelings of loss and insecurity because of the separation and dissolving of the team.
A leader takes a responsibility to improve the work performance of each member so that the team can work collaboratively to reach its goal efficiently. A team leader holds his team together and has a major role to play in each process of teamwork.
In the beginning, during the forming stage, the role of a leader is the dominant at this stage, as the roles and responsibilities of team members are not clear. The group leader decides the structure and objective of the team, he/ she communicates with team members to know the strengths and weaknesses of each member. After familiarizing with each, he/she assigns the roles and responsibilities based on personal interests and goals, the team presented during the familiarization period.
During the storming stage, the role of a leader is to manage conflicts among team members and promote unity within the team. The conflicts can occur due to a difference in viewpoints, the team leader tries to reduce tension and motivate members to commit to the team goal and work towards achieving it.
In the norming stage, the leader motivates and encourages members to be on the right track. The first result serves as a motivation for group members so that they can effectively move on to the next stage and perform efficiently.
Next is the performing stage, the team leader tries to develop the talents of team members. As the team manages all work processes without the leader being directly present. He mentors his team members to improve their work performance by developing skills.
Finally, in the adjourning stage, the group leader suggests the ways in which team members can still maintain their relations even after the project is completed. The team leader and its members have gained experience and are prepared to work with new people. (Managementstudyguide.com,2008.)
Conflicts can arise due to individual differences. There are a variety of sources that can cause intergroup conflict, some common causes include competing interests, the difference in working style, competition over resources, failure to follow norms, and it may also occur due to lack of clarity about tasks, strategies, and goals. Lack of clarity may cause people to make assumptions that may not agree with other team members and can often cause conflict. Conflicts can occur among team members, some of the strategies to avoid conflict are as follows-
Each team member should behave positively with other team members to achieve the goal efficiently. Negative team behaviors can decrease productivity and can also cause tension within the team. Respecting each other is important when group members aren’t respectful to each other, small issues can flare up, and can become a large issue. These issues can come in the way of efficient working. Team members should be flexible with their role boundaries. Each team member should help the other member, even if it is not their job. Support within a team is crucial, as it brings out a collaborative effort, moreover, it motivates team members to give their best work performance. Everyone should try to help the other to balance workloads. Positive behavior requires good communication skills, empathy, a sense of harmony, and giving each other constructive feedback in order to improve work performance.
The process of teamwork is of primary importance, as it decides the overall team effort and the goal that is being desired to achieve. The team leader, as well as team members, should manage conflicts effectively, as they can affect productivity and work performance. However, a team leader, as well as other members, should promote open communication in order to build trust and cohesion among team members. Everyone should engage in positive behaviors, as it is essential to motivate members to work with their utmost potential to achieve the ultimate target. Working in a team has many benefits, it can increase productivity, quality, and creativity, however, it can lead to conflicts and, then teamwork can lead to a negative scenario. Effective teamwork is one that has cohesion and unity among team members, where team members exhibit openness, trust, and respect for each other so that they can work collaboratively to achieve a common goal.