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Teams can be troublesome despite being quite helpful in putting projects into action. I can recall being a member of a group that struggled to carry out its task successfully. I was employed to take part in a team-based marketing initiative that we were all supposed to work on. But because of major miscommunications inside the team, we were unable to meet our objectives. Team members were not permitted to share their views at meetings by the team leader. Even when they were wrong, he wanted the team to adhere to his strict orders. Most of us avoided participating fully out of a sense of intimidation. The poor teamwork experience echoes the sentiments of Pentland (2012) on the essence of communication in teams. When team players do not have the liberty to communicate in meetings or during the implementation of projects, they tend to reserve their ideas and even energy. They feel the entire project is on the shoulders of the leader and not the members. However, open communication can help solve such challenges.
Equally, effective teams also need some level of innovation and independent thinking from the members, especially in meetings. Todd (2014) believes that for groups to exhibit high performance through innovation, the leader should create space for creativity. Members should feel free to contribute unorthodox ideas that may help in the achievement of set objectives. London and Mone (2012) also agree that teams should not be rigid in their operations. Individual members should be free to question the leader and suggest better ways of implementing tasks. The leader should only offer guidance but not dictate the operations of the team. Our team lacked the safe environment that would have encouraged members to participate and own the project.
London, M., & Mone, E. M. (2012). Leadership for Today and the Future (2nd ed). [electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Pentland, A. (2012). The New Science of Building Great Teams. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-new-science-of-building-great-teams
Todd, A. (2014, January 16). Get Your Employees To Work 'Like Nobody's Watching.' Forbes.com. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2014/01/16/get-your-employees-to-work-like-nobodys-watching/#29321a4d39b8
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