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It is important to assess teams if their effectiveness is to be strengthened. Self-assessment is one of the most important diagnostic instruments for determining a team's effectiveness. This is because staff members have more personal knowledge of how a team works than a third person, no matter how neutral he or she is. Following a team self-assessment, this paper examines the factors that affect team efficacy.
I received a score of 20 after completing the self-assessment, to which I agreed. The score was meant to represent my contribution to the service of my squad. This was also the total score of the rest of the squad. With such a score, the entire team could be considered as partially developed and in need of significant improvement. However, this assessment provided a platform that could enable the team to build on its strengths and weaknesses. According to my self-assessment, several strengths could be attributed to involvement in the team. One of these is clarity of the team’s purpose. This is the most crucial similarity among team members since it is responsible for linking the different individuals under the common mission (Barrick & Stewart, 1998). Another strength facilitating my working on the team is my employment of open and clear communication with team members. This is useful to the team as it helps not only to prevent, but also to dissipate conflicts and misunderstandings. Another strength that I add to the team is my affinity to picking up new skills. This empowers the group by encouraging other members to improve on their skillsets too.
However, certain weaknesses of my part have a negative influence to the performance of the team. One of these weaknesses is resistance to change. This is the aversion to novel experiences and a preference for the familiar. Resistance to change has certain negative bearings in the team. For example, refusal to take up new technological trends may make the team to be left out on opportunities that rival teams enjoy. Another weakness is poor time management. The inability to track time scheduled for team meetings and team projects milestones has caused disorganization and set the team far from achieving its objectives within the allotted time.
In spite of these weaknesses, I have never engaged in social loafing while among team members. Social loafing in this sense refers to the act of expending less energy while among team members than one would if they were in solitary pursuits. This aversion to social loafing was because the act was unjust (Harriso & Price, 2002). From an ethical point of view, letting other people expend their energy and then expecting to reap the benefits once their effort is productive, is unfair. Moreover, social loafing drains the energy of the entire team as motivation dwindles starting from the least motivated up to the most motivated. Returning the collective team motivation to its mean therefore requires much more effort than could be saved while loafing. Thereby, so as to promote ethics and save energy in the long run I abstain from social loafing.
Working efficiently in the team gives one several advantages in the workplace. The most common and intuitive advantage is that one gets recognized as a leader. This is a crucial benefit since it increases ones’ indispensability as the organization’s management starts viewing one as an asset to the organization. Apart from this reward, one also experiences the intrinsic satisfaction that comes with leading others. The other advantage that effective team participation may present one is career advancement. This is since effective participation in teams is a marketable skill in itself and organizations even hire team organizers.
Normally, the development of groups happens in five stages; forming, storming, norming, performing and ultimately adjourning. Forming is the stage characterized by meeting of team members whereby they share ideas and information on their interests. Then they pick a project to direct their efforts toward. Storming is the stage where the members are in competition and rivalry with each other so as to find a middle ground (Arrow & McGrath, 2000). The norming stage involves the maturation of the team’s members’ relationships where they perfect cooperation. Performing is the high functioning level where objectives are achieved. Adjourning is the stage where members move apart after completing their project.
The effectiveness of the team members is of great effect to the development process. This is since the strengths and weaknesses of each member add to the characteristics of the entire team. For example, if the composition of the team lacks a person with leadership qualities, the development of the team will not reach the final stage and might only reach the storming stage. Lack of effective communication in individual members is even more detrimental to the group’s development as it means that the group might not even make it through the first stage of sharing information. Thereby, if members are not effective on their own, the developed team might be dysfunctional.
Teams are only as strong and effective as their individual team members. This is because ineffective members infect the team with their weaknesses while individual’s strengths help the group develop further. For example, weaknesses such as social loafing may drain the entire group’s motivation while employing open communication will reduce confrontations in the team. To improve the effectiveness of a group, one must measure each individual’s effectiveness. Moreover, members must increase their individual effectiveness to ensure the team reaches the adjourning stage.
Arrow, H., & McGrath, J. (2000). Small groups as complex systems: Formation, coordination,development, and adaptation. Sage Publications.
Barrick, M. R., & Stewart, G. L. (1998). Relating member ability an personality to work-team processes and team effectiveness. Journal of applied psychology, 377.
Harriso, D., & Price, K. H. (2002). Time, teams, and task performance: changing the effects of surface- and deep-level diversity on group fuctioning. Academy of Management Journal , 1029-1045.
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