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Working in Teams

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  1. Working in Teams Advantages and disadvantages of teams Characteristics of successful teams Collaborative writing Group dynamics Making meetings more productive

  2. What are teams? • “Unit of two or more people who share a mission and the responsibility for working to achieve a common goal” • Examples include: -Problem solving teams & Task forces: -informal team will disbands after achieving the set goal -it’s cross-functional; people are from varying departments with mixed skills, expertise, etc -have different views and interests which can lead to problem - which gives rise to the need for effective communication in teams -Committees: -formal team with long life span -becomes part of the organizational structure - becomes recurring tasks, e.g. monthly planning Can be informal or informal; whether part of the organization or not!

  3. LO1. Highlight the advantages and disadvantages of working in teams Better decision making! • Increased information & knowledge • brainstorming & acquiring resources from many people, > info better decisions! • Increased diversity of views • > members, > perspectives to aid decision making but we must have a common goal • Increased acceptance of a solution • People who contribute tend to be > accepting, supportive & motivated towards the decision • Higher performance levels • New ideas& energy are unleashed in teams, allows creativity, reduce boredom, eliminate tension between people

  4. Disadvantages of teams • “Groupthink”- peer pressure, need to conform, be normal, withhold contradicting & unpopular opinions • Hidden agendas- private, biased, selfish, unproductive motives, to control or undermine • “Free riders”- don’t contribute fair share to group’s activities, maybe not held responsible to participate, or are under appreciated • Cost of coordinating group activities- check schedules, arrange meetings, allocate tasks, take time & money Leads to poor decision making!

  5. Effective Teams • each member bring valuable knowledge, skills & assets to the team • exchange information, examine issues & work through conflicts • trust each other, don’t be suspicious of people’s ability or motives working towards a common goal, benefits everyone • have clear objectives to generate high quality work • have a common sense of purpose • communicate openly, honestly and effectively, eliminate culture, country, time zones & conversation style barriers • give sufficient time for each member to participate, maybe speak in turns though some do randomly contribute in an open forum • make decisions based on consensus • think constructively and don’t waste time & money

  6. Team Communication May need to collaborate on: • Reports • Websites • Presentations They ascend individuals’ ability, skills, experience, etc to reflect each person’s unique presentation and communication skills! Collective Energy! But special effort is needed to collaborate in a team, Especially in writing!

  7. LO2. Identify 8 guidelines to successful collaborative writing-1 • Select collaborators carefully • projects may need different experience, information & talent, e.g. a scientist focus on facts & accuracy • Agree on project goals at the onset • what is to be accomplished? If not on track, can get frustrated or waste time • Give the team time to bond • get to know each other before collaborating • Clarify individual responsibilities • We need to be clear on roles, deadlines, etc, we depend on each other!

  8. LO2. Identify 8 guidelines to successful collaborative writing-2 • Establish clear processes • How will the work be done? What checkpoints, decisions will we meet? • Avoid writing as a group • Gets slow & tedious resulting in poor results • Ensure tools and techniques are compatible • If using software, must have same versions, check technology before presentations, etc • Build in regular check-points • If there are no complaints, it doesn’t mean that everything is good to go! 1 project 1 writer or groups of writers 1 final writer to prepare final

  9. Collaborative Writing Technologies * Best Option! • Wikis • direct level of communication • anyone can access, view, edit and add content • Content Management Systems • organize and control the content of websites • Blogs- interactive website or part of a website , allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other

  10. LO3. Explain how wiki technology can help teams collaborate Enterprise Wikis extends the concept of wikis with extra features for business use you get the speed & flexibility but offers information quality and confidentiality through the use of Access controls- team leader controls rights of users Change monitoring- to get users attention when updates are made Rollback- to go back to previous page versions

  11. Tips to using wikis successfully • Forget expectations of authorship - Don't expect recognition: let go of the traditional “it’s mine, I don’t want anyone change it” • Make users motivated to use it - To actually log on, view, make comments, edit, etc. • Don’t focus on format and design just content • Use the available tools - e.g. comment feature, to make comments & edits, instead of inserting comments • Take advantage of the sandbox feature - safe unpublished section to practice before you upload

  12. LO4. Explain how group dynamics affect team effectiveness Group dynamics is the interaction & processes that take place between members of a team • First let’s understand what is a productive team • They have a strong sense of identity & cohesiveness • Have little tolerance for deviations from norms • Leads to high levels of commitment & performance • These qualities may however, can lead to groupthink; make it difficult for new members to fit in There are factors that affects group dynamics!

  13. Factors affecting group dynamics • Roles assumed by team members • Allowance for team development • Team’s success in resolving conflict • Its success in overcoming resistance

  14. Assuming team roles • there are 3 categories • Self oriented roles - Motivated mainly to fulfill personal needs & less productive, controlling, withdrawn, attention seeking & diverting • Team maintenance roles - Help everyone work well together, encouraging, harmonizing & compromising • Task oriented roles - Helps the team to reach goals, initiating. Information giving or seeking, coordinating & procedure setting

  15. Allowing for team development • Orientation • -members socialize, define roles & tasks associated • -team building exercises, breaking barriers, can include team • operating agreements, but difficult for virtual teams • Conflict • -members discuss their positions & contribute to defining their roles & responsibilities, conflict is expected • Brainstorming • -Allmembers, views, proposed solutions, pros & cons are • unleashed • Emergence -consensus, when all members agree on solution • Reinforcement– solution is clarified and summed up

  16. Resolving Conflict-1 • Why does it happen? • its natural • but if not handled well it can lead to failure • if handled well, it can lead to better performance • Reasons it occurs • competition; money, information, attention, etc. • disagreement on individuals’ responsibilities • incompatible ideas; poor communication, misunderstandings • power struggles; differences in values, attitudes, personalities, goals • Omitting information intentionally; trust issues

  17. Resolving Conflict-2 • Types • Constructive; may forces issues to surface, increase involvement & generate solutions • Destructive; diverts from important issues, destroy morale of members or team & divides • Solution • approach the problem with the concept that both parties can achieve their goal; win win situation • How • believethat it is possible! • show that it is the organization that will collectively benefit, not just you • evoke trust in each other • make it clear that status does not apply here! What can we do ?

  18. 7 measures we can take to resolve conflict • Be proactive - before small problems become big problems • Communicate – get those directly involved to participate • Be open – get feeling out first, then address main issues • Do research – seek factual reasons for problem, before seeking solutions • Be flexible – don’t let members get fixated on a solution before seeking solutions • Be fair – don’t try to compromise on the rules to please everyone • Fight together – not against each other in the team How can we avoid such resistance?

  19. Overcoming Resistance-1 • Why does it happen? • people don’t like change • they give up something; authority or comfort • Solution • be calm • be reasonable • communicate, communicate, communicate! How ?

  20. Overcoming Resistance-2 • How? • Express understanding • sympathize; “I know this is strange for you ……” • relate; “If it was me……’ • reassure; “You will get used to it, you will see…” • Bring resistance out in the open • call on silent, non contributors, uninterested members • deal with it, don’t accuse • Evaluate others objections carefully • Don’t repeat yourself • Listen to get all meaning • Give them change to provide facts • You may learn something! • Present your argument when it is time • Hold it until they have addressed all their concerns

  21. LO5. Discuss the role of etiquette in team settings both in the workplace & social settings-1 Workplace • know how to behave and interact • dress appropriately • display professional cleanliness & being well groomed • Be pleasant- make it genuine • Use appropriate tone, attitude, confidence & be professional on the phone • Don’t overuse your cell

  22. LO5. Discuss the role of etiquette in team settings both in the workplace & social settings-2 Social • appearance & actions are appropriate • learning the new customs of culture; different countries • introduce yourself & your role in your company • introduce people using their first name and last name and provide information on them to ease them into conversation • Generally low ranked individuals are introduced to senior ranked individuals • When being introduced, repeat their names asap; compliments and allows you to remember • Revise dining etiquette • Same cell phone rule apply • Don’t discuss inappropriate topics • Be careful with jokes! • Don’t curse

  23. Making meetings more productive • Primary means for teams to communicate • Can be virtual or face to face • 2types of meetings: • Informational- sharing info & coordinating actions • Decision Making- involves persuasions, analysis & problem solving • Common problems • Getting off the subject • Not having an agenda • Running too long

  24. Preparing for meetings • Identify the purpose of the meeting • this should be clear and well communicated to all • is it informational or decision making? • Select the participants • if informational, 1 persons talks, can have a large audience • if decision making, only those directed are involved • > participants, > comments, > duration • Choose the time & location • mornings > productive than evenings, arrange seating (capacity & arrangement), prepare room (lighting, temperature, ventilation & acoustics), refreshments • Set the agenda • success depends on preparation • Distribute well written agendas • Give time to prepare • An effective agenda will address: 1. What has to be done to achieve goal 2. Issues most important to participants 3. What information that has to be available to discuss issues

  25. Agenda Contents Agendas usually list the following: • Meeting start time • Meeting end time • Meeting location • Topic headings • Include some topic detail for each heading • Indicate the time each topic is expected to last • Indicate which meeting participants are expected to be the main topic participants

  26. Agenda Sample

  27. Leading & Participating in Meetings • Keep the discussion on track • knowwhen to push forward or step back • Adhere to agreed rules • > formal, > rules to guide speaking, proposing solutions, etc. (parliamentary procedure), see Roberts rules of order • Encourage participation • some are shy, distracted, too quiet…call them out! • those that are too talkative, need to reminded of the limited time and the need for others to contribute • Participate activity • contribute not only to subject but interaction with team • Listen carefully and observe; understand dynamics • Close effectively • Address the success of meeting; goal achieved? Follow up required? • Summarize conclusion or sum up the actions to be taken • Ensure we all agree and clear up any confusions

  28. LO6. Describe how meeting technologies can help participants communicate more successfully • due to rapid growth of virtual teams within organizations • virtual teams suggest members at different locations, communicating electronically • evolving rapidly and can deliver real benefits • Instant messaging- message in real-time • Video conferencing- combines audio with live video, members see each other • Shared workspaces- virtual offices, everyone access many resources, from anywhere • Web-based meeting systems- combines instant messaging, shared workspaces, videoconferencing can be stand alone or both groupware features

  29. Examples of Shared Workspaces A shared workspace site is a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site. Your company has to be using Windows SharePoint Services in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for you set up a shared workspace site.

  30. Web Based Meeting Systems • MRBS is a free application to book meeting rooms. • booking a meeting room is extremely easy • want a meeting room, access MRBS web application • you can select the room that you want to book, and exact date, time and duration for which you want • ensures that if the room is not available at that time, it would not let you create another entry for that……. • see Free Web based Meeting Room Booking System

  31. Using technology to distribute meeting minutes blog meeting wiki minutes If we didn’t listen well, the meeting has lost all meaning

  32. TYPES OF LISTENING • Content Listening • emphasis on information & understanding • ask questions only to clarify the material, not evaluate • Critical Listening • understand & evaluate meaning on different levels (logic, evidence strength, validity of conclusions, implications, intentions & completeness) • Empathic Listening • understand feelings, needs, wants, etc., to show appreciation of what others are going through • Active Listening • making a mindful effort to hear & understand exactly what is being said • No biasness, filters, emotional barriers, etc.

  33. LO7.Describe the listening process and explain how good listeners overcome barriers at each stage of the process • follows the same sequence as communication process model, with the added flaw of happening in real time Recall these components from BCLecture1

  34. LO8. Clarify the importance of non verbal communication & briefly describe 6 categories of non verbal expression • Facial expressions • Gesture & posture • Vocal characteristics • Personal appearance • Touch • Time & Space

  35. Summary • There are both pros and cons working in teams • Technologies are available to assist in collaborative writing • You should recognize the ways in which teams and their members develop • Meetings are a key form of communication for teams • Seek to exploit technologies to make meetings more effective