Team Dynamics South-Western Thomson Learning Business Management Teamwork Unit
What are teams? “Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.” - Michael Jordan
Why do we have teams? • Two heads are better than one. • Gain in knowledge from each other • People work in groups in every other part of their life. Why not business? “None of us is as smart as all of us.” -Ken Blanchard
Advantages of a Team • More cost-effective work processes • Increased employee morale • Better use of workers’ time and talents • Improved decision making
Challenges Facing Today’s Firms • Rapid and extensive technological change • Industrial globalization • Intense competition • Changing customer expectations • Workforce diversity
Companies that use Teamwork • Deere & Company – teamwork allowed it to survive in the early 1990’s • Norwest Corporation – teamwork resulted in more than half a billion dollars in pretax earnings • World War II – teamwork helped the US to win the war and become a superpower • Apollo 13 – teamwork saved the life of the crew
Shared knowledge Inclusive attitude Shared Leadership Balanced Participation from a Diverse Group Decision Making by Concensus Flexibility Management Support and Sufficient Resources Belief in a Standard of Excellence Clear Role Assignments that Match members’ Talents Characteristics of a Winning Team
Identify the Team’s Purpose Also known as a mission, this is a clearly defined goal or reason for the teams existence.
Establish the Team’s Goals • Once a purpose has been defined, goals based on the mission must be set. • Goals should be clear, worthwhile, timed, and communicated with all team members.
Well designed goals are: • Written • Realistic • Specific • Monitored “A team functions well only when each individual team member commits 100 percent to both the team and its mission.” - Mary Albright and Clay Carr
Create a Plan to Achieve Goals Starting a goal is one thing – achieving it is another. Just because you have a well written goal does not mean that it will be accomplished. Teams need to decide how to achieve the action described in their goals by establishing a plan.
Agree Upon a Code of Conduct • Establish a written code of conduct that covers administrative and interpersonal rules.
Utilize Skills and Talents of Each Team Member • Technical: in-depth knowledge about technical aspects of the project or equipment used by team members • Organizational: focuses on details and deadlines, keeps the team and project on track, organizes action items • Problem-solving: generates good ideas and follows a logical process to sift through alternatives • Interpersonal: excels at resolving conflict, handling relationships and encouraging all team members to contribute to the team
Research has shown the most productive work group size to be five to seven people. It is better to start with to few members because you can always add. Management must choose the right task for the team and give them the tools to achieve their goals. Teams must have time to become cohesive. Choose the Correct SizeSelect the Right Task “Size works against excellence.” - Bill Gates
“A team is more than a collection of people; it is a process of give and take.” - Barbara Clacel and Emile Robert, Jr. True teamwork occurs when: • Project’s outcome is equally important to each teammate • Each person understands their own roles of all team members • Each team accepts every team member as an essential colleague • Open frank communication has generated honesty and trust
Traditional A hierarchy of supervisors Management set the tasks and schedules Seniority and time spent on job determine pay Workers trained in their specific area Teamwork Leadership and power is shared The team decides its own tasks and schedules Skills and productivity determine pay Worker’s cross trained Teamwork vs. Traditional Work
Organizations that focus on educating and training people about the technical aspects of their jobs and about effective group participation increase the chance that their groups will become high-performance teams. Decision-making Basic finance and accounting Problem-solving Conflict resolution Cross-functional training Training for Teams
Leader Critic Implementor Specialist Diplomat Coordinator Innovator Inspector “The ratio of We’s to I’s is the best indicator of the development of a team.” - Lewis D. Eigen Typical Team Roles
Stages in Team Development Forming Storming Performing Norming
In the beginning, the group is really just a collection of individuals. During this stage, team members feel uncertain about what they are doing. The individuals: Feel uneasy Fear rejection Worry about rejection Polite Avoid conflict Forming
This stage is marked by disagreement and competition among the team members or between the teammates and the leader. The team defines itself. The individuals: Disagree about values Demand clarification Challenge the leader and each other Participate or withdraw more Storming
Now the team congeals into a genuine group. Having succeeded in resolving their major conflicts, the members feel more secure with each other and their leader. The individuals: Adapt or switch roles to get a better match between skills and tasks Feel a strong group commitment Value each other’s talents Rely on one another Norming
During this stage, the members become a full-fledged team. There is clear, honest communication among the members, with a strong focus on getting the work done. The individuals: Clearly understand the team’s goals, and their own roles Match role assignments to member abilities Participate freely Task oriented Performing
Team Building Strategies Communication Problem-Solving Problem-Solving Survival Games Cooperation
If a Team Fails. . . Despite team-building efforts, a team will occasionally fail to unit or become hopelessly mired in Stage 2. So organizations should establish a way to profit from both negative and positive teamwork experiences.
Be courteous Show interest in coworkers Exhibit a positive can-do attitude Admit when you are wrong Express gratitude Criticize with caution Assist others when they ask for help Honor people’s privacy Treat Others Professionally
Cooperative Humble Positive Charitable Reliable A Good Communicator A good listener Open to change Trustworthy Lifelong learner Diplomatic Traits of a Good Team Player
Giving Feedback in a Positive Way • Be prompt and specific • Get to the point • Speak only for yourself • Avoid negative words or exaggerations • Give positive feedback as well “None love the messenger who brings bad news.” - Sophocies
Receive Feedback in a Positive Way • Restate the person’s comments to make sure you understand. • Listen carefully and respectfully • Don’t interrupt but do acknowledge valid points and ask questions for clarifications • Reflect on what is said • Be professional
Non-Team Players Damage the Team Employees who aren’t team players can ruin their team’s chances of success by destroying the team from the inside out. They may: • Work on low priority tasks to make sure the deadline is not completed on time • Destroying the foundation of trust • Making negative comments about teammates
Teamwork Doesn’t Come Naturally • Socialization • Individualism • Skill Segregation • Role Segregation • Inexperience • Fear of decision-making • Inability to cope with change
Major Organizational Factors That Hinder Teamwork • No faith in the company or its mission • Lack of support from management • An unfavorable organizational climate Do not institute meaning Fail to establish group goals Deny access to necessary funds Do not have a team work area • An unethical organizational culture • Employee Disenchantment
Working with Difficult People on Your Team Getting along with teammates is a prerequisite for effective teamwork. For most people, you will merely need to adhere to the basic rules for any professional interaction: • Listen before talking • Think before acting • Anticipate the consequences of what you say or do • The only person you truly have control over is yourself.
Remain under control of your own response Remember to praise improved behavior Refer to established team rules and goals Try changing your reactions by offering options Condemn negative deeds not the person Never use statements of finality Model the behavior you desire Don’t try to protect people from the consequences of their actions Offer compromises Listen and respond using I messages Coping Strategies
Types of Difficult People • Controlling Aggressors. These unnerving individuals act openly hostile and negative and sometimes spew verbal abuse or threaten physical harm
How to cope with controlling aggressors • Try to keep them sitting down • Try standing beside them as opposed to in front of them • Just listen until they run out of things to say • Never invade their personal space • If they interrupt you, politely state, “I am not finished.” • Avoid using the words you or your when discussing something negative.
Volcanoes Like their namesake, these individuals are volatile and unpredictable. Frustration builds inside of them until, just like a volcano, they explode in a torrent of tears or a barrage of ranting and raving.
How to cope with volcanoes • Don’t interrupt while they vent • Help them to calm down before trying to reason with them • Empathize without condoning • Demonstrate your concern
Passive Aggressors These guerilla fighters never confront you openly but seek revenge in a subtle way. How to cope with passive-aggressors • Don’t let them play cat and mouse with you. Confront them directly and force a response. • Make it clear that you expect them to discuss problems with you • If they spread malicious rumors, confront them privately, directly and calmly. • Don’t argue when they deny their covert actions or claim that they never intended to harm you
Constant Complainers These all-around negative individuals continually find fault and whine incessantly. What is worse, they keep bringing up old arguments and rehashing past mistakes over and over again. They also tend to blame others for their shortcomings.
How to cope with constant complainers: • Listen to them to make them feel important • Acknowledge what they have said without necessarily agreeing with it • Ask them to be part of the solution • When they drag up the past, point out that the solution is in the present or future
Lazy Bums These individuals agree to any request but usually fail to deliver. Time and time again they commit to deadlines and agree to action items, then fail to honor them.
How to cope with lazy bums • Try focusing their attention on the task by clearly defining the problem • Check with them frequently to be sure that they are actually taking the action agreed upon • Let them know that you’re counting on them and feel confident that they can get the job done • Praise them whenever they are effective and meet the schedule
Oppositional Defiants These people will contradict you even if you merely state that the sun is bright or ice is cold. They seem to thrive on controversy and seek opportunities to argue any point, no matter how minor. They enjoy playing devil’s advocate, and are usually very vocal.
How to cope with oppositional defiants • Maintain your physical distance • Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into a public power struggle • Never command, even if you have the authority to do so; always phrase everything as a request or question • Offer choices so they feel as if they are in control
Notable Quotables • “Human actions can be modified to some exten, but human nature cannot be changed.” - Abraham Lincoln • “Good humor makes all things tolerable.” -Henry Ward Beecher • “I’m not one who easily trusts others to get the job done. When we got into teamwork, I found it particularly difficult to do my part.” -John Newman
Characteristics of Effective Teams • Members share common goals and work collaboratively to achieve them. • Members communicate openly and frequently. • Members show an inclusive attitude by using the pronouns we, us and ours instead of I, me, my and mine when discussing team achievements “Two heads are better than one only if they contain different opinions.” -Kenneth Kaye
Characteristics of Effective Teams (cont.) • Members share leadership through combined problem-solving efforts. • Members exhibit a high level of trust and cooperation. • Members recognize conflict as a healthy and necessary part of group interaction. “Nothing creates more self-respect among employees than being included in the process of making decisions.” - Judith M. Bardwick
Groupthink First identified by Irving Janis, groupthink is a well-documented phenomenon that occurs when a group strives to minimize conflict at the expense of critical analyzation and evaluation.
Ways to reduce the chances of groupthink • Asking a group member to deliberately play the role of devil’s advocate • Assigning a team member to point out the negative ramifications of any suggestion • Encouraging critical, independent thinking • Evaluating the quality of every idea • Disagreeing if you see a potential snag in a proposed suggestion