Theteamwork concept is a routine practice in the organization’soperations of today’s business setting. Every leader who supervisesor works with groups familiarizes with how groups develop over time.The universally recognized group development scheme is the oneproposed by Bruce Tuckman in the year 1965 (Griffin and Moorhead,2010). Bruce Tuckman is a respected educational psychologist whocoined the four stages of developing a group. In the beginning, heidentified the four stages, which comprised the following stages offorming, storming, norming and performing. The fifth stage ofadjourning was late added to the list. In order to maximize thepotential of a group, it has to go through the distinct stages(O`Connell and Cuthbertson, 2009).
Theprocess of team work can be subconscious, although understanding thestages prior to its formation can aid the group achieves itsobjectives more quickly (Griffin and Moorhead, 2010). It universallyaccepted that the stages represent group development stagesirrespective of once culture, demography, location or purpose.Working in a software-based production institution, more than oftenwe are called upon to work on a project collectively. There was thisinstance when we were programming a school management system. Thecompany had a short deadline and therefore subdivides d the projectinto different distinct modules. The subsequent modules were assignedto a group of three employees to work on.
Thewhole process of programming the system demanded that we worked as ateam. The initial step involved forming the groups. The forming stagefeatured the desire of each to be accepted by other workers. Theindividuals assigned to various groups begun collecting informationand impressions about the other group member. The forming stage iscomfortable as people avoided controversy and conflict. Members atthis stage exhibited positive and polite traits (O`Connell andCuthbertson, 2009). Anxiety and curiosity envelopes each member onwhat the assignment of the task is. The stage, therefore, representsthe coming together of different workers to achieve a common goal.The main focus involves knowing the other members of the group.During the forming stage, we established the ground rules to use aswell as determined the structure and organization of the group.
Thesecond stage is storming. The storming stage featured lots ofcompetition and conflicts. Some members started dealing with theprogramming of the modules whereas other still exhibited thecharacteristics of the forming stage and wanted to continue stayingcomfortable. The storming stage highlighted the personalities of thedifferent team players. Some members were very confrontational whileothers were quite humble. This disparity results in conflicts asmembers increasingly want clarification on what to do. Additionally,questions bordering on rules, authority, the reward system,evaluation criteria and responsibilities tend to arise. The stormingstage proved to be the hardest part of the group stages (Forsyth,2010).
Afterreceiving clarity on what the group mandate is, we proceeded to thenorming stage. At this juncture, some sense of sobriety andcohesiveness is exhibited. Morale among the team members is high, andthey seem to acknowledge skills and expertise brought by each teamplayer. At this stage, a member helps another on the coding process.The group focuses on the core business of achieving a workingprogramming module (O`Connell and Cuthbertson, 2009). Flexibility,interdependence and trust hovers among the members. Furthermore, theywillingly adapt to the needs and requirements of the group withoutany hesitation. The sense of trust and security ensures a seamlessflow of information.
Asthe group progresses, it comes to its peak atthe performing stage.Performing stage involves members of a group working actively towardsa common goal on an efficientand supportive basis. There exist asense of unity among the team players, and the group members look-outfor one another even outside the boundaries of their scope. Theperforming stage epitomizes the dictum that a wholesome approach isbetter than summing up the parts. This stage marks high productivityamong members. The members are united, reliable and loyal.Competence among members permits autonomy in resolution making.Members focus highly on problem-solving as well as experimentingprobable solutions. The main objective of the group is programmingthe module until it not only runs but also achieves the set aim(Zastrow, 2009).
Thefinal stage is the adjourning stage. Several teams eventually willreach this stage. For instance, the school management system had adeadline of sixty days. The fixed period ensures that the modules ofeach group are time-bound. Given the completion of the core mandateassembling the members, the group is now disbanded. The teamtakes time to celebrate its achievements (O`Connell and Cuthbertson,2009).
Accordingto Jacobs (2006), groupthink refers to the deterioration of rationaladeptness, realism testing, and ethical judgment that emanates fromgroup challenges and pressures. Group think ensues when individualscrave for consensus beyond the need to come up with the rightdecision. Such actions inhibit people from unleashing their fullpotential in solving the problem. It is disadvantageous to thefreedom of thought for team players and in the long run thedecision-making process (Jacobs, 2006). In the project task, theparties involved ensured that they participated collectively to meetthe set objectives. The coordination of duties for the modules wasforthright and successfully completed.
Theteam working on the school management system comprises of individualsfrom divergent school of thoughts as well as different backgrounds.Such diversity allows the company to counter ethnic-based biasedness. Business has the chance of being responsive to their clientsthrough diversity because the composition of the virtual teamcomprises individuals from varied cultural backgrounds (O`Connell andCuthbertson, 2009). The diversity in the team lessens the probabilityof groupthink, and therefore members are more likely to be creativeand proactive giving solutions. Affiliates of the team instantlyrespond to particular geographic and ethnic requests previouslyoverlooked or neglected by collocated groups.
Asthe project progresses, I did identify that features that influencesuccessful teamwork are within the team itself and in the worksetting itself. Improving teamwork demands the use of a number ofstrategies. Firstly, each member should actively participate in thedecision-making process. The integration of team members in thegroup`s activities fosters its success (Griffin and Moorhead, 2010).Additionally, it is important to minimize the use of ranks insteadthe skills and talents of the members should be adequately utilized.Nonetheless, a leader whose final decision will stand is appointedwhen the team cannot agree.
Inany group setting, it is important to ensure that work is equallybalanced. No single member is to bear the burden of the whole team.The workload should be manageable and comparatively equal. Wheninstances of conflicts arise, it is important to take a positiveapproach in solving it. Confrontation and blame game is detrimentalto the cohesiveness of the group. Last but not least, the groupshould foster an environment of mutual respect and respect. The groupshould maintain open communication amongst members (Forsyth, 2010). Expression of opinions, ideas and concerns should be open. The hardwork of teams habitually yields far better outcomes than singularefforts of an individual. Working in a team tends to producehighvaluedproducts. Nevertheless, groups do encounter challenges suchas infighting and divergence about the assignment`s direction andambiguous goals. Such conflicts create contention even with thebest-skilled groups.
Forsyth,D. R. (2010). Groupdynamics.Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Griffin,R. W., & Moorhead, G. (2010). Organizationalbehavior: Managing people and organizations.Australia: South-Western/Cengage Learning.
Jacobs,E. E. (2006). Groupcounseling: Strategies and skills.Belmont, CA: Thomson/Brooks/Cole.
O`Connell,T. S., & Cuthbertson, B. (2009). Groupdynamics in recreation and leisure: Creating conscious groupsthrough an experiential approach.Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Zastrow,C. (2009). Socialwork with groups: A comprehensive workbook.Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.