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Effective team performance Essay Sample

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Effective team performance Essay Sample

1. Understand the attributes of effective team performance

1.1. Define the key features of effective team performance
Being a great team leader is not about being the best, it is about working together as a team, finding out what each individual strengths and weaknesses are and working together to create success. Effective team performance can be summed up by Ken Blanchard’s mnemonic “perform”

P. Purpose & Values
E. Empowerment
R. Relationships & Communication
F. Flexibility
O. Optimal Performance
R. Recognition & Appreciation
M. Morale

1.2. Compare the models used to link individual roles and development with team performance
There isn’t only one accepted model for turning individuals into high performing teams. There are four more popular models that are used to improve team performance, which include Tuckman’s Stage Model, Hackman’s Inputs-Processes-Outputs Model, Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and Curphy and Hogan’s Rocket Model. Although each of these offer a unique insight into team building, The Rocket Model has more advantages over the others.

Tuckman’s Stage Model. Tuckman noted that groups without any leadership seemed to go through four phases: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Groups do not become effective until they reach the performing stage. The model provides advice to leaders for helping groups transition through the four phases. Although these phases can readily be seen in volunteer groups, they rarely occur in corporate settings since work groups are usually brought together for some purpose, have better defined roles, and have some sort of pecking order.

Hackman’s Inputs-Processes-Outputs Model. According to Hackman, inputs are the raw materials available to a group or team, and include team members, raw materials, equipment, etc. Processes are the procedures or systems team members use to do work, and outputs are the end products. The inputs-processes-outputs model is based on sound research, but is too vague to be of much use.

Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Lencioni developed a team stage model that includes: (a) absence of trust; (b) fear of conflict; (c) lack of commitment; (d) avoidance of accountability; and (e) inattention to results. The model provides some useful insights into team dynamics, but is not based on sound research, and although it seems to make intuitive sense, in many cases it is simply wrong.

Curphy and Hogan’s Rocket Model. The Rocket Model capitalises on the advantages of the previous frameworks in that it is based on research from hundreds of teams and provides sound, practical advice for improving group and team performance. The Rocket Model consists of eight components, which include context, mission, talent, norms, buy-in, power, morale, and results. Context concerns gaining team member agreement on the challenges facing the team; mission is setting team goals and benchmarks; talent focuses on the number, roles, and skills of team members; norms pertain to the rules by which team members operate; buy-in is all about fostering employee engagement; power concerns acquiring needed authority and resources; morale pertains to the level of team esprit-de-corps and conflict, and the accomplishments attained fall in to the results component.

2 Know how to support team development

2.1. Analyse the stages of team development
The more popular model of team development is ‘Bruce Tuckmans model he developed 5 stages in which teams tend to go through,

FORMING
In this stage, most team members are positive and polite. Some are anxious, as they don\’t fully understand what work the team will do. Others are simply excited about the task ahead. As leader, you play a dominant role at this stage, because team members’ roles and responsibilities haven’t been decided yet
This stage can last for some time, as people start to work together, and as they make an effort to get to know their new colleagues.

STORMING
Next, the team moves into the storming phase, where people start to push against the boundaries established in the forming stage. This is the stage where many teams fail.
Storming often starts where there is a conflict between team members’ natural working styles. People work in different ways but, sometimes differing working styles cause unforeseen problems as we all like to think our way is the best way.

Storming can also happen in other situations, team members may challenge your authority, or jockey for position as their roles are made clear. Or, if you haven’t defined clearly how the team will work, people may feel overwhelmed by their workload, or they could be uncomfortable with the approach you’re using.
Some may question the worth of the team’s goal, and they may resist taking on tasks.
Team members who stick with the task at hand may experience stress, particularly as they don’t have the support of established processes or strong relationships with their colleagues.

NORMING
Gradually, the team moves into the norming stage. This is when people start to resolve their differences, appreciate colleagues’ strengths, and respect your authority as a leader.
As the team members get to know one another better, they may socialise together, and they are able to ask one another for help and provide constructive feedback. People develop a stronger commitment to the team , and you start to see good progress.

PERFORMING
The team reaches the performing stage, when hard work leads, without conflict, to the achievement of the team’s purpose. The structures and processes that have been set up support this well.
As leader, you can delegate much of your work, and you can concentrate on developing team members

ADJOURNING
Many teams will reach this stage eventually. For example, project teams may only last for a while, and even permanent teams may be disbanded through organisational restructuring.Team members who like routine, or who have developed close working relationships with colleagues, may find this stage difficult.

2.2. Identify barriers to success and how these can be overcome
2.3. Analyse the effect of group norms may have on team development

There can be quite a few barriers when working as a team, for example:
• Poor communication
• Poor management
• Poor attitudes
• Poor guidelines
• No trust amongst colleagues
• No confidence in decision making

These however can be over come if we all take a look at how we treat each other and make the necessary adjustments, this is where as a team we make guidelines or “norms” which will in effect over come any barriers we may come up against.

Team norms or ground rule are made with all members of the team joining in equally. The manager of the team or the team leader is included in the discussion and must agree to practice the relationship guidelines developed.

Here are a few guidelines or norms we could all work towards;
• Treat each other with dignity and respect.
• Don’t be false,
• Be genuine with each other about ideas, challenges, and feelings.
• Have confidence that issues discussed will be kept in confidence.
• Team members will practice a consistent commitment to sharing all the information they have. Share the complete information that you have up front.
• Don’t be dismissive of the input received, we need to listen.
• Practice being open-minded.
• Don’t be defensive with your colleagues.
• Rather than searching for the guilty, give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt; have a clean slate process.
• Support each other – don’t throw each other under the bus.
• Avoid territoriality; think instead of the overall good for the company, our employees, and our residents
• The discussion of issues, ideas and direction will not become a personal attack or return to haunt you in the future.
• Managers are open, communicative, and authentic with each other and their teams.
• It’s okay to not know the right answer and to admit it. The team can find the answer.
• Problems are presented in a way that promotes mutual discussion and resolution.
• It is safe to be wrong as a manager. Thoughtful decision-making is expected.
• Own the whole implementation of the product, not just your little piece; recognise that you are part of something larger than yourself. Be responsible to own the whole picture.
• Practice and experience humility – each of us may not have all the answers.
• If you commit to doing something – do it. Be accountable and responsible for the team.
• It is okay to be the messenger with bad news. You can expect a problem-solving approach, not recrimination.
• Promise to come prepared to your meetings and projects so that you demonstrate value and respect for the time and convenience of others.
• Strive to continuously improve and achieve the team\’s strategic goals. Don\’t let ineffective relationships and interactions sabotage the team\’s work.
Teams need to make the effort to practice all of these norms and to care enough about the team and its work to confront each other, with care, compassion, and purpose, when a team member fails to practice these norms.
Working as a team helps provide a framework that will increase the ability of employees to take part in planning, problem-solving and decision making to be able to care for our residents to the best of our ability. Good teamwork makes:
• a better understanding of decisions,
• more support for and participation in implementation plans,
• increased contribution to problem-solving and decision making, and
• more ownership of decisions, processes, and changes.

2.4. Differentiate between beneficial conflict and destructive conflict in teams
The difference between constructive conflict/ criticism and destructive conflict/ criticism is the way in which comments are delivered.
Although both are challenging your ideas, character or ability, when someone is giving destructive criticism it can hurt your pride, feelings and have negative effects on your self-esteem and confidence. Destructive criticism is often just thoughtlessness by another person, but it can also be deliberately nasty and hurtful. Destructive criticism can, in some cases, lead to anger and/or aggression. Instead of focusing on solving a problem, team members begin to point fingers and get defensive. Time is wasted, problems go unsolved, and employers are left with an assortment of people competing against each other, rather than a team of people working together

Constructive conflict /criticism, on the other hand, is designed to point out your mistakes, but also show you where and how improvements can be made. Constructive criticism should be viewed as useful feedback that can help you improve yourself rather than put you down.When criticism is constructive it is usually easier to accept, even if it still hurts a little, negative feedback can feel like a punch to the gut, especially when the you’ve put a lot of time and energy into creating it.
In either scenario always try to remember that you can use criticism to your advantage.

2.5. Evaluate methods of dealing with conflict within a team
When people have different points of views, experiences, skills, and opinions and are working together as a team this can be when conflicts and problems can arise. We must be open to these differences and not let them grow into full-blown arguments.
Understanding and appreciating everyone\’s different points of view involved in conflict are key factors in its resolution. These are key skills for all of us to develop. The important thing is sometimes “to agree to disagree “to maintain a healthy balance of constructive difference of opinion, and avoid negative conflict that\’s destructive and disruptive.
There is a three-stage process, which helps team members to do this:
Step 1: Prepare for Resolution
• Acknowledge the conflict – The conflict has to be acknowledged before it can be managed and resolved. If you are concerned about the conflict in your team, discuss it with other members. Once you know what the problem is, you can start the process of working it out and solving the problem. Discuss with everyone the impact the conflict is having on the team.
• Agree to a cooperative process – Everyone involved must agree to work together to resolve the conflict. This means putting the team first, and may mean you need to take a step back with your opinions or ideas for the time being. If someone wants to win more than he or she wants to sort out the problem, you may find yourself at a standstill
• Agree to communicate – The most importantly throughout the resolution process is for everyone to keep communications open. The people involved need to talk about the issue and discuss their feelings. Active listening is essential here, because to move on you need to really understand where the other person is coming from.

Step 2: Understand the Situation
Once you are all ready to resolve the conflict, the next stage is to understand the situation, and each person’s point of view. Make the time to make sure that each person\’s opinion is heard and understood. Remember that there will be strong emotions at work here and you have to get through the emotion which you will then find what the real problem is. Do the following:
• Clarify positions – Whatever the conflict or disagreement, it\’s important to clarify people’s positions. Whether there are obvious factions within the team who support a particular option, approach or idea, or each team member holds their own unique view, each position needs to be clearly identified and articulated by those involved.
This step alone can go a long way to resolve the conflict, as it helps the team see the facts more objectively and with less emotion.
Take care to have an open mind, rather than criticise or judge the views and opinions of the other people. Listen to everyone’s solutions and ideas beecause everyone needs to feel heard and acknowledged if the problem is to be sorted out.

Step 3: Reach An Agreement
Now everyone should understand each other’s positions, you must decide how to move forward, what decision or course of action should you now take.

When you feel the problem has been resolved, take time to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions everyone made toward reaching a solution. This can build confidence in everyone’s problem solving skills, and can help prevent further conflict and problems.

2.6. Compare methods of developing and establishing trust and accountability within a team
“A team without trust isn’t really a team!” it’s just a group of people working together – badly. They may not share information, they might argue over their rights and responsibilities, and they probably won’t cooperate with one another. It doesn’t matter how capable or how much experience we have, we may never reach our full potential if trust isn’t present.
However, when we have trust within a team, we all become stronger, because we are all part of an effective working group. When people trust one another it makes us all more confident in dealing with things.
As a manager I want to build trust with all the people I work with, this will mean:

• Leading by example – showing the people that you trust others. This means trusting your colleagues, Not forgetting that you’re the people you work with are always watching and taking cues from you.

• Communicate openly – You need to get everyone talking to one another in an honest, meaningful way, Meet regularly, so that you all have a chance to talk about issues or ideas people may have. This is an important part of getting to know each other. It creates opportunities for colleagues to talk, and to help one another solve problems.

• Don’t place blame – When people work together, honest mistakes can happen, and it’s easy to blame someone who has caused these. When everyone starts pointing fingers, an unpleasant atmosphere can quickly develop. This lowers morale, undermines trust, and is ultimately unproductive. Instead, encourage everyone to think about the mistake in a constructive way. What can we all do to fix what happened, and move forward together? And how can you make sure that this mistake doesn’t happen again?

• Discourage cliques – sometime cliques can form within a team, often between team members who share common interests or work tasks. However,this can make other colleagues feel a little isolated, even if it isn’t meant to. Start an open discussion about this with your colleagues, and see what they think about cliques and their effect on other group members. Only by addressing the issue openly can you discourage this damaging behaviour.

• Trust issues – if you know your colleagues have trust issues, it’s essential to find out how these problems originate, so that you can come up with a strategy for overcoming them.Try giving everyone a questionnaire to fill out anonymously. Ask them about the level of trust within the group, as well as why they think there’s a lack of trust. Once you’ve read the results, get everyone together to talk about these issues (but make sure that you respect the anonymity of the survey!)

3. Know how to promote shared purpose within a team
3.1 Evaluate ways of promoting shared vision within a team
3.2. Review approaches that encourage sharing of skills and knowledge between team members
4. Know how to promote a ‘no blame culture’ within a team
4.1 Define the meaning of ‘ no blame culture ‘
4.2. Evaluate the benefits of a ‘ no blame culture ‘
4.3. Describe how systems and processes can be used to support a no blame culture
4.4. Describe strategies for managing risks associated with a no blame culture

5. Understand different styles of leadership and management
5.1. Compare different styles of leadership and management
5.2. Reflect on adjustments to own leadership and management style that may be required in different circumstances.

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