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Teamwork

Teamwork competency is accomplishing outcomes through small groups of people who are collectively responsible and whose work is inter-dependent. Getting these teams to work effectively, the managers have to:
1. Design teams properly- which involves formulating goals, defining tasks to be done, and necessary staffing.
2. Create a supportive team environment – here, teams have to be given relative freedom to work or perform tasks, freedom to make decisions without always reporting to the team leaders or project managers
3. Manage team dynamics appropriately – definitely, conflicts are bound to arise but the conflicts can be productive when managed well and destructive, if poorly managed.

And the most likely response of commitment to a group by its members is for the team leader/project manager to use a referent or expert, coaching and mentoring form of leadership power.

The strength of members’ desires to remain in the group or team and their commitment to it is cohesiveness and this is based on the following feelings of trust, openness, freedom, & interdependence. Cohesiveness is the reflection of the members’ feeling toward one another and the whole team.

The stages of forming a team are:
1. Forming Stage – The earliest form of team development, at which the work team focuses on orientation to its goals & procedures.
2. Storming Stage – The stage begins when competitive or strained behaviours emerge & may involve resistance and impatience with the lack of progress.
3. Norming Stage – Here, team members become increasingly positive about the team as a whole, the other members as individuals, and what the team is doing. The rules of behaviour that are widely shared and enforced by the members of the work team develop.
4. Performing stage – Here, members have developed a degree of trust, respect and accept each other. Members are willing to present ‘wild’ ideas without fear of being put down and giving accurate feedback. The members of the group/team help focus the team on its tasks and goals.
5. Adjourning Stage – Here, the team’s development involves terminating tasks behaviours and disengaging from relationships. Here most work teams end and have their end-point except a few like the executive committee of an organization’s board of director is ongoing.

At this point it will be good to really concentrate on benefits of team work. The whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts (synergy). Comprises of a win/win situation and the greatest skills of empathic communication is developed. Effective team work catalyses, unifies and unleashes the greatest powers within people. E.g. If you put two pieces of wood together they will much more than the total of the weight held by each separately.

Appropriate degree of synergy in the business would result to everybody working towards a particular goal. This will increase communication empathically and result to admirable conclusions/business mission statements that are a result of everybody. In conclusion, a high degree of cooperation will lead to high degree of trust as a result move one from a position of defensive (win/lose or lose/win) to respect (compromise) then to finally a synergistic (win/win) solution.

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