The shift that has taken place today in the workplace in any organization has important implications for the skills that will be critical to the success of an individual in an organization. This shift involves increasing the emphasis on the group or team.
Many factors are driving this shift. Technology is a primary force as tasks have grown too complex for individuals to tackle alone. In addition, competitive forces have led many organizations to flatten the organization by reducing the numbers of levels of middle managers. Shifting authority and responsibility down to the bottom level allows teams to take over functions that used to be done by management. On a macro scale, ...view middle of the document...
Situations where widespread acceptance and commitment are critical will call for teamwork.
Strengths of Groups as Problem Solvers
• diversity of problem solving styles, skills
• more knowledge and information
• greater understanding and commitment
• tends to be focused Weaknesses of Groups as Problem Solvers
• use (sometimes waste) of organization resources
• pressure to conform
• individual domination; chance to "score points"
• diffusion of responsibility
• diversity of views, goals, loyalties
• too quick to "solve" (not analyze) problem
Skills needed for teamwork
A variety of social skills are desirable for successful teamwork. These include:
• Listening - it is important to listen to other people's ideas. When people are allowed to freely express their ideas, these initial ideas will produce other ideas.
• Discussing It is important to discuss ideas with teammates until an agreement is reached.
• Questioning - it is important to ask questions, interact, and discuss the objectives of the team.
• Persuading - individuals are encouraged to exchange, defend, and ultimately rethink their ideas.
• Respecting - it is important to treat others with respect and to support their ideas.
• Helping - it is crucial to help one's co-workers, which is the essence of teamwork.
• Sharing - it is important to share with the team to create an environment of teamwork.
• Participating - all members of the team are encouraged to participate in the team. (usually consist of three or more people)
• Communicating - For a team to work effectively, it is essential team members acquire communication skills and use effective communication channels between one another. This will enable team members of the group to work together and achieve the team's purpose and goals.
When teamwork is utilized
Teams should only be employed in situations where the strengths are critical. In general, a group problem-solving process is called for when:
• the problem is relatively uncertain, complex, and has potential for conflict
• the problem requires interdepartmental or intergroup cooperation and coordination
• the problem and its solution have important personal and organizational consequences
• there are significant but not immediate deadline pressures
• widespread acceptance and commitment are critical to successful implementation
Belonging to a team relates to the individual’s understanding of the mission or objectives of the organization. In a team-oriented environment, an individual contributes to the overall success of the organization. The individual works with fellow members of the organization to produce these results. Even though the individual has a specific job function and he/she belongs to a specific department, he/she is unified with other organization members to accomplish the overall objectives.
Creating an effective team
There are key elements that must be present for a team to be effective. These...