What is a team work? Team work can be defined as when actions of individuals are brought together for the purpose of a common goal. Each person in a team puts his efforts to achieve the objectives of large group. Teams make efforts to achieve the success but not necessarily the success is achieved every time. Within a team every member plays a role to achieve the team’s objectives. These roles add new and important dimensions to interactions of team members. Bruce Tuckman’s team development theory provides a way to tackle the tasks of making a team through the completion of the project. On the part of the team every member played an important role to achieve the success at the end of semester.
“Our planning (or worrying about) what’s happening next gives us little opportunity or inclination to examine what has just passed” (Wallace, 2005).
Writing from the angle of teacher student and team member relationships, it was appropriate to look then above quote. I believe that many students in a team hesitate to step further for their next action during the proceeding of project. I need to be reflective in my action for the future performance in a team.
“Groups of employees who have at least some collective tasks and where the team members are
authorised to regulate mutually the execution of these collective tasks” (Delarue, 2003).
“Group work is defined by a common task requiring interdependent work and successive or
integrative action” (Hacker, 1998).
Belbin (1981) developed a model on team roles which was extended in Belbin’s (1993) publication. On the basis of the Belbin’s model the team performance can be observed when a winning or losing task is set for the team. Each member with assigned role balances the team role in a group and strong representation of all roles is predicted with high performance. I have experienced the same the role of every member in my team. Belbin makes a difference between two terms team role and functional role. It is necessary for a team to keep the optimum balance both in functional roles and team roles. On the other hands the Tuckman’s theory describes the four stages of small group development as forming, storming, norming and performing. However a fifth stage of adjourning was added which involves the completion of tasks, termination of roles and dissolution of groups. Belbin’s theory is helpful to identify the different types of the teams; the characteristics define the work of the four categories. This model explains that during the team developments conflicts and interpersonal issues are found there and team development is dependent on the quality communication and relationship maturity with better performance. In traditional setting this model is useful for many practitioners and team leaders. According to this model all members work at the same place and are engaged in predefined work. This model works at the micro level of teams when new tasks are introduced and people involved have worked together not for long time.
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Belbin (1981) saying that not a single individual may have all the qualities to accomplish the total corporate role is totally right. An individual in a team is assigned his role of his choice and is avoided to perform the roles which are not in his abilities. Belbin also formulated the concept of roles in a team and their contribution of characteristic personalities and abilities in a team. The success of a team is the result of combination of team roles in it. The roles identified by the Belbin are lesser or greater extent shape the individual roles in a team. I am agreed with these nine roles explained by Belbin; all the nine roles are not necessary to achieve the success. I think that five roles are sufficient to achieve the success as some roles are doubled up – for example a specialist role can be performed by a Plants role included in nine roles of Belbin. A project in beginning needs the ideas, concept and contacts so the roles of Plants and Resource are more valued at that occasion. When the project is completed the roles of implementers and completer have their own place in a team. The Belbin theory allows every role to play a secondary role in a team. The secondary role possesses the second higher skills in results. In this way a role can perform more than one function to become a secondary role player in a team.
In this work I want to reflect the situation taken place during the last semester to develop and utilize my personal skills needed to maintain the relationships with other team members. Gibbs (1988) Reflective cycle is used to reflect in an effective way. I am using this model because it is a recognized framework for my reflection. Gibbs (1988) contains six stages to complete the cycle which improves my personal skills continuously and learning for the best practices in future. As Gibbs cycle moves forward the first stage describes the situation where the team members work together, next stage looks the feelings of members about the work and third stage involves the analysis of the feelings of team members. The fourth stage is the analysis to make the sense of experience, 5th stage includes the outcome of team work and the final stage involves the action plan for the situation if it arose again. This kind of reflection generated the practice knowledge which assisted me to work with my team members and adapt the new situation during the work. The team work generated a sense of satisfaction and developed professional practices. My team work encouraged me to learn from the mistakes and behavior and looked at the perspectives of other members in team. It was important for me to build the team member relationship with other team fellows. I established a mutual understanding and trust with other team members. Bound (1996) has stated that reflection is prompted by its positive states. He gives examples of a completion of a task which was thought impossible previously. I think that I have showed this sort of reflection during my last semester. Team work faces many challenges as the Watson (1995) says that teamwork is not a smooth path individualistic behavior, competitive, personality imbalances and cultural, philosophical, gender differences are all risks. I have seen these negative aspects of teamwork provided me learning opportunities when I was asked to do a differently next time. There existed the cultural and language differences among the team members. Therefore many learning activities were organized as a group but the challenges of language and cultural differences resisted producing the expected results. Students in a group varied due to academic levels and many of them were unable to embrace the other cultures. Language differences also impacted our teamwork due to language handling conflicts. The positive points of teamwork are enormous as being a team member I have shared the resources, success glory and burden failure. We have talked on various topics relevant to our project during the last session. I have respected my team members, their ideas and feelings. At the start of the project,t team members agreed upon the team objectives and enabled us to make consensus on the aims, and minimized distraction from other issues. An agenda was prepared before every meeting and circulated to every member of the team during the session. It included the venue, time and duration of the meeting and discussed the supporting materials at the meeting. It was impossible to solve the problems lonely. I inter-acted my team members which was vital for the team success. Our team leader addressed the team dynamics and created a culture of the creativity. I was a big part of my team to remove the barriers to generate the new ideas and encouraged all members and also supported them.
In this reflective paper the pros and cons of a team member are discussed with perspectives of Belbin and Gibbs theories. One very positive spin-off from this reflective essay is that now I am able to get further insights into processes and deliberations of each team. Overall it has been very learning experience for me and I have welcomed every my team members with different cultures and languages. A comparison of Belbin’s theory and Tuckman’s theory is part of this paper. Belbin’s model is based upon the team roles while Tuckman’s model tells us about team development process. Gibbs Reflective cycle is a role model to work within team and is described with its stages to improve my personal skills for the future work in a team. To keep the team more effective I must provide more opportunities and challenges and help my team members to plan their careers based on the projected organizational needs. By creating an organizational environment, openness and energies I can expect to attract the vital team members which are major part of the keys to my future.
“Teamwork allows me to be involved and participate in equal ways, sharing equal ideas. This helps to broaden my thinking to achieve the best outcomes.”(Griffith Graduate, 2003).
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