Teamwork and Group Problem-Solving Experience


Teamwork plays a significant role in every business as it contributes to the increasing of trust and support between all team members. Penta team was created in order to enjoy diversity and develop problem-solving and effective communication skills within the group.

Teamwork Analyses

My team members and I were enthusiastic, energetic, and creative. To solve the given task we needed a goal towards which we have concentrated all our efforts. The goal was clear and executable in the context of the team strategy. Team members were determined to be useful, as we would like to put our creativity and energy to the activity that will be interesting for both participants of the game and the organizers. The task has been recognized by team potentially solvable because no one wills to spend his or her time to achieve the goal, which from the beginning recognized unattainable. Moreover, our team has identified itself with the task. The team then had some time to distribute the roles in accordance with the objectives and to develop the approach to them.

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Only when the task was approved and accepted by all members of the project, the activity had a chance to become truly successful. All above proves the idea that “team is more than just a collection of people, as it is a special group in which people work interdependently to accomplish a goal” (Levi, 2014, p. 1). In order to achieve this goal, our team had to develop a certain strategy. Objectives were distributed according to personal skills along with time management. We also discussed the organizational issues of work and the rules of the activity in advance. This step is not always easy and is often associated with conflict. Nevertheless, our discussion passed in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere as well as the activity itself. For example, during the discussion, Marina worried about the price of blindfolds. Jingjing noticed the detail emotional changes thus she consider that she can offer several blindfolds sewed by her.

Effectiveness of the Team

Speaking of the performance of my team, I agree with Levi (2014) who states, “a successful team completes its task or reaches its goals” (p. 36). First of all, this is functional skills, in other words, the basic conditions for solving the problem. In addition, the skills required of the working methods that will help the team to analyze issues, generate ideas, make decisions, and present the results. The third group of skills connecting with the field of social competence is that team members should be able to communicate with each other, to be able to resolve conflicts, and to develop a balance of criticism and willingness to help. In my opinion, our team met all above characteristics as we organized, conducted, and evaluated The Minefields activity effectively achieving a team spirit, favorable social and psychological atmosphere, trust, and mutual consent.

More precisely, the team requires its member’s competence in interpersonal interaction and the use of communication skills. Ability to listen to and hear others, to understand what is behind the words, to seek together for the best possible solution to the problem, working in pairs or individually, when needed, and develop team working methods were presented in our team. We complete our activity on time and provide the opportunity for our classmates to get an insight about team building, as they know each other better after the activity. Sometimes teamwork can be a very difficult obstacle to overcome, but when individual efforts of each combined into a whole, it is possible to build an effective teamwork and achieve high-quality results.

My Effectiveness in the Team

Usually, every team has its leader who leads the people towards a common goal. He is able to lead and manage his sphere of influence. Levi states that “leaders are supportive of team members and help facilitate team processes” (2014, p. 258). Taking into account that we put the mutual responsibility on the basis of our working group, each member was responsible for his or her role objectives, as well as took responsibility for solving the general task on par with the others. Such kind of organization enhanced the overall responsibility, although Sahar always had a passion to become Penta’s smart leader. According to Levi (2014), “one of the aspects of team success concerns individual because working in teams helps satisfy people’s social and growth needs” (p. 37). I think that in spite of the voting system, there should be a leader in the team as sometimes it is quite difficult to come to the common conclusion.

Personally, I was responsible for setting up The Minefields, particularly with Sahar and Jingjing I settled down the execution area of the activity by sticking the mines (plastic balls) and creating the maze before the class starts. Besides, make the group of two in class helping them to divide and making sure people who are the team members are not in the team for the final presentations were in my competence, too. Therefore, I consider my effectiveness is on a high level.

My strength as a team member was creating an atmosphere of the game putting plastic balls in its right place and shaping the maze. I even felt a designer for a while. For me, it was new and interesting. Moreover, I communicated with people within and outside the team. In my point of view, I improved my communication skills and learned my classmates better during the game performance. It was exciting when Jingjing and I compiled results to let classmates continue a small discussion about what have been studied. The above mentioned confirms my analytic skills. Besides, I have the ability to listen and hear others in the team interaction that is important to penetrate the group’s attitude, as well as an opportunity to capture new effective ideas that may arise among the members of the group to achieve a common result. In addition, I discovered the ability to ask questions in order to clarify understanding or agreement. As practice shows, talking about the same things, we often mean different and for the overall picture of all the team members, there is a need for additional questions to agree on the accuracy of the overall presentation. Thus, it seems like objectives I was responsible for was relevant for me.

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However, I would like to develop some aspects such as communicating skills and active life position, because all team members are responsible for the work in the process of the goal achieving effectiveness. Sociability is very significant for me. I would like to be able to establish contacts in order to communicate with people effectively. Sociability is one of the key skills of successful social interaction involving both professional and personal relationships. For an adequate orientation in the situation, the team member should have a proactive stance. It is a necessary quality that allows to be in the thick of things, learn everything firsthand, and be more informed. Often a team effort may fail due to the fact that one of the participants had a right decision for the goal, but he remained silent, and not able to convince the others. As a result, the whole team suffered a crushing fiasco. Therefore, in order to be heard in a timely manner, it is important to develop my skill to persuade people. Finally, I should visit all team meetings to possess necessary information and perhaps offer creative ideas.

In my opinion, our textbook Group Dynamics for Teams by Levi was very helpful in order to comprehend the main aspects of team building. The book is written in language that is easy to understand. Consequently, one may conclude that the goal desired by the author was achieved because he provided a reader with the useful and comprehensible information.

Conclusion

It should be stressed that the results of the study lead to the conclusion that an effective team consists of a wide variety of personalities, group cohesion, and mutual understanding achieved by different activities, including roles distribution. A mandatory condition of formation of a cohesive team is the presence of organizational skills, as well as the full-fledged participation of every team member in dialogues and discussions. Every member of Penta team played a significant role in The Minefields activity. For myself, I understood my strengths and weaknesses as a team member.

References

Levi, D. (2014). Group Dynamics for Teams (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

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