Teams

What makes an ineffective team?

It can range from a number of things, including poorly resolved/unresolved conflicts, lack of commitment/drive, lack of teamwork, lack of trust, lack of commonality, lack of management, and lack of clarity, etc. But the basis of each reason is that the connection between each team member is weak.

How do you overcome ineffective team members?

Team members that don’t contribute anything positive — or worse, negatively contribute to the team (Eg. making more work for others, unreliability, poor time management, etc.), make it hard for the team to function in a healthy manner. Not only does it limit the efficiency of the entire team, but it may even hold them back to a degree.

The first step in order to reestablish order within your team is to first address the issue with everyone, making sure that each member is aware of the problem. Keeping members out of the loop promotes distrust — and is not what we’re looking for. Be calm and do not assume anything. Ask the member why they’re behaving like they are and listen to them. They might not even be aware that they’re making mistakes, or creating problems.

After you’ve confronted the member, make a plan of action to correct this behavior. If they’re serious about working together then they’ll help you. Then once you’ve talked it through, bring it back to the whole group and have a proper discussion about the future with everyone.

Now, not all cases result in this. If things improve (as we’ve detailed), then no further action should be necessary. If they continue to create problems then talk to them again. But if even after that they refuse to work effectively within the team, it might be best to remove them from the group.

What makes a good team? How can you make the team better?

Respect and camaraderie are a step in the right direction. Building up trust and respect should probably be the first thing any team does before they’ve started work. This helps the team reach common ground, and eventually move past potential conflicts, growing and learning from one another.

A group objective would help too. If you all want the same thing, it makes it easier for the team to work together in order to achieve that goal. If not, it’s likely that many hours will go missing in trying to establish a clear outline.

In terms of making it better, you find that it’s hard for a lot of people to admit their mistakes. Humans are a proud species after all. The conflict that arises from ‘finger-pointing’ so to speak can become a very likely possibility very quickly. After an argument like that has happened, the atmosphere becomes one of distrust and low morale and is hard to recover from.

What makes a great team? How can you keep the team great?

A great team has all the points I mentioned in the previous question and then some. Adding to my description of the blaming others’ argument, it’s important for a team to communicate with one another. Sharing problems to do with the team is not only nessessary but heavily encouraged. Simply because it’s the core element in a teams success.

When a team communicates without one another effectively, it leaves room open for mistakes and problems. Instead of sorting through a problem by themselves, they’re given the opportunity to debate those problems and create a collective solution.

How can teams work effectively and efficiently?

It essentially all comes back to communication. It should start with the team members themselves, sharing their strengths and weaknesses right off the bat can allow the team leader to appropriately delegate responsibility. The leader shouldn’t be expected to do everything, so it’s okay to ask for a members skills and give them tasks based on that assessment.

Secondly, as we said before, incentives and goals are critical to a team’s efficiency and effectiveness. This is because everyone works better when they know that what they’re working towards is something they all care about. It should also go without saying that these goals should be realistic and actually obtainable within the timeframe. If members think they’re never going to reach the goal, they won’t — because their investment in the project will go down.

Part 1 – Using the questions above, or any others that you can find, describe the effectiveness and efficiency of your team so far.

It was important to establish a friendly baseline early on in our cooperation. And to that degree, I think we have. All three of us can speak quite openly about ourselves and often share conversations outside of our projects. It helps to be friendly with your team member,s because if there’s tension — almost any tension at all, then the team itself will be weak, and inevitably fall.

Aside from that, all of us have spent several minutes before a large chuck of the assignment and talked about what we planned on doing. We did this for two main reasons. Maintaining structure is somewhat important in this context since our individual styles are quite chaotic — meaning that we do what needs to be done when we see it needs to be done.

At one time or another it becomes clear who leads the charge in different areas. Some of us are more accustomed to certain fields, while others rely on prior knowledge to give the rest of us a basic yet detailed understanding. We’ve essentially turned our team into a solely collaborative function. If nobody knows the answer, then someone will appoint themselves to research and come back with new information. Because of that, we can have discussions on relevant issues and solve them appropriately.

Overall, at not point has a member of our tema not pulled their own weight. I’ll admit that I’ve been somewhat lazy when it came to communicating effectively, but in the end we’ve all come up with a project that we’re happy with.

Part 2 – How important is it to have an effective and efficient team in your:
The current class of COM502?

In the months that our class has been together, it’s been well established that most of us are fairly comfortable with one another. Secondly, since our COMS class gets split off into even smaller classes, it’s easy for closer relationships to be made and enforced.

Close relationships not only help with the team itself, but benefit it in coming to sustainable solutions to conflicts. With a close enough bond between members, conflicts within the group don’t leave a lasting impression of the team itself.

Overall, it’s very important to have friendly relationships with the people in our class. Mainly because it is so small, having any distrust anywhere is going to affect the group entirely.

Overall certificate/diploma/degree program?

I’ll be the first to admit that having a strong amount of efficiency/effectiveness in terms of such a large group is less appropriate than a smaller one (the COMS classes). However, with that being said it’s still somewhat important. A lot of us don’t have much contact with one another so it’s hard to say, but any situation where conflict can’t be resolved is detrimental to the workings of the entire group.

Overall, I would claim that it’s beneficial to the entire group if we as students cooperate together and have as friendly relations as possible. It makes for less lasting conflict and doesn’t impact the functionality in a negative way.

Potential future employment?

Teams in an employment context are similar to how COMS teams should operate. Establishing connections and respect with one another is the first step to creating a good working team.

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One Comment on “Teams

  1. A very information packed post. Lots of good points that were made. I like how you have very formally deconstructed a majority of what makes a good team. Really puts things into perspective.

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