Working as a Team

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During the 2015 fall semester, four students came together for the fulfillment of a requisite class for graduation under the executive Master’s program of Management of Technology. To their surprise they would not be allowed to work with their partners of choice but among three strangers. This condition led the students to the execution of intuitive collaboration practices under which a sense of community grew towards reaching their individual and group goals. The group was formed by three Indian-ancestry students and the author of this story who embraces a Costa Rican heritage. Even when cultural diversity may had acted as a barrier for cooperation, this factor was of least importance; the major driver for differences were problem solving preferences in combination with the first agreement made as a team: all decisions would be unanimous and democratic. The Trailblazers were: The Giver - author of this piece, The Guardian, The Caregiver and The Idealist. Such nomenclature arose from their results for the MBTI personality test (Thomas & Heaphy, 1998) and is used throughout the writing for anonymity purposes. For a better comprehension of the member’s conflict approach preference, each participant was plotted under the Thomas Kilmann model. This model characterizes an individual under an assertiveness and a cooperativeness axis. According to theory, depending on the combination of these values being high, intermediate or low, the expected response to conflict may result in affinity for the following behaviors: competing, accommodating, avoiding, compromising or collaborating (Corkindale, 2007). The outcome from the exercise detailed the succeeding behavior tendencies: the Giver and the Idealist were both collaborators, the C... ... middle of paper ... ...etrieved from Harvard Business Review Blogs: Goleman & Boyatzis. (2008, September). Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, 86(9), 74-81. Gratton & Erickson. (2007, November). Eight ways to build collaborative teams. Harvard Business Review, 85(11), 100-109. Merriam Webster. (2013, November). Retrieved from Merriam Webster: Mohan, S., Loría, R., Patadia, N., & Mirza, N. (2013). Trailblazers Team Contract. New York, New York, United States. Pisano, G. P., & Verganti, R. (2008, December). Which kind of collaboration is right for you? Harvard Business Review, 86(12), 78-86. Thomas, D. A., & Heaphy, E. (1998). Personality Types: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (TN). Harvard Business School Teaching Note, 498-069.
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