Team Behavior And Processes

Team Behavior And Processes

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Team Behavior and Processes

There are many important elements that effect how a learning team behaves and the processes that a learning team chooses to complete tasks and reach desired goals. The current learning team has established roles and responsibilities, time management skills, and decision making strategies that allow the team to work up to it's full potential. The learning team has maintained a level of trust and responsibility to one another that must exist in order for the team to remain successful
Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities for a learning team should be identified within the first meeting (Thompson, 2000). When roles and responsibilities are established, it opens up the lines of communication and eliminates the need for team members to question each other's motives. Roles and responsibilities can possibly change from week to week, depending on the circumstances.
Within our learning team, we have established the criteria that we will rotate, on a weekly basis, the responsibility of formatting team papers within the APA guidelines and posting the papers to the assignments newsgroup. We have also established that we will post our individual sections of the team paper to the team newsgroup each Friday. This will allow the weekly editor to review the input and make any changes as they see necessary. There are times, however, when this is not always the case. All team members currently work full time and have families. Situations do arise when we simply cannot fulfill our responsibilities. If this should occur, it is the other team member's responsibility in making sure that the appropriate actions are taken so that the team can continue to function.
Time Management
When working in a learning team environment, time management skills are a tool that each member must utilize. Each member must make the time to fulfill his or her obligations to the learning team. If they do not, the results for the entire team can have a negative reflection. Time management skills are required in order for the each member to have a healthy balance of work, home, and school. Since this is our fourth class with the Flexnet program, we pretty much have established our time management skills in order for each member to fulfill their obligation to the team.
Decision-making strategies
The final decision for the learning team is based on the concurrence of all team members. Some members have input and some members are "go with the flow" type of individuals.

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Within our learning team, if there is an opinion, we will post it in the learning team newsgroup. We then solicit input from each team member. If a team member disagrees with ones opinion, team members take it as constructive criticism.
Conflict
Conflict will always exist; it is inevitable. Researchers note that a comfortable size learning team consists of five to seven people. Within the team, not everyone will have the same view or opinion on the subject matter. This is a point when communication skills come into play. In order to resolve conflict, all team members must collectively discuss the issue and come to a decision as to how to handle the conflict.
Our learning team has not had to deal with conflict. Thus far, we have all agreed on the assignments as well as the presentation of information for the assignment. We have a harmonious learning team and actually offer to assist fellow team members if the situation were to arise. We understand that there may be instances when one team member may have to carry a heavier load than the rest. This situation should not be considered conflict, as it should be considered teamwork.
Time Management attributes
Each individual team member's schedule reflects a unique set of priorities and responsibilities that each member is committed to achieving (Shaw, 1981). No two people on a team have the same idea of what constitutes perfect time management. The only true determination is if each individual member acts responsibly in completing all task by the deadlines set by team members (Shaw, 1981).
As mentioned previously, each team member has families, jobs and other outside obligations that take up a great deal of time in their day. These situations do not interfere with the team process because we have established deadlines that allow each member to complete and post assignments to the team newsgroup at different times but before deadline. This means that though we may have different schedules or various times during the day to work on given task, we will all attempt to have all individual tasks complete and ready to post by the agreed upon time.
Some team members have the luxury of a personal computer at work. This means that during breaks or various times during the day, if time is management is proper, they can work on assignments for the team while on the job. Of course, not everyone has permission to work on personal tasks while on the job, but for those who do, it is a great advantage as far as time management is concerned. Other team members must wait until they are home to complete team tasks. This means that they must be extra careful when it comes to time management. Working on team tasks at home can be the hardest thing to do, especially for a single parent. There must be a very strict schedule put into place that allows these individuals to take care of their families while fulfilling the obligation for the team; however, if time is managed correctly, this will not pose a big problem.
Even the most time conscience teams will have problems. There will always be unforeseen events that will throw individuals off their perspective schedules; this in turn will throw the team off its schedule. Unfortunately this is one of the challenges that teams must face, however if dealt with as a team the task that the team set out to accomplish will be completed without any signs of the problem within.
Becoming a High Performance Team
Before we can build a high performance team we first must know what a team is. A team is a group of individuals of all different ages, sex, race and educational levels who have come together to achieve a common goal (Lippit, 1982). Having a broad group of people can be an advantage for a high performance team because it brings in many different ideas that people of the same background may not have. Each member of the team must be assertive with their ideas but be willing to listen to other team member's ideas.
All team members must have a clear perceived role and the capacity to fulfill the expectations of that role (Lippit, 1982). Each role must perform a necessary task that will complement the other roles, contributing to the success of the team. These roles must be complete by a certain time and a time limit should be set before the start of the task. In order to be able to set these time limits each team member should posses' good time management skills. Time management can be useful in your personal and business life and should overlap each other to guarantee success.
Each member obviously will have different responsibilities that he or she will feel are more important than other members will. This is the point in which individuals must set realistic time limits in order to complete their tasks. In our learning group, we all seem to know our time limits but sometimes our personal life and work life take up more time then expected. This causes some very late nights with little sleep. Organization and prioritizing your responsibilities is the key to success. Using a Franklin Covey planner or similar products is a great way to do this. By listing your tasks, and then ranking them in order of importance, you can begin to plan each and everyday.
To be part of a team that clicks is an awesome feeling. The whole group is flowing together as one, everyone sharing the same common goal that started out with a basis idea. The team distributes the basic idea to the members of the team who may have separate functions, but all combine their ideas in the end to become part of the master plan. Our team has fortunately not experienced conflict, which has helped us to focus on the project at hand and be successful at it. Looking forward in order for our team to be a high-performance team we need to focus on better communication and time management skills.

References
Thompson, L., (2000), Making the team: A guide for managers.
New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Shaw, M.E., (1981), Group Dynamics (3rd edition).
Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Lippit, R., (1982), The Changing Leader Follower Relationship.
New York: Random House
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