A team is small number of people with similar skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals and approaches which they hold themselves equally accountable. A group is a number of peoples, usually reporting to a common superior who have some degree of interdependency in carrying out task for the purpose of achieving organization goals. Various people often use the terms group and team within the same conversation, but there are differences in the real world business settings.

Some of the differences which can be discussed in detailed are: The vitality of the team relies on the fact that the members of a team have similarities in their purpose and a connection among the individual members, however the group is larger in number and its strength is largely based off the ability to follow guidance/instruction from its leader. Team and Group Processes When it comes to group formation and development, it is done in four stages. The first stage is forming, in this stage the team is formed and members meet.

They learn what the group opportunities and challenges will be. Individual members may be confused about their role or not understand the need for the group. Members will agree on goals and assign actions for work. Ground rules or guidelines are established. The second stage is called storming. During this stage, individual expression of ideas occurs and there is open conflict between members. Members tend to focus on details rather than the issues and compete for influence. Low trust amongst the members is evident in this stage.

The third stage is called norming. In this stage, the team develops work habits that support group rules and values. They use established tools and methods; exhibit good behaviors; mutual trust, motivation, and open communication increases; positive teamwork and group focus is apparent. The group relationship grows and individual characteristics are understood and apparently utilized. The groups leader continues to encourage participation and professionalism amongst team members. The fourth and final stage is performing.

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For this stage, the group shows high-levels of loyalty, participation, motivation, and group decision-making. Knowledge sharing, cross-training, and interdependence increases. The group is self-directing in development of plans and strategy to meet their goals and carry out work. Personal growth and sharing is encouraged throughout membership. The leader becomes a facilitator aiding the team in communication processes and helping if they revert to a prior stage. A norm is a rule or standard considered to acceptable behavior in a group or in society.

Norms are important because functional or dysfunctional they are accepted behaviors by which a group will operated. Group norms often develop unconsciously or gradually over time. They are created by mutual influence and develop through interactions of the group members. Even though people obey group norms they may be unable to articulate them. Power is the capacity to influence the attitudes or behavior of others. It is a relationship between two parties (which could be individuals, groups, organizations, or even countries) that serves to define the interactions of the parties.

Organizational politics is the process of one person exerting influence over another. Politics is the exchange relationship as acted out in the day-to-day forum of the organization. Politics and influence depends on the power relationship between the parties involved. Conflict in organizations occurs when an influence attempt is resisted, likely because of different preferences or goals of the parties involved, or because the influence would change the power dynamics between the parties involved. A homogeneous group refers to people of the same background working within that group

A heterogeneous group is a component of people with diverse background working within the group. When managing diversity within group a leader must think of diversity as way to bring different people with ideas and concepts to group for the betterment of the organization. The leader must see each individual as a unique piece to the ever changing dynamic of organization and tap in to their experiences to provide growth to the organization. Group decision making is a process in which multiple individuals working jointly, analyze situations and consider an alternate course of action.

The number of people involved in group decision-making varies greatly, and depends on the situation. The individuals in a group may be similar or quite diverse. Decision-making groups can be informal in nature, or formally designated and charged with a specific goal. The external contingencies faced by groups impact the development and effectiveness of decision-making groups as well. Improving performance in Teams and Groups Ordinarily group members will be asked to evaluate each team member as well as the group as a whole.

The evaluation is based on both general criteria, such as teamwork, and specific criteria that is related directly to the project. As a manager, it is a good idea to combine this evaluation with your own evaluation of the group and its project outcome. There are several types of process interventions to include clarifying, summarizing, synthesizing, generalizing, probing, questioning, listening, reflecting feelings, providing support, coaching, counseling, modeling, setting the agenda, feeding back observations, and providing structural suggestions.

Without these many types of process interventions groups will keep misunderstanding one another and work will fail to be completed on time. The performance of a group involves taking into account the opinions of every group member, the coming together to make an informed decision as efficiently as possible, is important for the functioning of the group.

Here are ways to make a group decision: Identify the decision to be made, analyze the issue under discussion, establish criteria to determine whether the chosen solution is doable, brainstorm potential solutions, evaluate options and select the best one, implement the solution, finally monitor and evaluate the outcome. Creativity within a group can be difficult, research on creativity, at the group level, has shown a long tradition of group research has demonstrated that people often conform to the majority view, even when they know it is rong.

Normally, people within the group who are known for causing problems are seen as demanding and as an barrier to the group’s ability to achieve its goals or arrive at a decision . Therefore, sometimes following the growing because of peer pressure for the group to be productive can limit the group’s overall creativity. Performance management is the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organizational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals.

Team performance management is the concept of adjusting the composition, context or direction of a team or work group in order to increase the effectiveness of the team or group as measured by: clarifying the collective goals, identifying those inhibitors that prevent them from reaching their goals and remove them, putting in to place enablers that assist them, and measuring and monitoring progress, to ensure the goals are achieved.

Empowerment is defined as a process of enhancing feelings of self-worth amongst group members through the identifications of conditions that foster helplessness and through their removal by both formal organizational practices and informal techniques of providing efficacy information. Two broad types of self-managed teams are popular today: work teams and problem-solving teams. Self-managed work teams are linked solidly with empowerment. In some companies, “empowerment” is the umbrella term for increasing employee involvement in decision-making using self-managed work teams.

A problem-solving team is similar to a task force: it is formed for temporary purposes. Work teams, which are used by two-thirds of U. S. companies, tend to be permanent. Rather than attack specific problems, a work team does day-to-day work activities. It is usually composed of a group of employees all with the technical skills and the authority needed to direct and manage themselves. Leadership is defined as causing others to want to do what you are doing to accomplish the work of the organization.

When most people talk about leadership the first image that comes to mind is someone who effectively anages the everyday operations of an organization. However, leadership is not a person. It is a set of skills that are done by a facilitator, that focus, relax, and help the group move forward. To decide on a suitable leadership style to use in a given situation, the leader must first clarify the maturity level of the followers in relation to a specific task that the leader is attempting to accomplish through the effort of the followers. As the level of followers’ maturity increases, the leader should begin to reduce his or her task behavior and increase relationship behavior until the followers reach a moderate level of maturity.

As the followers begin to move into an above average level of maturity, the leader should decrease not only task behavior but also relationship behavior. Communication and feedback processes in Group and Teams Communication on an individual level is the act of communicating an idea or concept without the addition of other team members to collaborate with. Each idea generated is exclusively that of the individual in which case it is up to the individual to put into service a strategy to accomplish his/her goal or main objective.

Group level communication is an informal method in which information is distributed among team members. Communication at the group level is considered to be the oral framework of formulating innovative concepts through the realm of conducting active research as according to Kurt Lewin’s group dynamic philosophy of executing a course of action. Group communication is a combined effort of developing concepts, generating ideas and developing a joint atmosphere for project planning and execution. Communication at the organizational level is essential for a business or organization to operate in an effective manner.

Organizational level communication looks at informal and formal communications, as well as types of internal communications within a business, such as meetings, performance reviews, strategic communications, presentations and e-mails. Organizational communication works to acquire: compliance, promote innovation, coordinate, influence, motivate, lead, Problem solve, Make decisions, Negotiate, and manage conflict. Organizational Communication must have an understanding of human behavior and the interactions of employees in both formal and informal settings. Communication is very important to the success of the group.

Consequently, learning ways to improve communication within a team will improve efficiency and overall team composition. The overall productivity and quality of a groups’ work is based on the want to succeed, improve: * Have the right people in your team. Each group has many players. Some are more talkative than others, some are the hard working-quiet type, and others are there to get a paycheck. Whatever the type, recognize each personality and match your communication with theirs. * Us a value and innovative mind set. Locate and listen to the different talents within your team.

Doing this will build trust and creativity. Provide a meaningful and needed work atmosphere. Everyone wants to work with a purpose. Have the work a person does be needed and important. * Offer some change. The same old same old can become tedious. You may be surprised at the skills you find out there. * Create some focus, and align some vision. Create a common goal within the group and help your group see this vision so they know what they are working towards. * Set proper expectations. We all want to know where we are going and what we are doing. With proper expectations set and a reasonable follow through, a group’s trust will grow and succeed together.

Conflict and conflict resolution strategies A team leader must acknowledge that conflict will occur and understand effective strategies to combat it. Although the team leader should manage the conflict resolution, each group member is responsible for helping to find a solution. Each group member should have the opportunity to explain how he views the conflict. By asking questions to group members, the team leader can fully understand the problem and move toward a solution. The group should provide input regarding solutions, and any shared solutions allow for potential compromise.

In turn, how a group responds to conflict determines how easily the group can come to a resolution. Some group members avoid conflict, while others accommodate others to avoid problems. Although some people aim to compromise, others compete, hoping to “win” the argument. Finally, some group members will collaborate to seek the best solution. Each of these conflict responses can move the group toward a solution, depending on the situation and the team members. Intra-group conflict refers to a specific kind of conflict that occurs between members of a group that shares common goals, interests or other identifying characteristics.

Intra-group conflict can be small-scale, such as within a workplace or large-scale, such as between members of a specific population group. Intergroup conflict causes changes to occur, both within the groups in conflict and between them. Within the groups, members will usually overlook individual differences in an effort to unite against the other side, and with this concerted effort the focus is on the task. When it comes to process models for negotiating conflict, there is a potential for conflict to exist whenever people have different needs, values, or interests; this is the “latent” conflict stage.

The conflict may not become apparent until a “blow up event” leads to the coming out of the obvious conflict. Which may be followed quickly by agreement or dissolution of argument, or it may be followed by escalation of the issue. If the pain of the conflict continues, confrontation may be required. During the confrontation, which often presents an ideal opportunity for negotiation and a potential settlement. Finally, if and when an agreement is reached, team building efforts are put in place to work to repair damaged relationships with the long-term goal of bringing together former opponents.

Third parties might act as advisors, helping a group examine the conflict and set up an effective response. Additional these advisors may play the role of facilitator, by arranging meetings, setting agendas, and guiding productive discussions. Another role that is active in third party interventions is the mediator. Mediators not only facilitate discussions, but they usually impose a structure and process on the discussions that is designed to move the parties toward mutual understanding and win-win agreements.

Group process consultation is made of behaviors intended to encourage group knowledge and awareness, so that the group or organization can take steps to improve the way that its members work together. The advisor assesses the communication between members of the organization in the normal work setting and during meetings. The advisor then provides feedback to members of the organization or group to help them understand and identify the attitudes and behaviors that help or hinder the group’s success, and to take steps to improve the way the group functions.



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