Concept of Team : Team can be defined as a group of individuals working in face-to-face relationship for a common goal, having collective accountability for the outcome of its effort.
Team is qualitatively of higher order than the group. The most important characteristics of a team is that it creates synergy, ie, the performance of the team is more than the collective performance of the individual members.
A team has several characteristics : Members are inter-dependent; it has a common goal or goals; each members contribution is as important as any other member’s contribution; there is congruence between achievement of individual goals and that of the team goal.
Teams take time to develop. Tuckman (1977) developed a theory which suggested five stages of team building which have been widely accepted.
Exhibit 1 : A Model of Team Building
1) Awareness : At this stage individuas get to know each other. By knowing the goals of the team they commit themselves to the goals. The members get to know and accept to work together for a goal about which they have enough knowledge.
2) Conflict : At the first stage (awareness) the members know the team goals and accept to work together; but this is at the surface level. At the second stage they search and begin to ask questions. As a result several matters are clarified. They also fight with each and in this process of interaction resolve any hostilities they may have, resulting in the feeling of belonging to the group.
3) Cooperation : In the third stage the members own the team goals and get involved in those goals. Having resolved feeling, they also support each other.
4) Productivity: this is the stage of real achievement of the goals and outcomes and the team members achieving these objectives feel proud of their achievement.
5) Separation : Having accomplished the goals or the outcomes, some task specific teams may decide to get dissolved, or a time-bound time comes to a close. The excellent work done by the members is recognized and the team members have a high sense of satisfaction working with each other. This is the stage of closure of the team, or closure of one task on which the team was working.
MAKING TEAM EFFECTIVE / TEAM BUILDING
The process of making team effective is called team building. There are several approaches to team building depending upon the kind of conceptual framework we use.
Some of these approaches are as follows :
1) Johari Window Approach : According to this approach team building will involve helping individuals to take risk and frankly express their opinions and reactions, help them to accept feedback from others with enough opportunity to explore further and increasing their sensitivity to and perceptiveness of others’ needs and orientations. This can be done by developing a profile of team based on individual members response to an instrument(eg. The instrument in Pareek 2002).
2) Role Negotiation approach : Team building can be done by using role negotiation. (Harrision, 1971). Members of the team share each other’s images and then list expectation of what they would like the other group to continue to do, stop of reduce, and start or increase doing something which will make ones won group more effective. Based on such expectations negotiation between the two teams are to develop more and more collaboration between the two teams,
3) Behavior modification Approach: Team building can also be done by helping people to become more effective in their individual’s orientations. Collaboration depends on the individual’s orientation style and attitudes. According to this approach some instrument are used to help the individuals examine their styles and orientations and then increase their own effectiveness by modifying their behavior.
4) Simulation Approach : Team building can be attempted by creating artificial teams in which people have an opportunity to experiment and learn from their behavior in less threatening context. Various games and exercises are used for this purpose.
5) Action Research Approach : In this approach team building is done through several steps which are generally taken in action research or organization development. Dyer 1978 has used this approach in his elaborate discussion of team building through five stages – Data strengthening, Data analysis, Action planning, Implementation & Evaluation.
6) Appreciative Inquiry Approach : In this approach emphasis given more on the positive aspects, including inspiring future dreams or goods and appreciating positive qualities in each other.
Our organization ECO-CARE AND AWARE uses following steps combining all the above approaches for effective team building :
- Projection in the Future : The team would prepare a common understanding desirable future of the team. Members individually or in a small groups would prepare a picture of their team as they see it in the next five or seven years. A special future scenario will help to inspire individuals to move towards it. The future is a better diagnosis device than analysis of the past.
- Linkage with individual goals: The future fantasy of the team should be linked with the individual aspiration and goals. Individuals in small groups may discuss how their own aspiration and goals of life can be achieved through the ideal future of the team being developed by the group.
- Force field analysis : the team would identify the forces which are positive and helping the team to move towards the desirable future, and the forces which are likely to hinder its progress towards the future. Such analysis is helpful to move to the next step.
- Strengthen positive forces: The team would go into details of reinforcing the positive aspects which may help the team to achieve its desirable future. They can take each positive force and work out plans to strengthen its future.
- Reducing negative forces: The team would take all the steps to check the restraining or inhibiting forces and would plan specific action steps to reduce, if not eliminate them.
- Monitoring: After decisions are taken to work on strengthening positive forces, and reducing negative forces a plan can be prepared to monitor action being taken. Responsibility of monitoring can be taken up by one or two persons and the team may meet from time to time to review the progress of action being taken.
Also organization takes care and promotes that the team members to :
- Understand and are committed to group goals.
- Be friendly concerned and interested in others
- To acknowledge and confront conflict openly.
- Listen to others with understanding.
- Include other in decision-making process.
- Recognize and respect individual differences.
- Contribute ideas and solutions.
- Value the ideas and contributions of others,
- Recognize and reward team efforts,
- Encourage and appreciate comments about team performance.