Importance of Teamwork in Achieving Goals and Objectives
Working in a team is an appropriate way to handle a complicated task. The contribution of every individual is amalgamated and provides a solution to a problematic situation (Cassinelo 2015, p.2). Teamwork is the critical factor for the success of several multinational companies such as Amazon, Facebook, among others, which relies heavily on the employees to create innovative products and services. According to Rehling (2004, p.475), the function of a team is to digress a significant task into simpler units and successfully assist the business in achieving its goals and objectives. As a result of the complementary handling of the job, the company increases productivity, later converted into profit. Tripathy (2018, p.2) argues that teamwork smoothes communication within the business. It allows the integration of distinct ideas of every member, providing a platform of cooperation among the employees. Overall, enhancing teamwork promotes the level of trust, heightens the healthy risk-taking, and fastens conflict resolution.
Briefly describe Tuckman’s (1965) model of team formation
Bruce Tuckman’s Team Development Model identified that all groups undergo unproductive first stage before becoming self-reliant. This model pinpoints four significant stages of team development. The first level is forming (Rickards and Moger 2000, p.282), which is majorly controlled by a leader, while the rest of the members have little idea of the whole function of the team. At this stage, the team leader conducts most of the activities, and other members raise a lot of questions. Seck and Helton (2014, p.160) argue that this stage is less creative and innovative, as the group leaders direct much of their energies in addressing the questions raised by the people. In the same vein, individual roles are unclear (Natvig and Stark 2016, p.680), making it a less productive stage of any group. The second phase is storming (Bond 2011, p.140). At this point, the clarity of the function of the team comes out clear. The struggle of positions causes distraction within the team, and it is the role of the leader to maintain calm and sanity for the team members to remain focused on the primary objectives of the group. Thompson and Vecchio (2020) propounds that situational leadership suit this level of teamwork.
Tuckman exemplified that the formative stages of team development distort the primary objective of the team. Progressing to the norming stage brings an environment of less conflict (Black et al. 2019, p.150). At this level, the choices are made in consensus. The contribution of every person is valued, evaluated together, and either integrated or discarded in the final decisions (Jones 2019, p.124). The process happens with regards to individual thoughts, in a bid to build unity of the members. The assertion is supported by Zhen (2017, n.p), who noted that the roles at the norming stage are clear, and leadership is shared. The leader is supported by other members to run the team, by helping in making decisions of complex tasks (Owoseni et al. 2017, p.8) that otherwise could derail the function of the group. The final stage is performing, which signals that the team is well-formed, and can stand on its own.
Most of the decisions are autonomous and are less influenced by the leader (Bonebright 2010, p.118). The members get clarity of the function of the team, limiting the intrusion of the seniors. An observation by Johnson et al. (2002, p.387) noted that among the victorious team in a business set up, members have a clear objective of what they wish to accomplish. The role of a leader, in this case, is for consultation of aspects such as interpersonal development and solving simple disagreements within the team. The primary purpose of resolving conflict within the members is to ensure that productivity is improved, and they remain focused on the mandate of the group. Tuckman emphasized that a team is competent if it’s in the performing stage. Equally, size, spread, frequency of meeting, and the kind of leadership determine how fast a team completes the discussed cycle. Tuckman demonstrates that unless the feelings of individual members are addressed, it’s challenging to reach the most productive level.
Reflect upon your own experience of being part of a team by applying Tuckman’s (1965) model
Life presents to people several opportunities, where the knowledge learned in Tuckman’s (1965) model is applicable. According to Men et al. (2019, p.820), forming a group and managing the members who have divergent opinions is an enormous task that demands resilience and a high level of interpersonal traits. My experience as a student has exposed me to the role of teamwork as a way to improve performance. I remember that one day the tutor provided the class with a case study, and the instructions were to come up with the best strategy to market the products of a hypothetical company in international markets. As usual, the students had to group themselves into small teams of ten people to come up with a solution to the case study. The students grouped themselves based on how they knew each other, which distracted the principal objective of the group. Chen et al. (2019, p.321) argue that the formation of a team should not be controlled by what people believe in; instead, be guided by the objective. I found myself in a group of uncooperative students, in the sense that they never listened or acknowledged the directives offered by the group leader. This kind of unruly behavior made it hard to voice the points (Hameed et al. 2019, p.420), as members sought to control each other. The first day of our meeting ended up in chaos and did not find any point to support the case presented to us.
It was astonishing that it took the team members two days to agree on the process to handle the case study. After deciding on what to do, the conflict of leadership emerged. Tuckman’s describes this stage as storming because it entails uncertainties and unclear direction of the team. The team members questioned the reliability and qualification of the leader we had chosen earlier. Some of the questions that emerged were; is he biased? Does the leader listen to all of our views, or he dictates what to do? I witnessed the complication that revolved around this stage, an observation supported by Magpili and Pazos (2018, p.32), who confirms in the study that the storming process requires compromise to enable the leader function. It took another two days to settle the differences on who should direct the team, and the members began to behave well.
After a period of disagreement, the members slowly began to agree on issues in a consensus manner and with good critiques of other people’s opinions. The maturity of the group began to display, characterized by listening to others, asking questions, and providing alternative ideas (Stewart et al. 2017, p.53) to solve the issue that was at hand. Most importantly, some leadership roles got shared within the group. For example, every member monitored the progress of other members outside the meeting place. As a result, it was more accessible to deliberate development when we met at our usual meeting point. The group reached the performing stage (Kirkman et al. 2000, p.93) after a week, and everything was clear. At this level, the members never relied solely on the instructions from the leader but went ahead to coordinate themselves and presented a well thought out final report.
Teamwork is the starting point for achieving the goals and objectives; may it be in a school or business environment. Tuckman details four stages of team development, which are: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Every level has its challenges, which the members find a way to solve, then progresses to the next. Completing this cycle needs a high level of discipline, failure to which the main objective of the team is lost.