In my previous blog, I worked through some of the differences between groups and teams in action. I hope this gave you some points to reflect on your own experiences working through the assignments in the modules on your course. There are many parallels to draw in these distinctions yet there is also room to borrow from the advantages of each in order to create a more positive experience regardless of which form of work (group or team) you find yourself in at any given point in time.
Meanwhile, enjoy a pictorial of some of the activities I enjoyed during the team building exercise in Naivasha – note the plush scenery in the background!
One thing I’m sure you have all noticed is that groups and teams may be missing an important element if members are unable to work together as a unit. Both motivation and productivity increase when individuals support each other and understand the importance of each of their roles on the team.
Building an effective team is a gradual process and cannot be accomplished in just one day’s activities or a week’s programme.
Although it will take hard work, your group will become more cohesive, cooperative and effective when they embrace the seven (7) principles of team work. I hope you find these simple and practical to implement as you proceed on your academic journey:
Step 4 : Decide how the group can and will accomplish the goals. Again, this will involve the input of all members and if at all anyone feels concerned about meeting a deadline, take a look at the scheme of work at hand and re-design the process towards the end result with the entire team’s input.
Plan weekly meetings where necessary and use the company intranet or University portal to post updates on projects or hold informal lunch-and-learn sessions to improve communications. This tip is particularly helpful to students who at any given time are juggling more than one assignment: harness the power of the group in keeping your head above water academically speaking.
Step 5 : Keep members informed of the group’s progress in meeting the mutually agreed goals. Provide regular feedback in whatever form is most convenient and easier to maintain. From time to time, ask team members to keep you informed of any problems or concerns that may arise. Offer solutions to difficult problems and serve as an intermediary if conflicts arise with other members. In a nutshell, be the change you want to see in your group or team!
Here’s wishing you all the very best of memories and experiences as you build efficient and effective groups and teams!