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Decisions In Paradise 3

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Team Member's Roles

The purpose of this paper is to set forth an understanding of the benefits and the challenges of establishing each member's role in a team. It is not as easy as one might think. The member's role has to fit his strengths and abilities. Communication is important to determining roles. If the member has no desire to take on the assignment given, that person might not put in the full effort required to do the job. The team needs to have a solid understanding not only of each team member's strengths, but also their weaknesses.

Establishing the team member's roles requires more than just randomly assigning a project; it requires that everyone have a good understanding of each others strengths and weaknesses. It is the responsibility of team leaders and indeed of teams themselves, to ensure that responsibilities are geared to member's strengths, and avoid weaknesses. Knowing and understanding other person's weaknesses earlier rather than later, the team members have better chance to ensure that they work in a successful team environment. Failing to get a clear understanding of each others abilities heightens the chances of encountering conflict within the team, and therefore setting ourselves up for failure.

Before deciding on team member's roles, we need to define the member's role and how to decide on who will take on the task. As Dr. Merideth Belbin defines it as "Our tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way" (Belbin, 2007). As Merideth Belbin states it's our behavior and contributions to relate with others in a particular way is what makes a team members role. Now that we have an idea of what a team member's role is we can now discuss how to create a successful team environment and role.

The key element to creating a successful team environment is communication. The first thing on the agenda is to sit down with the group and discuss individual's strength and weaknesses. It would be beneficial to have every team member take the Ð''Personality Spectrum' test to assess their personality. The personality spectrum assessment calculates your personality into four personality types- Giver, Adventurer, Thinker and Organizer. Knowing each others personality traits will help understand on how to approach the situation. For a team to perform at its best, usually the team member should have complimentary strengths and balanced weaknesses, as well as a clear understanding of their individual responsibilities and the team's goals. If the team decides not to have a team leader, the team needs to understand that it is every one's responsibility to take action when a problem occurs.

There are many benefits in being assigned a role in a team environment. The member can feel that the team has trust in his abilities to do his part in a team project and will gain confidence. Team member does also have an opportunity to explore their leadership capacity and learn new skills. There is also the opportunity to talk to somebody within the group if there are any questions. Assigning roles makes it easier on the group not only to work on the project, but also provides agreements and clarity to the assignment. Often people are not sure on what their part of the project entails but proper communication will solve that issue. It also gives the team direction on how they want the project to flow and ensures the structure and planning processes. It will not only benefit the team and its project but a relationship will develop and the members will already know each others abilities for the next assignment or class.

Challenges/conflicts must be expected when working in any team environment. Whether in a school or sporting environment, or in a workplace, it will happen. Always be prepared for problems to arise. One challenge can be that everyone is not in agreement on the direction of the project, or the suitability of member's roles. One member might feel he is better fit to work on someone else part of the assignment. Another could be the flexibilities in ones schedule.



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