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Effective Teams

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Effective Teams

Effective teams are a necessity if you want a team to succeed. There are many qualities that are essential. First of all, what is a team? According to the Learning Team Toolkit provided by University of Phoenix:

A team is a collection of individuals who exist within a larger social system

such as an organization, who can be identified by themselves and others as

a team, who are interdependent, and who perform tasks that affect other

individuals and groups. To be a team, members and observers must therefore

be able to distinguish clearly those people who are included in the team from

those who are part of the larger social system but not included in the team.

-This definition is taken from Richard A. Guzzo and Marcus W. Dickson, "Teams in

Organizations: Research on Performance and Effectiveness," Annual Review of

Psychology 47 (1996): 307-338.

Have you ever considered what makes a team successful? A successful team functions on interdependence, where everyone in the team has voice, and is heard. Unlike an ineffective team, an effective team embraces communication, organization and gets to play a role in the team. According to James T. Scarnati, "Teamwork requires all is a hero. Each member is recognized as a valued contributor to the group's success." Each team member is important to the teams' final outcome.

Team roles are important to achieve the common purpose of the team. The leader of the team can be appointed by team members, or can be assumed. The leader generally starts the teams' discussion on the topic that is assigned and may delegate other roles to members according to strengths/weaknesses. The leader assists the team members in focusing on the project. The leader may also assign the task that each member must do to contribute towards the goal. Another role that may be assigned or selected is the recorder or scribe person that records what goes on during the team meetings. According to Beblin's team roles, "Teams work best when there is a balance of primary roles and when team members know their roles, work to their strengths and actively manage weaknesses." Although team roles may be assigned, or assumed, everyone has an active role in a team.

Teams Rules are set in motion so that every team member knows what is expected of them and to help them keep on track. Once the standards are in effect, then the team comes together. According to Pat Maier, "Group rules are vital if you want to establish an effective working group and these ground rules needs to develop a strong working relationship based on: trust, honesty, and an awareness of the expectations of each other. Develop about four to five ground rules. Some basic rules are: take responsibility for your own learning, actions, and reactions; speak for yourself; be honest and open; respect others; be



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