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Team Building

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The Human Factors of Team Building

Rodger Lawless

ORG/502 Human Relations and Organizational Behavior

ABSTRACT

A team exists for the sole purpose of completing an assigned task. An effective team is characterized by a kind of synergy that results from combining the range of experience and expertise that each individual brings to the team. Team members must first agree on the goal to be achieved and be willing to learn to work together. An effective team leader needs to know the level of commitment, motivation,, technical ability, performance consistency, personality issues as well as motivators, positive reinforcements and stress relievers for team members in order to manage the team well.

A team exists for the sole purpose of completing an assigned task. Within a Self Directed Work Team structure, members must be committed, mutually accountable, expected to share in leadership roles, and participate in a collaborative manner. An effective team is characterized by a kind of synergy that results from combining the range of experience and expertise that each individual brings to the team. The size of the team must be related to the size and nature of the project. (Bishop and Dow, 2000)

The nature of the project should determine how the team is built. Heterogeneous teams and are made up or people with various backgrounds, and although these teams are more difficult to form they are generally very effective in solving complex problems. Homogeneous teams work well when a high degree of coordination is required to complete the task (Mc-Shane and Von Glinow 2002, p.236). For E-business (Butler, 2000) suggests that when building an e-team, that highly motivated cross functional teams that pull together quickly, represent the future of team building for the majority of medium to large companies.

An effective team leader needs to know the level of commitment, motivation, preferred learning style, conflict resolution skills, technical ability, communication skills, performance consistency, personality issues as well as motivators, positive reinforcements and stress relievers for team members in order to manage the team well. Personality traits like negativism, pessimism, greed, unwillingness to complete tasks, and low self esteem often negatively effect intra-team motivation and consequently job performance.

Initially, I selected Michelle for 'Build Files', Daniel for the 'Moderate Self Help Groups' function, Lisa for 'Follow-ups', and Tony to 'Supervise Confrontation Sessions'. I thought that Michelle, because of her background in Finance and her ISTP profile would be meticulous and exacting in building the files. I chose Daniel because of his "great rapport with production personnel", and his youthful energy and competitiveness to work with the self help groups. Lisa was chosen mainly because of her background in Communications and rated herself as extroverted. I thought that these made her a "check on and follow up" type of person. Tony was selected because he rated himself as an introvert, because "he never forgot a birthday" and seemed to be highly motivated. The simulated DARE Veteran Megan warned me that this group might experience several difficulties. Megan was right, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Through some lackluster management on my part, I finished the simulation with only a seventy percent on time task completion figure. In the aforementioned simulation, Tony became distressed and wanted out of the task because he had some very negative views on drug addiction (cultural issues were implied). The team I chose was only somewhat successful. I chose the wrong team, and unanticipated personality quirks also impacted my ill fated simulation.

The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator is a rating tool that attempts to make people more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, which theoretically will contribute to their self development by developing in their weaker areas. The hypothesis behind this system is that all people possess the following characteristics to some degree.

1) Extraversion/Introversion: characteristics that relate to where the person gets energy.

2) Sensation/Intuition: characteristics relating to how the person takes in information.

3) Thinking/Feeling: how the person makes decisions.

4) Judging/Perceiving: how the person approaches the world

(Meyers, 1991).

Regarding extraversion and introversion: "... extraverts are people who are usually energized by being with other people. As a result or their outward orientation, they usually prefer organizational positions that are people oriented. Introverts on the other hand are more inwardly focused, usually preferring occupations that are more solitary and technically oriented." (Meyers, 1991).

Meyers adds that in the workplace, problems arise between introverted managers and extraverted employees or vice versa. In the case of an introverted manager and an extraverted employee, the manager may feel that the employee spends too much time talking and socializing, that the employee is not getting the work done.

The dimension of sensation and intuition differences among people often creates great misunderstanding. "Sensate people often seem forever concerned about practicality and how best to accomplish a particular assignment. ... Intuitive people, on the other hand, ... keep coming up with new ideas." (Meyers, 1991). Meyers suggests that intuitive people finish their task, but it is not usually well constructed whereas sensate individuals submit a solid solution that tends to be short on meaning.

Thinkers act rapidly and decisively whereas those that decide based on feeling are slower and more socially conscious (in their minds). Meyers cites an example where a new employee is constantly tardy, and is suspected of drug use. The Thinkers push immediately

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