Throughout on how to complete the task

Throughout this course, I have learnt many interpersonal skills. This included working with others to complete tasks as well as studying different models for the development and success of a group. In the first week of my course, I learnt about groups. Their defining features, the reasons why people join them, their structure, the importance and failure of teams. We also did a comparison between the two. The concept of Tuckman’s five stage model was then introduced to us. This included; formation, storming, norming, performing and adjourning in the lecture (Abudi, 2016). The model helped me to understand the effectiveness of the teams I would be part of and how to go about co-operating within them. Examples included group based activities that we did in the seminar and I was able to apply how this model to what we did. It also helped me understand how a team develops and how it performs. At first, our group would be forming. Everyone would get to know each other and so were a little apprehensive of the situation. Afterwards, we would discuss ideas on how to complete the task in a efficient fashion. We would then operate more as a cohesive group, working towards a common goal. Afterwards, we would reach the performing stage and we would do the task at hand after which we would adjourn,  parting our ways. We covered communication in the second week. This included its principles and distinctions between groups and teams. In teams, members’ roles had clear definitions as well as rules for team operation. Goals and the means to achieve them are also developed in teams. This is contrary to groups where these aspects are not laid out as clear. This linked to group dynamics of which we looked at 3 types. The first type was an all channel network with everyone talking and communicating freely with one another. The second was a chain network with a message carried from one person to another, like a game of Chinese Whispers. The third was a wheel network, one person receiving the majority of all messages from the team. Furthermore, we looked at a case study of successful teamwork in which efficient teams have a set of characteristics. This includes (Tarricone and Luca, 2002): A commitment to team success and shared goals Interdependence Interpersonal skills Open communication and positive feedback Appropriate team composition Commitment to processes, leadership and accountability In week 3, we went over the five stage model in more depth. We learnt what problems teams can go over in the development process and what issues need to be addressed in a team. These issues include interdependence, goal specification, cohesiveness, roles and norms and communication. This gave me a clearer idea of what to focus on when working within a team. The week after, we studied the roles that team members play. We looked at personality and how it may relate to what roles people are delegated to. I would say that this immensely fascinated me . Furthermore, we learnt about different strategies for conflict resolution including avoiding, minimizing, forcing others to accept one’s viewpoint, compromising and problem solving. This also ties in to the Thomas-Kilmann conflict modes; competing, accommodating, compromising, collaborating and avoiding (Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Modes, n.d.). In week 5, we looked at team dynamics and task interdependence within a team. The levels of interdependence ranged from high to low. Reciprocal interdependence was at the highest level followed by sequential and then pooled. The first level is where person A’s output becomes person B’s input and person B’s output becomes person C’s input and vice versa. This is done in a cyclic manner and so person C’s output ends up being person A’s input and the process starts over again. This is all done in a two way fashion. The second is sequential where one group member acts before the others do, each person in handed a different task to do in a specific order. The dynamic is one way only. The final level is the pooled dynamic. This is where each member makes a contribution without actually having to communicate with others within the organization (Saavedra, Earley and Van Dyne, 1993). During our seminar that week, we given a task where we had to find items lost at sea. A chart was given to us and had five steps in it. First, conduct an individual ranking. After the individual ranking, conduct a group ranking. Then do a ranking of the coast guard. Find the difference between step one and step three. Afterwards, find the difference between step two and step three. I thoroughly enjoyed this activity and our team succeeded as we had an efficient dynamic, our roles and goals were clearly defined and communication was clear. The next week, we studied rewards and how it affected teamwork, team achievements and the role that motivation has on a team. The reward process was covered. This is where good performance is rewarded and increases satisfaction of the person, in turn giving them an incentive to continue with the good work. We looked at both the positives and the negatives that rewards could have. The negatives were that there would be a lack of “appreciation effect”, a heavy emphasis on monetary rewards and counterproductive behaviour being rewarded and encouraged. Another activity we did in the seminar was a moon landing ranking chart. This was where we were given ten  minutes to make our own ranking on the following moon landings shown to us. This highlighted the importance of rewards within a team and its motivational factor as well. In week 7, the topic revolved around group and team communication. The components of this communication was members,  goals, working, interdependence and interaction. Communication was shown as an 8 step process to identify and improve skills necessary for effective communication such as constructive feedback and intercultural sensitivity. Culture in this case is a shared system of though patterns, behaviours and  communication. By intercultural sensitivity, we mean looking past the surface and showing respect to one another. Out of all the topics covered, this helped me the most. It enabled me to learn how to improve my communication skills and empowered me to share my ideas with a team. Afterwards, we went through team roles, how they can help improve organisational performance and create more balanced teams. The 9 Belbin team roles are roles that people gravitate towards within a group. The nine roles are; plant, resource investigator, co-ordinator, shaper, monitor evaluator, implementer, team-worker, completer-finisher and specialist (Team Roles in a Nutshell, 2015). Each of their advantages and disadvantages were compared with one another. Opposite groups were further compared with each other. This shows how different roles complement each other. This aided me in realising what role I play within a group and my strengths and well as weaknesses that I can work on. In the final week, we covered coaching interventions, behaviour patterns in teams and groups, both in oneself and in others. We went through a series of scenarios involving pieces of evidence given to us to uncover and prevent a hypothetical terrorist plot. Yet, I would say that we spent the majority of the time revising what we learnt in the past 8 weeks as opposed to being introduced to any new concepts. To conclude, I enjoyed the course as it gave me a fresh perspective into group and team behaviour and motivations for performance. As well as this, I also learnt how to clearly communicate with team mates and the different ways we can share our ideas and work effectively. This made me realise that team development is multi-disciplinary. It relies heavily on psychology to full appreciate the mechanisms behind a team. The things I have learnt here will in no doubt help me in the future, both within a organisation and outside it in my personal life as well.