Individual Reflection Paper Based on a Group Project
Our group is made up of five members with me as the designated team leader. We work through collaboration and teamwork with the complete application of interpersonal skills towards improving and realization of the team’s set objectives, aims, and goals. The group has established a research process to determine the outcomes and strategies created by Whole Foods Market in mentoring its employees for the purposes of achieving career success. The team’s mission entails providing the best professional consulting service that address organizational behavior issues to our client and provide sustainable strategic recommendations. The set goal is to work collectively towards accomplishing our team mission in a timely fashion. The purpose of my paper is to come up with an individual reflective essay based on our group’s project with respect to such elements as the teamwork’s evolution, dynamics, structure and intra-group conflict.
Development of the Group over the Term
I was the group leader, a position that I occupied without any formal or informal electoral process meant for filling the initial vacant post. During the introductory stages of the group, it was required to have a team leader to guide the project. No teamwork can exist without a leader, who is either mutually elected or nominated to assume the leadership role in the partnership and its various structures (Stahl, 2015). It is therefore mandated that before commencing on any activity in the newly formed group, the team members must come together and create an organizational structure with different heads occupying the vacant posts (Novakovic, 2001).
During the filling of the vacant post, I had to emerge and convince myself that I could meet the expectations set for the individual in that position. I did this primarily because none of the group members was willing to assume the leadership roles. Therefore, I had to come in, having in mind that we had a school project to accomplish by the end of the term and at no cost would I give the opportunity for a failing grade
In every group, organizations and multinational entities, the essential of a new leadership has always been felt, since it results in life and ideas that are full of innovation impacting into a great success (Proenca, 2007). As a new leader, who had just emerged and gotten the title and “office”, I confronted a challenge to the new role of driving the whole team alone. Being challenged to show immediate success, it was less the same to the challenges faced by other emerging leaders, both in other school projects and external organizations.
As a new leader, I had an internally overwhelming sense of motivation and pressure to provide immediate success in the newly elevated position. Others who are superior to me, including my course instructor, had an expectation that I was going to lead the group to success, as I had resumed as a leader, with assumptions that I was competent enough. It became challenging for me to undertake all the leadership roles, such as tracing the right paths for the project, with immediate positive results as expected. This is because the success of the group also relied on the willingness of the other members to participate and contribute various ideas such as the best approaches to undertaking when visiting Whole Foods Market. The success of an intra-personal working relationship depends entirely on the willingness of other members of the team to show up and get indulge in the mutually set goals (Schruijer, 2015).
Some dynamics occurred between the members and within the group. The experienced dynamics included the forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning stage. During the forming stage, all my fellow peers expressed positivity politeness in during goal setting. Exploration usually characterizes the stage, viewing on similarities and differences, confusion, lower productivity as well as open communication (KETS DE VRIES, 2007). Some developed anxiety as they had not fully developed comprehension towards the expectation and clear objectives set forth for the group, especially when strategizing on the projects at Whole Foods Market. This dynamism depicted the precise descriptions of the group changes as from the class readings. As we started to integrate together, group members began developing efforts towards realizing who their new colleagues were.
During the storming phase, the members made a step of pushing towards the boundaries that were established during the forming stage. As from the description from the class readings, this is the phase where most of the groups encounter a lot of failures (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2015). At this point, there arise various conflicts with respect to the differing views that are exhibited by each member, believing that his/her ideas in the project are the best (Chevalier, 2007).
During the norming stage, the group started to experience a lot of failures in undertaking some of its set objectives. Usually, it is at this stage where the group members are expected to begin in pursuing those steps towards the actions that are believed to provide the best solutions for their identified weaknesses (Mortensen, n.d.). In the textbook description of group dynamics, at this stage, individuals engaged in an intra-personal working relationship are expected to start appreciating one another’s strengths, as well respecting the group leader.
From all the expectations and description provided by the textbook, the reverse was true within my group members. Despite the fact that the members knew one another better, they failed to show enough socialization with no one seeking the other for help. Among all the five group members, two became worse when they failed to give constructive feedback, even with the limited communications that existed. The two ended up developing a weaker commitment to the group goal, and very few progresses could be traced in the team.
To enhance our goal realization and objectivity, we decided to formulate a lateral kind of organizational structure that could help us. As from the class readings, a lateral organizational layout is one with a grouping of all members of the same task levels, with respect to groups that has the same functionality (Schneider & Pea, 2014). The structure established a hybrid-like mechanism where all the members of the group, despite the status, position and assigned duties, come together and undertake certain roles together.
By embracing the lateral structure, each member of the team had a different role to play. I had my roles as the group leader; others included; assistant group leader, resource management who was also the information seeker, timekeeper, and the group’s secretary. In the process of undertaking the various roles, we came up with a different timeline for the various projects, including Group Charter, Tentative Reference, Company Name and other details, periods for both internal and external analysis. As a result of embracing this particular type of structure, we realized some advantages such as less overhead management, particularly to the school project activities teamwork and eliminated delays. The relation between these recognized benefits was created by the defined network of coordination and duties designed for each member, with the stipulated time frame for each and c
The conflict experienced in the group was that the expectations set for the team were not followed. We set up early team deadline so that we had a chance to review and make an adjustment before submitting the projects to the professor, and this strategy never materialized. Instead, the group members failed to keep up with the deadline, and most of the time we did not have enough time to review and make changes before submission. Time is one of the most fundamental aspects that have massive impacts on groups’ failure or success. Failure to undertake the various strategies as set within the intra-personal relationship within the stipulated time result into an organization’s failure (Docef, 2007).
There were some cases of absenteeism among the team members, several meetings were unsuccessful, and we never had a meeting where everyone was present. As the team leader, I received some excuses and apologies from the members that they could not make it to the next meeting. Despite the fact that we used to come to an agreement on the most preferred date for the organization to take place, individuals used to come up with personal excuses that hindered them to attend all the planned gathering.
The absence of other members during the meeting meant derailed the overall process of agenda setting and concluding on minutes expected to realize success in the school project. While trying to undertake the work that were agreed upon, those members who were not present during the previous group meeting used to find themselves overwhelmed and lost. Some of them ended up undertaking these actions without self-driven passion for completing them, as the same is realized within another virtual team when it comes to communication. It took a lot of work on myself as the leader to try to keep everyone up to date with information. It’s like I had to repeat myself a lot just to get everyone on the same page, whenever we held another meeting.
Realization of goals within intra-personal groups demands a lot of dedication, discipline and collaboration among the members of the team. As the leader, I encountered some experiences that other leaders of other school projects, as well as conventional projects, go through, and how to enhance my team experience. Indeed, these experiences have played significant roles in shaping me towards becoming better in managing virtual groups in the future. I learned on how to tackle different emerging issues such as absenteeism, anxiety and low motivation among the members, as they are likely to interfere with the realization of the set goals and objectives. For the case of absenteeism, I have learned that the best way forward is to come up with measures such as schedule our meeting when every member will be available. Due to members’ availability, they will all attend the meetings, hence improving the decision-making processes and engagements within the team. When leading the team, I will set a good example for the other group members, in different elements such as time management, collaboration skills and total participation in the school project’s activities.
During the school project, the group experiences various aspects that come along during while engaged in a group activity. We experienced difficulties in time management, resources allocation and staying focused towards objective realization. For the purposes of enhancing my team experience in future, I will come up with measures to counter the difficulties we went through in the school project. For example, I will conduct effective scheduling to accommodate all the group members with respect to availability and time to attend the proposed and set meetings.
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