Group Dynamics and Teams

Group Dynamics and Teams
Introduction

Team management is a concept that is applied in group dynamics and teams. In this
paper, I will discuss my experiences in a group setting and how to approach this issue of
managing groups and teams. I will apply the concept of Force Field Analysis and provide a
detailed illustration of various concepts and theories related to this topic.

Concrete Experience

I was part of a team that was tasked with conducting a census for research purposes in
several US states. Our project objectives entailed physically visiting designated areas and
performing a head count on all individuals, house to house, which were present there. It is a
difficult assignment, which requires effective group management. However, my group had some
specific experiences during some situations and this hindered effective group management and
subsequently affected our group performance. One specific situation that happened was during a
headcount study in one of the states, and a disagreement arose as to who should physically visit a
particular neighborhood known for violence and uncooperative residents. An argument arose
since the members tasked with handling those areas reiterated that they had not been well
advised on the security nature of the neighborhood and there was no guarantee of their security.

GROUP DYNAMICS AND TEAMS 3
They requested that their roles be changed and that other members who were better at handling
such hostile civilians be delegated those duties instead. No member was willing to take up the
role, and a dispute from the misunderstanding subsequently led to crippling of our operations for
several days. Some members even threatened to quit the team, and this would have compounded
our problems since the team was already working on a tight schedule as a result of the several
days’ standoff. In this situation, we were having trouble working together as explained by the
Force Field Analysis (Mindtools Website, 2016).

Reflective Observation

The experience was an opportunity for us to learn more about team management and
conflict resolution skills. From my perspective, I would agree with the initial members who
brought up the issue by declining to address their responsibilities. The reason behind their refusal
provided a good rationale as they had some reservations about the neighborhood. They were
concerned about their security since the locality in question had a reputation or hostile,
unwelcoming, withdrawn, uncooperative residents, who would have proved too difficult or even
risky, to approach and conduct a study on their population structure. The group members said
that the study would have demanded that the respondents give them some of their time to answer
some questions about their families and this would not have been easy in this locale. They were
afraid that they would be subject to aggression and improper conduct against them and insults
would have been what they received instead of answers to their questions. Another explanation
that they provided is that they had not been forewarned that they would be conducting a census
in that neighborhood. Had they been told in advance of their specific areas that they would
handle, they would have prepared physically, psychologically and mentally early enough to
handle the situation.

GROUP DYNAMICS AND TEAMS 4
The project managers also ought to have provided security if they had prepared early
enough to realize that it was required. Security personnel would have protected the members as
they conducted their study and any instance of violence that would have inflicted physical harm
upon the members would have been averted. The other members, I included, were skeptical
enough also to turn down the chance to take over the responsibility. They also had the same
concerns about their security and lack of preparedness that were raised. This conflict arose since
the issue of security and location of the study was not well addressed during the stages of team
development as illustrated by Chapman (2016). Group members behaved the way they did out of
concern for their security and because they were not forewarned to aid in their prior preparations.
There was a lack of effective communication.

Abstract Conceptualization

This experience can be interpreted at a deeper more generalized level. The core problem
that can be derived from the way we behaved as group members can be attributed to ineffective
communication as already stated. Team management entails ensuring effective communication,
as it is a requirement for the group to function appropriately. Effective communication is
valuable in strengthening trust and improving relationships among the team members including
team leaders. This concept of communication can be best understood by analyzing the Johari
Window, which provided an excellent model for the improvement of communication
effectiveness in a team. The model postulates that for trust and good relationships, there should
be effective communication between coworkers, subordinates, bosses, and teams (Mindtools
Website).

GROUP DYNAMICS AND TEAMS 5
Effective communication is useful in ensuring that only the best decisions are arrived at
during the group’s decision-making process. All decisions that are passed need to be accepted by
all members to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings as experienced by my group as explained
in the concrete experience section above. Group decision-making aims at eradicating possible
sources of conflicts and problems, and these include groupthink, overconfidence, composition
bias and polarization or “risky shift” (Mottola & Utkus, 2009). In this regard, the conflict
between our group members was brought about by the fact that there were polarization and
groupthink issues that happened during the norming and storming stages and this led to a
disregard for a critical and conclusive explanation of group member roles and responsibilities.
Chapman (2016) stated that during norming and storming stages of group formation, all
members should be briefed on what is expected of them and this did not happen in our case since
they were not aware of the locations they would be conducting their census studies. It is for this
reason that when they finally realized that they were required to visit some hostile environments,
which they declined and even threatened to quit the group. Other group members also declined to
fill in this role since it was adequately analyzed and expectations well communicated to the
group.
The theories of effective communication and decision-making, as well as group
formation models as suggested by Chapman (2016), are applied hand-in-hand with the concept
of conflict resolution. Good team management skills require that the managers employ effective
conflict management approaches to situations like the one experienced by my team. According to
Segal & Smith, conflicts are inevitable in any group setting and managing these conflicts well
helps in increasing team performance and consequently improving the output. Managing
conflicts involves establishing the difference between healthy and the destructive types of

GROUP DYNAMICS AND TEAMS 6
conflicts and employing effective techniques aimed at managing these conflicts between people
at work.
The model of Force Field Analysis which explains the factors that lead to situations
where people are unable to work together has helped me understand why the members of my
group behaved the way they did. The three factors explained in depth by this model are
communication, decision-making, and conflict resolution.
Active Experimentation

In the case of the next occurrence of a similar experience, the first thing would be to
ensure that the group is well prepared to address such circumstances. This is by ensuring that all
provisions and relevant areas are addressed during the team formation stages. When the conflict
arises, one way is to employ proper and concrete conflict resolution strategies. This is by
bringing all group members together and analyzing the situation than coming up with the best
solutions to it, as a group. In our case above, another way would be to face the issue collectively
as a group rather than delegating that responsibility to particular members. In this regard, the
group as a whole could have conducted the census in the hostile neighborhood.
We have learned that the decision-making process in any group should be emphasized
and all possible issues need to be handled before the commencement of any project. This will
avoid unforeseen circumstances. We also learned that groups work best when they are
adequately prepared, and our mistake taught us that the best way to prepare is to look into an
issue before it occurs. I will put what I have learned to use by educating my future group
members about my experiences. This action will help me build a more effective work team in my
job.

GROUP DYNAMICS AND TEAMS 7

Conclusion

The main points from my analysis revolve around communication, decision-making and
conflict resolution in a group setting. Effective communication is necessary for any team to
achieve their project objectives and also aids in coming up with the best decisions. It is this
effective communication that will also help in resolving conflicts, which may arise. These three
aspects of team management are crucial, as they will determine the success or failure of a team.

Reference

Chapman, A. (2016). Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing team-
development model. ield Analysis: Analyzing the Pressures For and Against Change. (2016).
Mottola, G. & Utkus, S. (2009). Group decision-making: Implications for investment
committees. Vanguard Investment Counseling and Research.
The Johari Window: Using Self-Discovery and Communication to Build Trust, (2016).
Mindtools.

Looking for Discount?

You'll get a high-quality service, that's for sure.

To welcome you, we give you a 20% discount on your All orders! use code - NWS20

Discount applies to orders from $30
All Rights Reserved, Nursingwritingservice.com
Disclaimer: You will use the product (paper) for legal purposes only and you are not authorized to plagiarize. In addition, neither our website nor any of its affiliates and/or partners shall be liable for any unethical, inappropriate, illegal, or otherwise wrongful use of the Products and/or other written material received from the Website. This includes plagiarism, lawsuits, poor grading, expulsion, academic probation, loss of scholarships / awards / grants/ prizes / titles / positions, failure, suspension, or any other disciplinary or legal actions. Purchasers of Products from the Website are solely responsible for any and all disciplinary actions arising from the improper, unethical, and/or illegal use of such Products.