2.1 Differences Between a Group and a Team
By their very definition in the dictionary a Group is “a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together” where a team means “come together as a team to achieve a common goal”. From this we can derive that a group is a number of individuals coming together for a reason, and a team is a collection of people working together towards a common goal. Work teams and work groups have subtle differences:-
Work Groups Work Teams
Individual Accountability Individual And Mutual Accountability
Focus on Individual Goals Focus on Team Goals
Leader dominates and controls group Leader acts as facilitator
Leader is known and conducts meeting All have active participation in discussions and outcome
Research has suggested that having a mix of people with a wide skill set is necessary for efficient teamwork (as shown by AH Raymondon and KW Hamilton 2012):- having different key roles covered through your team, Leader, ‘Grafter’, Ideas Generator, Organiser, Critic, Buddy, Fact Finder, and Stalwart. Each individual will prefer at least a couple of these roles but usually should be able to perform all.
2.2 Stages of an Established Model of Group Formation
In 1995 Bruce Tuckman developed a model about team formation. Stages of which are:
Forming: The initial part of the team forming process. Here people come together and see where they fit in within the team, and usually avoid conflict and disagreement. At this stage while personnel are finding their place within the team, not much work gets done.
Storming: At this point, members start to disagree. As people have different views on various things, ranging from peoples roles within the team, what their job actually is, their responsibilities and who is in control. This is an essential part of the process as it is necessary if the group is to develop; if issues go unaddressed and proceed into the norming stage then there is a risk that the team will fall back into the storming stage.
Norming: Now that issues have been addresses and team members are happy within the team, member understand one another better and have a better understanding of how to resolve conflict with each other. The team here now agrees on how it works; its processes, procedures and team roles and responsibilities. Hopefully the “Storming” stage has been completed successfully and now the team will start coming together and working as a unit.
Performing: At this stage, it’s considered the team are in an area of effective and productive work. Team members are all aware of their roles, and have a strong bond between one another.
Adjourning: The final phase and the point at which the team disbands, this can be due to the end of project or a restructure. For some individuals, they may find this period difficult if they like routine or have close personal relationships within the team. Hopefully though, the task has been completed successfully and the team will feel good about their accomplishment.
2.3 How a Manager Could Benefit From Knowing Team Members Preferred Roles as Defined in an Established Team Role Model
The Belbin Team Inventory (by Meredith Belbin) was devised to measure individual roles essential for a successful team. For a manager it’s important to know the strengths and weaknesses of your team and roles that they can perform. Knowing these attributes can reduces any potential conflict and result in an effective team, not only this, but it also allows management of team members easier. The 9 types identified by Belbin are(https://www.belbin.com/about/belbin-team-roles):
• Resource Investigator – they are outgoing and enthusiastic. Finds ideas and brings them back to the team.
• Team Worker – Co-operative and diplomatic. Helps with team bonding and uses their versatility to help get work complete whether it being their own or others.
• Co-Ordinator – Mature, Confident. Brings focus to team objectives, delegates work appropriately.
• Plant – Creative and Free-thinking. Solves problems with outside-the-box thinking.
• Monitor Evaluator – Strategic and discerning. Provides logical reasoning, give impartial judgements and weighs up team options.
• Specialist – Single-minded, dedicated. Brings in-depth knowledge of key area to the team.
• Shaper – Challenging and dynamic. Provides the drive to push team and that they don’t lose focus or momentum.
• Implementer – Practical and reliable. Plans workable strategy and carries it out as efficiently as possible.
• Completer Finisher – Conscientious and painstaking. Most effective at end of tasks to polish and scrutinise for errors.
As a manager and using Belbin’s model, it gives them an insight into team composition before a project starts and gives the ability to manage conflicting differences before they arise. Using this model is helps us to promote strengths whilst managing weaknesses by: