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Understand How to Manage a Team

Evidence Sheet Candidate: Date: Evidence Number: 1 1 Observation by Assessor| | 2 Expert WitnessEvidence| | 3 Witness Testimony| | 4 Candidate Review| | 5 Professional Discussion| | 6 Oral or Written Questions| | 7 Other| v| 8 APL | | Description of EvidenceUnit 31: Understand how to manage a team| 31-1. 131-1. 231-2. 131-2. 231-2. 331-2. 431-2. 531-2. 631-3. 131-3. 231-4. 131-4. 231-4. 331-4. 431-5. 131-5. | The key features of an effective team performance are: * Leaders who are hands-on, who unite their staff behind a shared purpose, and who are transparent and open in their expectations and pursuit of excellence. * Clarity of vision, which is absolutely focused on the experience of children and young people and uncompromising in its ambition. * A commitment to continual improvement, always being willing to learn and ask ‘what could we do better? ’ * The passion and energy of staff who are deeply committed to their work, and the recruitment, training and management systems which identify these staff and support them to grow and develop. Absolute consistency in the management of behaviour so that young people understand and respect the boundaries that are set and respond positively to encouragement, rewards and meaningful sanctions * Clear communication among all members. * Regular brainstorming sessions with all members participating. * Consensus among team members. * Problem solving done by the group. * Regular team meetings that are effective and inclusive. * Timely hand over from team members to others to ensure consistency and responsibility. Positive, supportive working relationships among all team members. Dr Meredith Belbin studied team-work for many years, and he famously observed that people in teams tend to assume different “team roles. ” He defined a team role as “a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way” and named nine such team roles that he argued underlie team success. Creating Balanced TeamsTeam leaders and team development practitioners often use the Belbin model to help create more balanced teams.

Teams can become unbalanced if all team members have similar styles of behavior or team roles. If team members have similar weakness, the team as a whole may tend to have that weakness. If team members have similar team-work strengths, they may tend to compete (rather than co-operate) for the team tasks and responsibilities that best suit their natural styles. Knowing this, you can use the model with your team to help ensure that necessary team roles are covered, and that potential behavioral tensions or weaknesses among the team member are addressed.

Also, by understanding your role within a particular team, you can develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses as a team member, and so improve how you contribute to the team. Belbin’s “team roles” are based on observed behavior and interpersonal styles. Whilst Belbin suggests that people tend to adopt a particular team-role, bear in mind that your behavior and interpersonal style within a team is to some extent dependent on the situation: it relates not only to your own natural working style, but also to your interrelationships with others, and the work being done.

Also, be aware that there are other approaches in use, some of which complement this model, some of which conflict with it. By all means use this approach as a guide – however do not put too much reliance on it, and temper any conclusions with common sense. Understanding Belbin’s Team Roles ModelBelbin identified nine team roles and he categorized those roles into three groups: Action Oriented, People Oriented, and Thought Oriented. Each team role is associated with typical behavioral and interpersonal strengths. Belbin also defined characteristic weaknesses that tend to accompany each team role.

He called the characteristic weaknesses of team roles the “allowable” weaknesses; as for any behavioral weakness, these are areas to be aware of and potentially improve. The nine team roles are:Action Oriented Roles:Shaper (SH)Shapers are people who challenge the team to improve. They are dynamic and usually extroverted people who enjoy stimulating others, questioning norms, and finding the best approaches for solving problems. The Shaper is the one who shakes things up to make sure that all possibilities are considered and that the team does not become complacent.

Shapers often see obstacles as exciting challenges and they tend to have the courage to push on when others feel like quitting. Their potential weaknesses may be that they’re argumentative, and that they may offend people’s feelings. Implementer (IMP)Implementers are the people who get things done. They turn the team’s ideas and concepts into practical actions and plans. They are typically conservative, disciplined people who work systematically and efficiently and are very well organized. These are the people who you can count on to get the job done.

On the downside, Implementers may be inflexible and can be somewhat resistant to change. Completer-Finisher (CF)Completer-Finishers are the people who see that projects are completed thoroughly. They ensure there have been no errors or omissions and they pay attention to the smallest of details. They are very concerned with deadlines and will push the team to make sure the job is completed on time. They are described as perfectionists who are orderly, conscientious, and anxious. However, a Completer-Finisher may worry unnecessarily, and may find it hard to delegate.

People Oriented Roles:Coordinator (CO)Coordinators are the ones who take on the traditional team-leader role and have also been referred to as the chairmen. They guide the team to what they perceive are the objectives. They are often excellent listeners and they are naturally able to recognize the value that each team members brings to the table. They are calm and good-natured and delegate tasks very effectively. Their potential weaknesses are that they may delegate away too much personal responsibility, and may tend to be manipulative.

Team Worker (TW)Team Workers are the people who provide support and make sure that people within the team are working together effectively. These people fill the role of negotiators within the team and they are flexible, diplomatic, and perceptive. These tend to be popular people who are very capable in their own right, but who prioritize team cohesion and helping people getting along. Their weaknesses may be a tendency to be indecisive, and to maintain uncommitted positions during discussions and decision-making. Resource Investigator (RI)Resource Investigators are innovative and curious.

They explore available options, develop contacts, and negotiate for resources on behalf of the team. They are enthusiastic team members, who identify and work with external stakeholders to help the team accomplish its objective. They are outgoing and are often extroverted, meaning that others are often receptive to them and their ideas. On the downside, they may lose enthusiasm quickly, and are often overly optimistic. Thought Oriented Roles:Plant (PL)The Plant is the creative innovator who comes up with new ideas and approaches. They thrive on praise but criticism is especially hard for them to deal with.

Plants are often introverted and prefer to work apart from the team. Because their ideas are so novel, they can be impractical at times. They may also be poor communicators and can tend to ignore given parameters and constraints. Monitor-Evaluator (ME)Monitor-Evaluators are best at analyzing and evaluating ideas that other people (often Plants) come up with. These people are shrewd and objective and they carefully weigh the pros and cons of all the options before coming to a decision. Monitor-Evaluators are critical thinkers and very strategic in their approach.

They are often perceived as detached or unemotional. Sometimes they are poor motivators who react to events rather than instigating themSpecialist (SP)Specialists are people who have specialized knowledge that is needed to get the job done. They pride themselves on their skills and abilities, and they work to maintain their professional status. Their job within the team is to be an expert in the area, and they commit themselves fully to their field of expertise. This may limit their contribution, and lead to a preoccupation with technicalities at the expense of the bigger picture.

If each team member completes the Belbin questionnaire it will determine who fits into each role, or thereabouts, therefore enabling a balanced, rounded team. Every team goes through the five stages of team development. The first four stages of team growth were first developed by Bruce Wayne Tuckman and published in 1965. His theory, called “Tuckman’s Stages” was based on research he conducted on team dynamics. He believed (as is a common belief today) that these stages are inevitable in order for a team to grow to the point where they are functioning effectively together and delivering high quality results.

In 1977, Tuckman, jointly with Mary Ann Jensen, added a fifth stage to the 4 stages: “Adjourning. ” The adjourning stage is when the team is completing the current project. For a high performing team, the end of a project brings on feelings of sadness as the team members have effectively become as one and now are going their separate ways. The five stages:Stage 1: FormingStage 2: StormingStage 3: NormingStage 4: PerformingStage 5: AdjourningStage 1: FormingThe “forming” stage takes place when the team first meets each other. In this first meeting, team members are introduced to each.

They share information about their backgrounds, interests and experience and form first impressions of each other. They learn about the project they will be working on, discuss the project’s objectives/goals and start to think about what role they will play on the project team. They are not yet working on the project. They are, effectively, “feeling each other out” and finding their way around how they might work together. During this initial stage of team growth, it is important for the team leader to be very clear about team goals and provide clear direction regarding the project.

The team leader should ensure that all of the members are involved in determining team roles and responsibilities and should work with the team to help them establish how they will work together (“team norms”. ) The team is dependent on the team leader to guide them. Stage 2: StormingAs the team begins to work together, they move into the “storming” stage. This stage is not avoidable; every team – most especially a new team who has never worked together before – goes through this part of developing as a team.

In this stage, the team members compete with each other for status and for acceptance of their ideas. They have different opinions on what should be done and how it should be done – which causes conflict within the team. As they go progress through this stage, with the guidance of the team leader, they learn how to solve problems together, function both independently and together as a team, and settle into roles and responsibilities on the team. For team members who do not like conflict, this is a difficult stage to go through.

The team leader needs to be adept at facilitating the team through this stage – ensuring the team members learn to listen to each other and respect their differences and ideas. This includes not allowing any one team member to control all conversations and to facilitate contributions from all members of the team. The team leader will need to coach some team members to be more assertive and other team members on how to be more effective listeners. This stage will come to a closure when the team becomes more accepting of each other and learns how to work together for the good of the project.

At this point, the team leader should start transitioning some decision making to the team to allow them more independence, but still stay involved to resolve any conflicts as quickly as possible. Some teams, however, do not move beyond this stage and the entire project is spent in conflict and low morale and motivation, making it difficult to get the project completed. Usually teams comprised of members who are professionally immature will have a difficult time getting past this stage. Stage 3: NormingWhen the team moves into the “norming” stage, they are beginning to work more effectively as a team.

They are no longer focused on their individual goals, but rather are focused on developing a way of working together (processes and procedures). They respect each other’s opinions and value their differences. They begin to see the value in those differences on the team. Working together as a team seems more natural. In this stage, the team has agreed on their team rules for working together, how they will share information and resolve team conflict, and what tools and processes they will use to get the job done. The team members begin to trust each other and actively seek each other out for assistance and input.

Rather than compete against each other, they are now helping each other to work toward a common goal. The team members also start to make significant progress on the project as they begin working together more effectively. In this stage, the team leader may not be as involved in decision making and problem solving since the team members are working better together and can take on more responsibility in these areas. The team has greater self-direction and is able to resolve issues and conflict as a group. On occasion, however, the team leader may step in to move things along if the team gets stuck.

The team leader should always ensure that the team members are working collaboratively and may begin to function as a coach to the members of the team. Stage 4: PerformingIn the “performing” stage, teams are functioning at a very high level. The focus is on reaching the goal as a group. The team members have gotten to know each other, trust each other and rely on each other. Not every team makes it to this level of team growth; some teams stop at Stage 3: Norming. The highly performing team functions without oversight and the members have become interdependent. The team is highly motivated to get the job done.

They can make decisions and problem solve quickly and effectively. When they disagree, the team members can work through it and come to consensus without interrupting the project’s progress. If there needs to be a change in team processes – the team will come to agreement on changing processes on their own without reliance on the team leader. In this stage, the team leader is not involved in decision making, problem solving or other such activities involving the day-to-day work of the team. The team members work effectively as a group and do not need the oversight that is required at the other stages.

The team leader will continue to monitor the progress of the team and celebrate milestone achievements with the team to continue to build team camaraderie. The team leader will also serve as the gateway when decisions need to be reached at a higher level within the organisation. Even in this stage, there is a possibility that the team may revert back to another stage. For example, it is possible for the team to revert back to the “storming” stage if one of the members starts working independently. Or, the team could revert back to the “forming” stage if a new member joins the team.

If there are significant changes that throw a wrench into the works, it is possible for the team to revert back to an earlier stage until they are able to manage through the change. Stage 5: AdjourningIn the “adjourning” stage the project is coming to an end. This stage looks at the team from the perspective of the well-being of the team rather than from the perspective of managing a team through the original four stages of team growth. The team leader should ensure that there is time for the team to celebrate the success of the project and capture best practices for future use. Or, if it was not a successful project – to evaluate what happened and capture lessons learned for future projects. ) Barriers to a successful team could be: * Lack of communication among team members. * No clear roles and responsibilities for team members. * Team members pass tasks to other team members, with lack of concern for timelines or work quality. * Team members work alone, rarely sharing information and offering assistance. * Team members blame others for what goes wrong, no one accepts responsibility. * Team members do not support others on the team. Team members are frequently absent thereby causing slippage in the timeline and additional work for their team members. These barriers could be overcome by: * Improving communication systems * Defining roles and responsibilities * Making each team member accountable and responsible for their tasks * Encouraging team members to work together, team building exercises and breaking down barriers * Ensuring tasks are completed by someone else if a team member is absent * Providing sufficient training Team Dynamics are the unseen forces that operate in a team between different people or groups.

Team Dynamics can strongly influence how a team reacts, behaves or performs, and the effects of team dynamics are often very complex. Suppose in a small team of six people working together there are two people who have a particularly strong friendship. This friendship is a