Good Building Teams Essay Example
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Team building is the development of quality relationships among the staff members thus, making hem collaborative and productive. As a manager, building the team spirit among colleagues could prove to be a difficult task depending on the kind of people the team members are, and the strategies that the managers put in place to build the teams. However, building strong cooperative teams takes smart leadership. It requires leaders that do not shy away from correcting the wrong, those that accept criticism. Poor team management results in dysfunctional teams whereby assignments and objectives are never completed. It also results in uncomfortable working environments whereby the team members are not comfortable being part of the team. Factors such as dictatorship and discrimination create resentment and distrust among the team members. The essay discusses the reasons why some managers failed in cultivating the team spirit among the team members whereas others succeeded. The best practices in team management are also discussed.
What could be Going Wrong in Unsuccessful Teams?
For successful team management and the cultivation of team spirit among the members, there are things that all team managers should know about their team members. Team building is not all about dispensing information about team work and assigning responsibilities to the team members. For a group of people to be called a team, values such as trust, commitment and understanding each other are inevitable. The process of cultivating a team spirit is not all about following the rules that are set and implementing the duties towards a certain goal. It is about forming genuine relationships in the process of the work and interacting at all levels to achieve the set goals, collectively. Every team manager should know how functional and dysfunctional teams behave so that they can be able to fix the mishaps and move forward as a successful team.
Characteristics of Successful Teams
Effective teams have a reasonably informal atmosphere that is characterized by ease and respect. The team has clear objectives that are understood and accepted by all the members, even though some of the members may have had to compromise their views to reach the agreement. There are no hidden agendas. The communication lines are open and honest. In most cases, the information in effective teams flows freely both vertically and horizontally. Every member of the team is given equal listening and consideration. In cases of conflict resolution, the focus is on the issue and not the person. Disagreements are not suppressed authoritatively. Decisions are mainly by consensus, discussion and compromise. Criticism is frequent but controlled. It is constructive and focused on removing the obstacles. Personal attack is a rare occurrence. The team members feel free to discuss their personal feelings, but in a manner that is regulated .
The Difficulties that The Managers have in Establishing Successful Teams
On the other hand, the ineffective teams are characterized by an unduly formal and tense atmosphere in which the authority is stiff and unchallenged. The agendas of the ineffective teams are not clear to all the team members. There is also a wave of discontent with the set objectives, perhaps because some of the team members were excluded from the decision-making process. The communication is dominated by the selected few whereas the listening is selective. In such teams, the information flow mainly goes downward. In case of conflicts, the resolution process is avoided and the issue could be politicized depending on the context and the nature of the company. Decision making is done by few people and imposed upon the less senior. There is emphasis on power and position. Criticism is victimizing, it creates tension and is personal .
The team members rarely express their personal feelings and opinions. That leads to the bottling up of the feelings of anger and resentment. The lack of identification of these negative characteristics is the reason why team building fails. When the managers fail to recognize the signs that the team is not cohesive, any strategies that are applied to advance the team never succeed. That is because the team constitutes people, and in order to move forward, the underlying issues should be resolved for proper coordination of activities. Only then is a team considered to be a “successful team.”
Recommendations for the Managers
Know the Strengths and the Weaknesses of the Team Members
In knowing the strengths and the weaknesses of the team members, the manager knows the duties that particular people can do best, and the assignments that expose their vulnerable side. It also helps in the dissemination of assignments for the best results, and the arrangement of capacity-building activities that transform their weaknesses and strengths.
Understand the Personalities of the Team Members
Some people have hot tempers. That is a weakness that should be taken into consideration when criticizing and correcting such a person. That Way, the style of communication and the application of criticism is customized in accordance with their personalities. Other people have sanguine personalities whereby the least diversion of attention from them makes it difficult for them to pass on a message of any kind. It means understanding the “art of the team members” so that they know when to maneuver the different members just at the right time and place.
Awareness of the Manager’s Leadership Style
The manager should be aware of the styles of the leadership that he applies. Self-evaluation and criticism is importance in understanding where the manager stands in the team. He should avoid dictatorship when disseminating instructions. The manager is also supposed to know that the rest of the team does not have to like him initially. That should be worked on by organizing activities that help the team members know each other better and develop their relationships. However, the familiarity should not be taken too far whereby the respect is lost.
Engaging the Team in Debates around New Ideas
The team manager is supposed to encourage all the team members to engage in debates regarding controversial issues and disagreements. That way, the team members are given a chance to expose their issues instead of bottling them up.
Holding Each Team Member Accountable of their Plans
Accountability is the key to successful progress. Holding each other accountable gives every member a sense of authority and responsibility as a team member. When a person knows that they consciously committed to an assignment, they hold a sense of responsibility towards it completion.
If all the practices above are followed up on, the team is deemed to succeed and the manager succeeds in building a successful team. Successful teams are formed when the members relate on the virtues of trust, respect and open communication. Factors such as dictatorship, discrimination and selective communication only serve to break down a team instead of building it. That is possibly what the managers that did not succeed in team building overlooked .
Teams are not about who is more superior, and who has authority over who. It is the integration of all the roles and duties of the different team members to achieve a common objective. It is respecting every member of the team no matter the contribution they make towards the achievement of the goal. Teams undergo stages of development whereby conflicts and disagreements come up. The leaders and managers should be aware of the different stages of new groups and be keen on how they handle the conflicts. Without conflict resolution, teams are likely to be built on mistrust, hate, anger and resentment. Ineffective interaction and poor clarity of roles increase the chances of conflicts and hatred among the team members. Without trust, teams crumble and the work they accomplish is superficial.
Hager T., (2015). Effective and Ineffective Team Characteristics. Enrichment Journal , 4-5.
Llopis, G. (2012, 1 10). 6 Ways Successful Teams Are Built To Last. Retrieved Feb 3, 2015, from
Teambuildingportal. (2015). Diagnosing Team Failure. Retrieved Feb 3, 2015, from Team
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