1. Which was the most effective group (team) of which you have been member? What made the group (or team) so effective? One of the most effective teams I have been a member of is the Lindsay Street Baptist Church Senior Usher Board. Our board is made up of individuals of the same race. However, our ages vary from 23 to 75 years of age. With this broad age gap, everyone is learning something differently about each other during our meetings. We share a common goal which is to be the best “doorkeepers” in the church.
We find solace and joy in performing our duties. We are committed to each as members of the board. We respect, trust, and communicate effectively with one another. We are aware and respect of each other’s feelings. We consider ourselves family on the board. Group cohesion is what we experience on the usher board. Group cohesion is the “interpersonal glue” that makes the members of a group stick together (Nelson & Quick, 2011).
We realize that everyone cannot be the leader of the group. We elect a president to keep us in order, motivate us, criticize us, and compliment us. One main function of the president is to make sure the ushers are governed according to established rules and regulations. Every organization, group or business should have a leader in place to direct and lead the people.
In your answer consider both individual factors in part 2 of your textbook (e.g., values, motivation, feedback/learning, etc.), and group factors in chapter 9, such as diversity (pp. 308-310), the group characteristics in table 9.1, and the group behavior concepts on pages 294-296.
2. What are the most significant barriers to teamwork, and to empowerment, that you have seen? Consider trust and other factors introduced in the interaction part of this module. Trust should be an essential element in business. It is vital for the employee to trust the manager’s words and actions. Conversely, it is important for the manager to trust the employee will do the given task as assigned. According to Castro (1994), it is difficult, if not impossible, to have effective and productive working relationships without trust.
He also states managers cannot force employees to trust one another but they give them the needed resources to build trust. Some of the most significant barriers to teamwork I have witnessed are team members distrust, lack of communication, and personality clash. I am on a team of managers in my department. Distrust is fluid within our team. In many cases, work projects are not fully-executed because of unwillingness to cooperate, backbiting about team members, bad attitudes, and emotionally charged meetings as a result of distrust.
Lack of communication is another barrier of teamwork. If there is not a defined line of communication, the team is can get off task. When members do not convey communicate effectively, the focal point or goal of the project is lost. Communication is essential in getting the tasks completed. We must hear from everyone to be an operative team member. Another barrier of teamwork I have witness is personality clashing.
There were times when strong personalities would dominant the meetings by disagreeing amongst themselves. In the meantime, the weaker personalities would stay silent. In many cases, the individuals that were quiet were the ones with the outstanding strategies. The weaker individuals did not have a chance to voice their opinion because the stronger personalities were arguing and giving their “self-entitlement” speeches.
3. Whose responsibility is it (or what process is used) to ensure that an ethical decision has been made? How does that person or process withstand the pressures to do otherwise? In my opinion, I believe the responsibility for ethical decisions lie with the manager. Also, there should be an ethical system in place. The manager is the leader of the team. The leader was chosen because of certain leadership skills and abilities. A manager should be an ethical person. The leader should carry himself in a proper manner.
The leadership should have ethical discernment ability. A process system such as a code of ethics; should be in established in the workplace. The system’s policies and procedures should be written in a clear, concise manner so that each employee understands the punishment for violating a code of ethics policy. The manager, since this person should be an upstanding, rule-abiding employee with leadership ability, mostly like will be the violation enforcer. Most importantly, the leader should exhibit ethical behavior because subordinates and employees are watching.