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The Business Skills Handbook

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1 The Business Skills Handbook

2 The Business Skills Handbook
Working in Teams Week 5

3 Reading Recommended text: The Business Skills Handbook Horn, R.
London: CIPD. 1st edition, 2009 ISBN: Chapter 5: Working in Teams (page 105)

4 Lecture Outline Tuckman’s group stage theory Belbin’s team role theory

5 Learning Objectives understand how team theory can assist with understanding team behaviour

6 My Best and Worst Moments in a Team
Starting Activity My Best and Worst Moments in a Team Spend 10 minutes reflecting on your best and worst moments in a team. Prepare a short two-minute statement about these two events. 10 minutes’ prep 2 minutes’ feedback Work alone Feedback to the group – ‘my best and worst moments in a team’

7 Bruce Tuckman (1965) Suggested a team development model. It is simple to understand and relates to both academic groups and the workplace. In its original form it had four stages (1–4) and was later adapted in several ways to add more stages.

8 Tuckman [2] Stage 1 – Forming
Team members are introduced and get to know each other and begin to understand the reason for the team’s existence.

9 Tuckman [3] Stage 2 – Storming
Storming, meaning stormy relationships where differences in views and opinions have occurred and conflicts and arguments emerge.

10 Tuckman [4] Stage 3 – Norming
The group sets out the normal expectations and standards, agrees goals and how to achieve them.

11 Tuckman [5] Stage 4 – Performing
The team starts to achieve the outcomes needed to successfully complete the team’s agreed goals.

12 Tuckman [6] A final phase (not in Tuckman’s original theory): Stage 5 – Mourning The completing of the project and dealing with the issues learned and the loss, sadness or relief of leaving the team.

13 Tuckman [7] If you adopt this theory as a guide to action in teams it would suggest certain behaviours for team members and facilitating actions for team leaders. Each stage is revisited in three sections: characteristics of the stage team behaviours likely to occur actions for leaders.

14 Stage 1 – Forming Characteristics
During the forming stage team members will be getting to know each other. There is likely to be quiet, uncommunicative phases until each member knows the team. Team members will be watching and listening to others and the leader. Members will offer guarded information about themselves.

15 Stage 1 – Forming Behaviours Members will present themselves.
Try to understand and relate to the team goal. The team will try to define and explore the team goal. Try to set out steps to achieve the goal. Try to fit themselves into a role in the team.

16 Stage 1 – Forming Leader’s actions
Use ‘ice breakers’ to help the team to get to know each other. Set out a management vision for the team. Explain and make clear the dimensions and limitations within which the team must work: time, budget, and so on. Move the team onto the storming stage at the correct time.

17 Stage 2 – Storming Characteristics
Once a team has gotten to know each other, you can expect there to be some stormy times as being polite and reserved gives way to real feelings and emotions. Control and personal influences on who is in control and what needs to be done must be argued out. Disagreements will occur and will need to be resolved.

18 Stage 2 – Storming Behaviours
Team members start to reveal their true selves, for better or worse. Team members start to be impatient and frustrated with the progress the team is making. Team members ‘tread on each other’s toes’ and they defend their positions or leave. There will be general feelings of instability and mutiny.

19 Stage 2 – Storming Leader’s actions
Accept that the storming stage is vital to the team’s success. Do not be put off or intimidated by the instability and aggression of this phase. Remind the group that this stage is a natural point in the development of the group. Manage the tensions and aggressions and turn them into positive actions. Surface and address the conflicts – the team cannot move on until this is done. Know the point to move the team on to the norming stage.

20 Stage 3 – Norming Characteristics
When the team has resolved the conflicts from the storming stage they will move on to agree the normal standards and expectations of being a group member. The focus of the team moves from conflict to performance. In the best teams genuine reflection takes place and the team performance is reviewed and improved until it is sufficient to complete the task.

21 Stage 3 – Norming Behaviours
The rules of membership and performance that may have been overlooked in the conflict of the previous stage are now taken very seriously. There will be a move from ideas generation to planning and decision-making. There will be limited discussion and much more action. Subgroups, both formal and informal, may be formed to progress towards the final goal more quickly. There will be very little explicit conflict; there may however be some tacit (behind-the-scenes) conflict.

22 Stage 3 – Norming Leader’s actions
As leader you must keep the team focused on the task and its timely completion. Control the team and ensure they are following the agreed plans to completion. Control the amount of informal subgrouping that may occur. Watch out for and control tacit conflict (a spillover from the storming stage). Control and relieve stress and pressure; act as the team ‘lubricant’. Inject some humour and fun.

23 Stage 4 – Performing Characteristics
This is the achievement stage and is characterised by action and completion. The norming stage will have set milestones to complete the task; these will be achieved and performance evaluated. Successful teams will now be adaptable, performance-driven and task-centred. The team is likely to be proactive and not require motivation or management. The team will viciously support each other and will aggressively attack any outside person that criticises the team.

24 Stage 4 – Performing Behaviours
Productive and output-driven, there will be very little unnecessary communication. The team will be cohesive and stick together. The team will be proactive and fast to respond to problems. The team will respond to criticism from within the team but be intolerant of criticism from outside of the team.

25 Stage 4 – Performing Leader’s actions
Watch out for teams running out of control and in the wrong or inappropriate directions. Reassert the output standards required and monitor team performance against the required standards. Devise praise methods and rewards as milestones are met. Relax and let the team perform without intervention from leadership; monitor and do not interfere – you will be treated as an outsider if you criticise.

26 Stage 5 – Mourning Characteristics
The team’s reason for existing is gradually achieved and this can leave a vacuum that is hard to fill. Team members will gradually drift away and spend less time on this team’s tasks. They may already have started to be involved in other teams.

27 Stage 5 – Mourning Behaviours
elation at the success of achievement and then a sense of deflation as the challenge has disappeared a sense of loss as the tight cohesive social group is gradually disbanded divided loyalties as team members move on to other teams relief at being free of a dysfunctional team

28 Stage 5 – Mourning Leader’s actions
Manage the finishing post so that the team finishes with a ‘big bang’. Maintain the cohesive nature of the team until the end. Arrange reward, praise systems and a final ‘wake’ – actively mourn the end of the team. Manage and trap the organisational learning that the team has created. Arrange network structures after the death of the team.

29 Tuckman In summary, there is an argument for recognising that teams work through progressive stages towards a conclusion. If this were accepted then as a member and/or leader of a team, it would seem effective to adjust behaviours towards the expectations of those progressive stages. Remember that most managers will have been taught this basic theory at some point, so your performance as a team member will be assessed against these expected behaviours.

30 Tuckman For example, if you start introducing conflict in the performing stage your behaviour will be viewed as dysfunctional. Or, if you insist on thinking about performance issues at the forming stage, other team members will exclude or reject you. Remember that early in the team’s life the participants can be changed; you have to be accepted to stay in the team.

31 Tuckman This argument would lead us to the question of whether all teams must follow Tuckman’s progressive stages. Clearly this would be too deterministic, but as you contribute to successful teams you will realise that teams do work through stages but they do not always follow the theory. Remember, some teams fail and do not achieve their goals.

32 Tuckman Teams are dynamic entities; they are driven by the people and personalities within them. You will experience wide variations of teamworking in the workplace; your aim should be to learn from each experience, however weird, painful or enjoyable that experience may be. Learning logs and developmental diaries can be a very useful way of reflecting and making sense of your involvement with teams.

33 Belbin’s Team Roles Belbin’s original work in 1981 was entitled Management Teams and represented the culmination of a long research study of executive teams carrying out a business game at what is now Henley Management College. The key conclusion that now forms an essential part of most business and management courses is that effective teams have to cover nine key roles.

34 Belbin’s Team Roles [2] If you put your critical hat on, you may be able to identify some problems with extending research from executive teams carrying out a business game to all effective teams. In general, be critical of all theory and don’t allow the theory to be deterministic (determine how you behave); theory is only useful as far as it helps you to understand what is happening and to improve performance by reflection.

35 Belbin’s Team Roles

36 Belbin’s Team Roles [3] The Nine Key Roles Doing Implementer
The implementer turns ideas into actions. Teams without an implementer tend to get very little done. The concern with getting practical things done can lead them to be seen as inflexible and unimaginative. Their currency is what is achievable within the constraints.

37 Belbin’s Team Roles [4] Shaper
Dynamic proactive achiever of the group provides the energy, drive and courage to overcome obstacles. This role may create conflict and difficulty with their drive and aggression.

38 Belbin’s Team Roles [5] Completer–Finisher
The completer–finisher is the detail person in the team they spot flaws and gaps and keep everyone to schedule. They are slow and meticulous, which is essential, but this can be frustrating for other team members. They are the guardians of quality and the assurers of finishing on time.

39 Belbin’s Team Roles [6] Thinkers Plant
The unorthodox outcast team member that solves difficult and complex problems. Often communicates poorly and overlooks important details. They can be creative, ‘out of the box’ thinkers.

40 Belbin’s Team Roles [7] Monitor–Evaluator
This role is the critical strategic thinker of the group. Can dampen the spirits of the team by being overly critical but the role is essential in accurately mapping the approach to the outcome and evaluating progress and outcomes. May appear to lack drive.

41 Belbin’s Team Roles [8] Specialist
The specialist brings skills in short supply to the team and often contributes only on the narrow technical front but is often essential to the success of the team. Often resists attempts to involve them in a wider role.

42 Belbin’s Team Roles [9] Relationships Co-ordinator
The de facto leader of the group whose main work is to co-ordinate the effort of others. This role can become too controlling and this can then be to the detriment of the team. Will enable all members of the team to contribute appropriate to their role. This role will clarify goals, delegate work and promote decision-making.

43 Belbin’s Team Roles [10] Teamworker
This role is concerned with ensuring effective interpersonal relationships within the team. This role is the sensitive heart of the team and will console the slighted and damaged team member and suggest the aggressive shaper ‘cools it’ a bit. This role, being concerned with relationships, can lead to conflict with the more task-oriented team members. This role creates team cohesion and generally eases conflict.

44 Belbin’s Team Roles [11] Resource-investigator
Is a supreme networker enabling them to collect resources and external know-how. This ability to network and gain resources and political support is essential to successful teams. In many ways this role is the PR person for the team. Can appear to do very little real work as networking is often an unseen art.

45 Case Study – The Dysfunctional Team
Activity Work in groups of 3–4 Case Study – The Dysfunctional Team Prepare answers for the five case study tasks. 60 minutes’ prep 5 minutes’ feedback Feedback to the group – your answer to the allocated question’

46 Next Week developing different styles of reading
effective use of the traffic light system improving your reading speed and comprehension critical reading skills effective use of the SQ3RW method keeping track of your reading

47 The Business Skills Handbook
The End

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