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Lead and Manage a Team Within a Health and Social Care Setting

The features of effective team performance are set out in Brian Tuckman’s phases of team development theory, ‘Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing. ’ This outlines the phases that a team will go through in order to become effective and reach maturity. At the ‘Forming’ stage of team development individual roles and responsibilities are unclear and each member of the team is concerned to avoid conflict with each other.

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From this point the team will go through the ‘Storming’ phase which is when they start to conflict as individuals put forward ideas which will be challenged by others in a bid to gain power and position over others. After this the ‘Norming’ phase follows and it is at this point that individual roles are defined and accepted and ground rules and conduct are agreed. After each of these stages the team then reaches the ‘Performing’ stage which is where they are all working towards the same shared goal.

This theory shows that for all teams to be effective each individual needs to be clear on their role, responsibilities and shared end goal. This is achieved through positive leadership, utilising the skills of the team and addressing weaknesses to make the team more effective. The challenges experienced by developing teams are often due to organisational change. Staff may be resistant to change such as moving to join a new team or working with people they do not know.

A health and social care organisation needs to identify the skills and knowledge that are required for the service plan and recruit staff according to this to ensure that the diversity and skill mix needed is met to fulfil the service outcome. Newly appointed staff should complete an induction that ensures they understand and comply with the organisations values and objectives and their role and support systems should be clarified as quickly as possible to ensure they can contribute as quickly and effectively as possible to the team. An established team experiences different challenges to a developing team.

They may have more difficulty maintaining staff enthusiasm and momentum. To overcome these challenges the organisation needs to be aware of changes to workload and conflict between individuals to resolve issues quickly before they impact on other staff and then service users. Also feedback should be given to staff in order for them to maintain or improve performance levels and recognition should be expressed for good work to maintain a high level of staff morale. Once momentum is built then it is easier to maintain and helps staff to remain enthusiastic and continue o communicate and trust their colleagues and manage their time efficiently and keeps them orientated to the important work tasks. Challenges to effective team performance can be overcome by the organisation being clear about the values and objectives in relation to staff and service users and communicating these and the time frame in which these are expected to be achieved. Support should be given to those who are capable of sharing the organisations objectives so they can become committed to ensuring that the service outcomes are met.

If this is not done then it can be difficult to maintain effective team working. Dawes and Handscomb performed a review on team leadership in 2005 and suggested that these difficulties stemmed from competing professional interests. In different settings they reviewed the relationship between team working and care outcomes and it was found that within a long term care setting the care outcomes required effective team working to be met. It is considered that management styles can be divided into three categories. * Autocratic- characterised by individual control over all decisions and little input from group members. Paternalistic- a type of fatherly managerial style typically employed by dominant males where their organizational power is used to control and protect subordinate staff that are expected to be loyal and obedient. * Democratic- a style in which members of the group take a more participative role in the decision making process. A leader can be anyone who has the ability to influence other members of a team. It is considered that a manager and a leader are different but they are complementary to tasks being carried out. Management styles will change to reflect the stage of development the workforce’s stage of development.

When starting a new team a manager will have to be clear about setting goals, establishing rules and assigning responsibility and then taking on the more troublesome tasks of organising resources, motivating and creating a cooperative team. As the team develops then roles can be delegated and appropriate support provided. Doing this enables the team to become more confident and the style of management and leadership changes so team members begin to take on more leadership functions. The primary focus of a leader is to develop and maintain trust between the service user and the staff.

The service user will look at the staff to establish with them character and competence. If these two characteristics are met then this develops trust with the service user. Character relates to motive and intent, whether the staff are working towards the same objectives. Competence relates to skills and results, whether the staff are able to care for the service user and meet the objective set by the organisation. Staff that are registered with professional bodies have accountability and are answerable for their actions. They are accountable by law for meeting the standards and objectives that are set out for them.

Even when staff are working towards a common goal, conflict can still arise. This can be due to different personalities, communication styles, sense of priorities and changes to workload. Trying to prevent conflict is best practice so a manager should try to build an environment that is supportive, positive and stable to try and reduce the likelihood of conflict developing. If conflict does develop then a manager should try to: * Address it at the earliest opportunity. * Keep the discussions positive. Look at what can be done to resolve the conflict. * Encourage the team to focus on the problem, not the person. Encourage honest dialogue between the team, welcoming different points of view that do not create blame. Each individual should be allowed to voice their point of view and also listen to and respect each other’s views. * Ask each individual to accept ownership of their part of the problem. * Discuss a variety of options before settling on an agreement that is based on objective criteria that will resolve the conflict. Conflict does not always necessarily have to be a bad thing, as if it is dealt with constructively, can lead to increased productivity, development of new ideas and personal development of team members.