Leadership is the key to success to effective team building.
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Before going in detail of one most important aspect of team dynamics I would like to highlight what team dynamics is. It is "the unseen forces that operate in a team between different groups of people"(www.termpaperslab.com,2008). These groups of people work together to achieve a common objective on time through collaboration i.e. uniting their strengths and overcoming their weaknesses. Team building is always effective in reducing the workload and to reach the desired objective more effectively. As we all know that one person if puts all his efforts even can’t come up with a 100% output as compared to teams. As more people bring more ideas and more new ideas that could lead to success factor for an organization in the long run. Team building looks simple at first place though it is not. Companies need to do extensive research before forming a group and assigning particular task to them as different people have different expertise. It’s very important to understand team dynamics so that its members could clearly understand their roles as team members. The most important aspect that I think should be considered is Leadership. Through out this paper my focus would be on Leadership as one crucial aspect of team dynamics.
Now the question arises what leadership is all about. The topic of leadership itself is very vast. To make it concrete lets define leadership according to Warren Bennis. It is basically the function to know you properly. A leader must have a vision for his team members to accomplish and most importantly that vision should be effectively communicated to them. He should build trust among them and should take preventive actions whenever deemed appropriate (www.teal.org.uk, 2008). Every team whether it’s for academic purpose or professional; needs some kind of leadership. It gives path to the team as to where they should go. The direction keeps the members of the team on right path and they could synergistically work to achieve desired objectives. Since there are different ways to do a same work; it’s a leader that guide it’s followers i.e. the team members as to how they should accomplish a particular task so that every member would be working cooperately together on a same task.
Who should be the leader?
All the members of the team should jointly decide the leader of the team. He must have respect among all his followers. He should not get this leadership through some power. He should continuously do right things for his team. He should have all the qualities that I had described in the definition of leadership. Along with this; he should know what each individual wants from the team i.e. what are their personal goals associated with this team.
Responsibilities of a leader:
A leader has to perform variety of duties other than his own work that go beyond his mental and personal work. He should make a plan as to how he could make his team achieve its goals. He is one who is responsible for monitoring the progress of each individual member within his team. He should have a creative approach towards resolving problems. He should be a good decision maker who knows how to make adjustment in his plan he would have made in the beginning if required. Besides this he has to conduct routine meetings to get feedback and check and balance the team working and to see whether the work assigned is productively done or not. He is the person who will set best goals for a team to accomplish. He is responsible for motivating his team members in order to achieve best possible outcome. He must decide the best way of doing an assigned work. He should have an appropriate skill to delegate right work to right people on right time. Delegation gives the team members sense of responsibility they shared within a group. Empowering employees is good in the sense that they could make better decisions about the work they are doing as they are experienced than the leader himself.
What ever I illustrated in the definition of leadership, I will now go in detail of each aspect of it.
Leader should have a vision that is aligned with the organization’s mission. The accomplishment of target must be fruitful for its organization to achieve success. It is not simple to make a vision. A thoughtful investigation is needed to make a vision and goals for a team that would direct its team members. It should be appropriate for each individual in the team; thus not to create any chance of conflicts in future. If a leader would take care of it, he could bring positive results for both the company and the individuals at personal levels working in the team.
It is not enough for a leader to create a vision; it should be clearly communicated to both the management and the team members. A leader should have good communication skills. Miscommunication would result in negative outcomes as employees even could not understand what is expected from them as team member i.e. individual roles are not defined appropriately. This could be dangerous for an organization. It could even affect the brand image of the company and of course its profitability. Even customer satisfaction might be at risk.
It’s really hard to build trust among your followers. This is something subjective in nature. Effective relationship building could result in trust. A leader should have good relationships with everyone in an organization and especially with his team members. The relationship should be such that team members like to share their personal problems too with their leader besides professional. A leader should conduct a routine meeting on a daily basis to have good relationship with their followers. In the meeting they should be allowed to address not only work related problems but also personal problems. He could also get regular feedback related to the task assigned to his team which could help him to keep his team on track.
Take Corrective Actions:
After getting feedback from his team members; he must have the potential to take preventive actions whenever he thinks necessary. He should have a plan in his mind ‘an alternative one’ to follow whenever the guided method would not work. That is why we say that decision making skills are very much important for a leader. By decision I mean immediate decisions for a team when required as time is very important. Waste of time would result in incurring high cost for the company i.e. unbearable.
The leader must possess the above characteristics. Beside this for a team to be effective; a leader must inspire the team members to achieve the required target no matter how many obstacles, they would have to face while the accomplishment of the desired target. A leader should assist the members in the target accomplishment rather than just using power and assigning tasks. He should be answerable to every individual in his team and also serves as an intermediary between management and his followers. A leader should not compromise his values or try to attain something at the expense of hurting the moral values of others. In short he should be ethical in his dealings. He should be a knowledge champion i.e. expert in his field. He should be able to manage diverse team members too. He should have a good sense of visualization. A leader should be interactive with each individual member of the team in order to make team working more effective and to reach 100% results. Leader must appreciate innovative ideas i.e. he must promote culture of openness. He must have the ability to exercise his power effectively and also give incentives to motivate his team members. Motivation would help increase member’s productivity; inspire them to come up with creative ideas, build long term relationships, increase employees satisfaction level and other related factors. Employee’s satisfaction would then lead to betterment for the company, customer’s satisfaction, more profitability and improving brand image of the company.
While concluding it I would like to highlight a quote on leadership by J. Richard Clarke:
“The best leader brings out the best in those he has stewardship over.”
The above quote clearly explains the importance of leadership in team dynamics as it could help others to perform well and to achieve best results from them.
Jefferies, J.(nod.). Retrieved November 14, 2008, from Team Dynamics Web site: http://www.peaksports.com/pdfs/Team_Dynamics.pdf
Clarke, J. R. (2008). Tools For The Successful Leader. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from Famous Quote Leadership Web site: http://www.leadership-tools.com/famous-quote-leadership.html
Retrieved at 14th November 14, 2008 website: http://www.termpaperslab.com/term-papers/88248.html
Bennis, W. (2008). Our Definition of Leadership. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from Leadership Definition : Warren Bennis : Web site: http://www.teal.org.uk/Leadership/definition.htm
Johnson, L. (2008). Free Term Papers on Team Building: The Dynamics Of A Successful Team. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from Team Building: The Dynamics Of A Successful Team Web site: http://www.oppapers.com/essays/Team-Building-Dynamics-Successful-Team/142117
Housel, D. (2001). Team Dynamics: Professional Development Series. South-Western Educational Pub.
Levi, D. (2007). Group Dynamics for Teams . Sage Publications, Inc.
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