Last Updated 17 Mar 2023

The Value of Teams: Stages of Team Development and the Art of Managing Virtual Meetings

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The Value of Teams

The four stages of team development seem simple, but are more involved than you would think. First in the development of a team, is to “Form” the team. Set a mission, decide on a team leader, set goals, establish each member’s role on the team, and build trust between members. It all sounds simple enough, but it will take time, hard work, and people will have to make compromises to just get started. Next in development is “Storming”; This is where the team will either fail or succeed. Members will, sometimes, argue about their roles, or push against boundaries set during the forming stage. Others may feel stressed or simply unmotivated about the team’s goals; this is the stage where all the issues and problems between members usually occur.

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The third stage, “Norming”, is normally when team members start to accept and respect the chosen team leader, and when the team gradually finds common ground. Members start to appreciate other members, learn to communicate productively, and members start to feel more confident in their roles; although, at times, as new tasks arise, the team may relapse back to the storming stage. Finally, if all goes well, you will reach the final stage of development, “Performing”; this is the stage where the team works toward the same goals with little or no friction. Team members find a comfortable way to work together, members follow the same processes, each member contributes, and ideas and opinions are heard and discussed, respectfully. Also, this is the stage that goals are met, and sometimes, the groups are adjourned (disbanded or taken apart).

In everyday life, everyone, interacts with other people’s ideas and opinions, and having strong team skills can benefit you greatly. Having the patience and respect to listen to other people’s ideas can lead to better decisions you make, or allow you to make and keep better friends. Strong team skills, such as confidence and leadership skills, can lead to better jobs and help you accept daily roles you may have, such as, a report due, being on time to an appointment, or just listening to someone else’s thoughts on a topic, without arguing.

The ability to work well with others, being confident, respecting other people’s ideas, and respecting the leader (your boss), are all things that make a great employee and can lead to many great things in your career. Team skills in the workplace can benefit you in many ways. Having the ability to work together with other employees increases productivity, which can lead to a raise. Accepting people and their ideas can lead to you making better decisions at work, which can also lead to promotions or raises. The confidence to speak up about your ideas can get you noticed at work, especially if you have a good idea, which can open up many possibilities.

In a work environment, employees are sometimes called together to join a “virtual meeting”, which is a meeting by phone, webcam, website, or other online means. A virtual meeting is a little different from a normal face to face meeting, and some members may be states away or even countries away. Distance can cause problems, such as, you can’t see all, or any of the subtle facial expressions or other body language that people use to communicate. During a virtual meeting, the members must rely on either vocal clues or text on how other members feel. The best solution is to assume each person is speaking or writing with good intentions.

In some cases, there can be other problems when trying to make a virtual meeting work as well as a face to face meeting. There are times it can be hard to have every member paying attention or contributing to the meeting; members get distracted by cell phone calls, emails, and

other work. Another issue that may arise, is that not every member receives the agenda at the same time; when this happens, members are struggling to keep up with the meeting and reading the agenda at the same time.

Each problem with virtual meetings can be solved with proper leadership. The leader needs to make sure the agendas are sent out in a timely manner, about 48 hours before the meeting; this allows each member time to read and catch up on the data. The leader can make it a rule to call out member’s names to assure they are paying attention and are present during the meeting, or can ask specific members questions. As for body language, each member should always assume the person speaking or writing is doing so in a positive way. With good planning and an experienced leader, a virtual meeting can be just as productive as a meeting with each member in the same room.

This essay was written by a fellow student. You can use it as an example when writing your own essay or use it as a source, but you need cite it.

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