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A Critical Analysis of My Own and My Colleagues’ Performance During Our Class Based Teamwork

In: Business and Management

Submitted By twohuan
Words 2244
Pages 9
Introduction
During the Human Resource Management course this term, it was fortunate that worked with multinational students who came from China, India, Thailand, South Korea and Russia with different subject background, such as Accounting, Management, Engineering and Digital Media Technology. There were three students who had several years of real work experience, who were very helpful when we had some problems about discussing working style in different countries and different types of companies. Although some of them were talented and professional, there was a consensus among us: we do not need a leader in my team. As we worked under a fair position, we could identify other members’ merits and drawbacks directly without hesitation. In my team, each member played their own role very well in tasks which were assigned on course, such as motivation case study, observation task, role play case study and managing change case study. My assignment will focus on team roles and communication.

Team roles

Adair (1986: 127) claims that team is a group in which the contributions of individuals are regarded as reciprocal rather than just a group with the same objective. Cole (2002: 84) suggests that a role should be differentiated from a position, which is principally a remark of the duties and individual has been distributed. Therefore, our team discussed each member’s role and job at the beginning of the term. According to Belbin (2010: 22), there are nine distinct team-roles that provided us with enough distinctive attributes to see the range of roles that can be performed in a team, and they are Plant, Resource investigator, Co-ordinator, Shaper, Monitor evaluator, Teamworker, Implementer, Completer, Specialist. In the next several paragraphs, I will present their definitions and who played these roles in my team respectively.

Plant

Belbin (2010: 43) highlights that the crucial individual, with the most potentially innovative profile in team is called the Plant, because this kind of person was planted for trial objectives into the company.

In my team, A was quite similar to Plant. She was so clever and sometimes dominant. When we discussed in class, she was always the first one who spoke ahead of others and brought forward some unconventional ideas that were full of creativity and imagination. Conversely, she was seldom keeping in touch with us outside class, for example, when we had team working out of class, she was usually absent with some individual reasons. It was a kind of social loafing, and for a team, it was not a good sign. After several times of A were absent, some grumbles were occurred, and some members lost initiative.

Resource investigator

Based on Belbin’s theory (2008:39), rather than standing out as innovator, Resource Investigator is notably adept at hunting resources outside the team and developing them.

Looking around my group, B and I just played the role of Resource Investigators. Both of us were enthusiastic and good at coordinating each member’s timetable, so we could have a proper time to have meetings or activities outside class. Different from A, B and I played a significant role in communicating with other members and other groups. We often talked with other groups’ members, asked their solutions about cases. Liaison works gave us the right opportunity to come back with some new propositions that could often reform our group plans. As a result, we could integrate strength of all proposals. I found that I could see things from a different perspective as a Resource Investigators, and it was really efficient that we could finish tasks and be done beautifully.

Co-ordinator

Co-ordinator is people playing as chairman to a certain extent. Fisher, Hunter and Macrosson (1998: 284) suggest that chairman know how to use the team’s combined human resources.

Similarly, there was an anonymous person, C, who played this role in my group. He was the oldest member with more than 10 years of work experience. He was steady and sociable, at the same time, since he was able to distinguish others’ abilities, particular task could be delegated to most suitable member. In addition, he was always responsible for his job (except for the managing change case study) and gave directive opinions to us. Thus, he gained the respect of other members in the group although sometimes he could be seen as manipulative.

Shaper

In some cases, there is a kind of member who is the opposition of a person you might expect to make a good team player. He criticized, challenged, argued and opposed. It is shaper who encourages people to participate team working and try to make things done.

In my group, D was likely to be a Shaper. He was dynamic and thrives when we had some difficult tasks, in other words, he could work well under enormous pressure, but he often criticised us without thinking about our feeling. One observable example was that in managing change case study, our team’s performance was moderate, because C should have made presentation, but he did not sufficiently prepare, and he did not even stand up to report. He was criticized for incompetence by D. The other example was the task of role play. He insisted I should play the employee which one needed to talk more than employer, because I had not make presentation yet while he had did. At that time, I had a little angry, because I am not the lazy person in my group, on the contrary, I contribute a lot for my group. Even though I knew he was right, I was stung by his insensitive remarks. At that time, I did not tell him my feeling, because I knew this was his way to encourage me. More importantly, most of our tasks had done perfectly owing to his criticism.

Monitor Evaluator

According to Belbin (2010: 66), Monitor Evaluators gives proper criticism and provide merits of choice, due to they were logical, sober and discriminating.

Looking at my group, E was likely to play this role. He had two years of work experience, and in certain cases, he was mature and calm, indeed, he took everything into account. However, he never became the leader owning to lack of charisma, because he seldom motivated other members in the group and sometimes overcritical. For instance, in managing change case study, our task was noticing employees to extend working time. We needed to make a timetable to allocate time fairly and reasonably. We proposed several solutions, some of them were complicated. Then he analysed each project, and chose the easiest one since it was easy to explain to the other two groups and teacher. In fact, choosing easy way was not always a good method to develop our skills; furthermore, it can be increasing laziness.

Teamworker

Teamworkers were tender and perceptive, and they could work with other in different situation, in other words, they showed remarkable resilience in the organization.

In my group, F was likely to be a Teamworker. She always made sure everyone was comfortable and rarely had conflict with others. She was good at warming up the atmosphere. Also, she was a good listener. When we were stuck in trouble, she always cheered up us with her optimism. In spite of this, she seldom offered her own opinions. She could cooperate with others very well and she was outstanding team players. We need teamworkers in team, because they can deal with conflicts and increase cohesion.

Implementer

Based on Belbin’s theory (2010: 22), Implementers are people who turn ideas into practical actions, and produce large number of work with great efficiency.

Unfortunately, in my group, there was no one who played this role. Implementer was an essential part of organization, because normally people chose the work they like doing and ignore the rest, but Implementer will do what needs to be done for the good of the organization. Everybody in my team just accepted and finished their own job which was allocated in the meeting; no one volunteered for difficult work. If we had this role, our performance would be better.

Completer Finisher

Completer finisher has the ability to make work perfect though it often costs a long time. As mentioned, Implementers would produce a great deal of work with high efficiency, Completer Finishers would check it all for faults, and ensuring it is perfect that they could be sent out or signed of.

In my team, B and I could be considered as Completer Finishers. We were people who advocated perfectionism. We had common personalities, that is, painstaking and conscientious. For example, in observation task, I wrote down the result of observation and I thought that it was already perfect, then he took the paper to home, and I did not know what he wanted to do. When he posted the paper on the wall, I knew he was a serious man. He not only copied the content again with good hand writing, but also wrote down everybody’s role. This practice then gained the praise of teacher. I was happy to be the Completer Finisher, and my team members also helped me to do a lot of preparatory works.

Specialist

It does not mean someone with particular academic or technical skills and education (Belbin Website, 2010).

In my group, no one fit this role. Specialists have some special knowledge and interest in some specific areas, so they could know everything in particular topic. If my team had this role, it can be more professional.

To sum up, these nine team roles have their own strengths and weaknesses. Most people have some individual strengths to contribute to a team. A perfect team means that everyone utilise their talents.

Communication

Cole (2002: 403) claims that communication is a two-way process, people exchange ideas for each other and show their opinions. Communication can be divided into those using an oral method such as meeting, those using the written word such as magazines, notice-boards, paper and those using electronic, such as Internet described by Armstrong (2006: 821). Figure 1 indicates three different ways of communication in my group.

|Wtitten methods |Paper |/ |/ |/ |
|Oral methods |Meeting |Chatting |/ |/ |
|Electronic methods |Text message |Telephone call |Email |Skype |

Figure 1 mathods of communication in my team

According to Owen (2010: 210), it was useless having good ideas if other members cannot catch or appreciate them. So communication is very important as we needed to persuade members and gave evidence to show the idea we showed was very good.

In my group, we rarely used written methods, and paper is the only item. For example, when we made team rules, we wrote them on the paper. It could be clear and less liable to misinterpretation. More importantly, it was hard to forget. C and E preferred this method.

Oral methods are the most important method in my team. It was flexible and efficient. When every task was assigned, we talked with each other and made an appointment. We had meetings after class to discuss the problem, and sometimes we just chatted in café to know each other. In particularly, A and D liked this method very much, because they were talkative, but sometimes they might be dominant.

Electronic methods also played an important role in my group. For example, when we got the role play task, everyone prepared two question and answer items about recruitment, and then sent them by Email, so members who played employees could choose some questions which were suitable for them. I often texted my group member to inform them on the place and time of meetings, and sometimes reminded them to prepare some materials for conferences. Electronic methods are convenient and swift so we used them most frequently, but Scholes (1997: 146) argues that people need to choose a good time to use them.

Conclusion

Writing this assignment can teach me more about team roles and communication, which is good for my job in the future. I know as a good manager, it is important to identify people. Now I can analyse people by their behaviours. Also, I know communication is definitely essential for a team. It can eliminate misunderstanding and improve cohesion.

In the process of completing assignment, I began to penetrate into and study on some problems. I recognised that critical thinking has many benefits. Critical thinking is important when making decision and training me to think critically. I will be more objective and impartial when I appraise people, and avoid judging by appearances alone.

Reference

Adair, J. (1986) Effective teambuilding: How to make a winning team, London: Pan Books.

Armstrong, M. (2006) A handbook of human resource management practice, 10th edition, London: Kogan Page.

Belbin, R. M. (2010) Management teams, why they succeed or fail. 3rd edition. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Belbin, R. M. (2008) The Belbin guide to succeeding at work, London: A&C Black.

Belbin, R. M. (2010) Team roles at work. 2nd edition, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Belbin Website. (2010) Belbin team role theory [Online], Available: http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8 [Accessed 19th December 2010].

Cole, G. (2002) Personnel and Human Resource Management, 5th edition, Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Fisher, S.G., Hunter, T. and Macrosson, W. (1998) ‘The structure of Belbin’s team roles’, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, vol. 71: pp. 283-288

Owen, H. (2010) Skilled interpersonal communication: research, theory and practice, 5th edition, East Sussex: Routledge..

Scholes, E. (1997) Gower handbook of internal communication, Hampshire: Gower publishing limited.

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