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Creating a Plan for Positive Influence

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Creating a Plan for Positive Influence
Organizational Leadership / LDR531

When we work in a group towards a common goal in business there are some obvious advantages to not working on a project alone. “Groups are an excellent vehicle for performing many of the steps in the decision-making process and offer both breadth and depth of input for information gathering. If group members have diverse backgrounds, the alternatives generated should be more extensive and the analysis more critical. When the final solution is agreed on, there are more people in a group decision to support and implement it.” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, p. 295) To have an effective team you have to have as much diversity as you possibly can to avoid the possibility of having every member thinking the same way and not getting the best possible outcome. The more input you have from people with different opinions the more you can have open discussion and group members teaching and learning from each other while bringing up options that you would have never come up with otherwise. This doesn’t come easy of course; every member of our team working on this project is coming from different backgrounds and has their own set of values. This is a breeding ground for conflict but it doesn’t have to be the end to effective collaboration and the potential to achieve the goal of the group. According to "Resolving Team Conflict" (1996-2013), “Conflict can be constructive as long as it is managed and dealt with directly and quickly. By respecting differences between people, being able to resolve conflict when it does happen, and also working to prevent it, you will be able to maintain a healthy and creative team atmosphere. The key is to remain open to other people's ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. This may prove to be a challenge for many and it could even be due to subconscious factors making it harder to realize what is actually going on and how we can correct the problem. When team members learn to see issues from the other side, it opens up new ways of thinking, which can lead to new and innovative solutions, and healthy team performance.” In our group we have people who vary greatly in their backgrounds and upbringings as well as life experiences. Our team includes someone who was raised by some not so very accepting family members has the potential to present a challenge with some of the minority members in the group but is also something that brings varying opinions and perceptions to the project. We have to make sure that every member of our group feels like their opinions not only matter but are being taken seriously and are respected by everyone else involved. This action will help to foster more open and free flowing communication between group members as well as build trust and strengthen the team’s morale as a whole. According to "McClelland's Human Motivation Theory" (1996-2013), “McClelland's Human Motivation Theory states that every person has one of three main driving motivators: the needs for achievement, affiliation, or power. These motivators are not inherent; we develop them through our culture and life experiences. Achievers like to solve problems and achieve goals. Those with a strong need for affiliation don't like to stand out or take risk, and they value relationships above anything else. Those with a strong power motivator like to control others and be in charge.” Knowing who we have in our group and what their motivators are will help us to assign specific tasks to the correct individuals and thus strengthen the team dynamic. Having someone who is extremely detail oriented keeping track of the little things for the project and checking on everyone’s progress throughout the year will aid in their motivation and increased productivity and performance because they enjoy this type of work. If we would have chosen someone who prefers to flex their creative muscles for this job they would not only begrudge the assignment but would inevitably bring down the group morale because of their unhappiness. The term “aces in their places” springs to mind when you consider just how important recognizing and capitalizing on the group’s diversity really is to having a well oiled machine for the coming year’s project. “As organizations have restructured themselves to compete more effectively and efficiently, they have turned to teams as a better way to use employee talents. Teams are more flexible and responsive to changing events than traditional departments or other forms of permanent groupings. They can quickly assemble, deploy, refocus, and disband.” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, p. 314-315) Knowing the motivation behind our team being formed can not only shed light on a good way for us to attack this project head on, but also enlighten us as to why these specific team members were chosen. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of our members is vital to our success over the next year and this is done by learning about each and every member of our team both in their professional contributions as well as what makes them tick as an individual. “Perfect communication is unattainable. Yet a positive relationship exists between effective communication (which includes perceived trust, perceived accuracy, desire for interaction, top-management receptiveness, and upward information requirements) and worker productivity. Choosing the correct channel, being an effective listener, and using feedback can make for more effective communication.” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, p. 365) Keeping in mind that we’re all human and none of us are perfect, we are all going to slip up from time to time and mostly that seems to come when communication is involved. We have to constantly strive to improve as individuals and a team always trying to fine tune our actions and create a better end result that will truly reflect our abilities both alone and together. “While many people assume conflict lowers group and organizational performance, this assumption is frequently incorrect. Conflict can be either constructive or destructive to the functioning of a group or unit.” (Robbins & Judge, 2011, p. 476) Making sure we approach conflict proactively and try to spot it before there is even a problem as well as using it as a starting point for furthering positive change in our team performance will help us to successfully complete this project over the next year. Utilizing all of our team member’s strengths and compensating for each other’s weaknesses will boost our morale and make us excited to tackle our project together. Remembering that our differences make us stronger as a team and our attitudes, emotions, personalities and values not only shape us individually but as a team as well.

References
McClelland's human motivation theory. (1996-2013). Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/human-motivation-theory.htm
Resolving team conflict. (1996-2013). Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_79.htm
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2011). Organizational behavior (14th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

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