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Learning Team Charter Analysis

In: Business and Management

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Learning Team Charter Analysis

COM/285
04/25/2011
William Liesman

Learning Team Charter Analysis
Business is a vital part of our world today. Business offers our world opportunity, equality, and an array of choices. The key ingredient in business is communication. Bad communication or lack of communication in a business setting can single handedly cause a business or corporation to crumble to pieces. When working in a business setting, there are many business tactics and business formulas that are used. A number of these business tactics and business formulas have been around for decades, and have been proven to achieve the best results possible. These business formulas and business tactics usually have a focus around a type of business team comprised of different specialists and or employees within a particular company. In each of these business teams, ground rules are laid out, work is divided amongst the respected departments and or individuals, and deadlines are set. Without this process, these business teams would be likely to become inefficient, simply due to a lack of direction. Here at UOP, we the students use what is called a Learning Team Charter. This is a document that not only lays down basic team ground rules; it also addresses things such as individuals’ strong points, weak points, timelines, situational processes, and team member contact information. This paper will address the Learning Team Charter, give an in depth breakdown of all sections listed, and analyze the Learning Team Charter as a whole in order to justify the worth of the document.
Group Communication Team communication is a form of communication among members of the same group. Communication is crucial for a healthy and effective group. Misunderstandings, frustrations and questions can easily be resolved with the proper team communication. Team communication involves the challenge of effectively communicating in a way that team members understand the message as it is meant. Good communication creates an environment where all team members are encouraged to achieve a common goal.
Group communication can differ from individual communication in many ways. When communicating with three to five people, what the sender may say, the receivers can interpret it in a different way. The duty of the speaker is to be able to address the audience in an understandable manner and to be able to get their point made. Individual communication is more personal. This becomes easier when there are only two individuals that are in-charge of a task. Communication is more straightforward, simpler, and settling differences of opinion and decision making becomes much easier. Group communication has the ability to offer more ideas and shared knowledge, since there is more input from the various opinions of the team members. This much capacity of knowledge can lead the team to provide numerous answers to a question. Individual communication lacks in the variety of information that one person can offer to a task. “A team that communicates effectively is able to think on the spot as a unit and not miss a beat during an unexpected turn of events” (Papa, 2011, para.5). Many techniques can contribute to the development of group communications and individual communications. Team building exercises are a great way to play various scenarios in which team members practice conflict resolution. Individual techniques are more into the way of acting and speaking to the other person. Thinking before speaking can help, be an active listener, practice eye contact and body language. When giving an opinion include logical reasons for one’s position.
Team Conflict Resolution The portion of the learning team charter that deals with team conflict resolution is the portion that none of the team wishes to implement. If the team is referencing what actions should be taken against a member for lack of contribution, it usually means all other resources have been exhausted. The information located in the team charter for Team C clearly and concisely explains what actions will be taken for poor performance and lack of involvement. If any team member does not make any contributions towards a team assignment, then his or her name shall be removed from the title page of that assignment. This results in receiving no grade for that individual for the team assignment. This practice may seem brutal however, it is also stated in the charter that all means of contacting the individual will be utilized before actions are taken. Also stated in the learning team charter is a solution for handling conflicts of interest pertaining to personal views. It is stated that all conflicts will be discussed as a group and the group as a whole will come to a solution or compromise. By being able to self moderate the group, Team C has no need for outside facilitation regarding matters in which only the group itself is involved.
Fostering Strategies for Team Communication
The Team C Charter has provided several ways to foster effective communication for its team members. Examples of these methods of communication can be found in our team charter. Some of them consist of the clear and concise guidelines that have been set forth in our charter. They consist of an agreement to try to attend every workshop so that group members can effectively communicate in person when possible. The second method of effective communication is the availability of each member during certain agreed upon telephone hours. These are the times when group members should be available over the telephone. The third method of effective communication will be through email access, where each member agrees to regularly check their email for any information pertaining to the groups’ activities.
Communication through Technology Communication within a group of diverse people can be challenging. Everyone brings something different to the group because they all have different personalities, opinions, and ideas. Two technologies that can help facilitate group communication are e-mail and cell phones. One of the biggest challenges of group communication can be physically getting everyone in the same place at the same time. The advantage of e-mail is that each member of the group can submit input or feedback at a time convenient for him or her. The disadvantage is that often the intent of e-mails can be misinterpreted. For this reason some subjects, such as conflicts, should always be discussed in person.
On the other hand, cell phones are even more convenient than e-mail. Cell phones have become so popular that almost everyone has one. Communicating within a group using cell phones allows each member to be in contact with the others at all times. Therefore, if there is an emergency or a deadline cannot be met, the group can know almost as soon as the individual does. The disadvantage of cell phones is also that they keep the group in constant contact. Sometimes people need a break from always being connected to others. They want to spend time with family or time alone. However, the solution for this disadvantage is just to turn the phone off for a while. All in all, technology definitely helps overcome some of the challenges of group communication.
Conclusion
In closing, a business is only as effective as the people in charge of running the business. Rules and bylaws exist for the sake of each member of the team. The rules indicate what actions should be taken for almost any situation. Communication is the keystone of success. Without communication, the building would collapse under the great pressure from above. Team conflicts should always be resolved from within the group as often as possible. Each member of the group needs to contribute his or her feelings on the matter at hand and all members must agree on a course of action or resolution. Technology is another vital tool of positive group communication. It enables the team members to be miles apart and still be able to communicate as if they were next to each other. In most cases the technology being used enables the team to be more productive while separated than when they are working next to each other.
The learning team charter has been proven to not only be a valuable tool but, also a member of the team itself. By holding each team member’s contact information, the rules set forth by the team, and also the strengths for the team members, it is like having a personal assistant for each team. Strength in numbers has always been a key factor for success; in this case it is also true.

References
Fusion, J. (2010, June 11). How to Promote Effective Individual Communication. Message

posted to http://www.ehow.com/how_6619176_promote-effective-individual-

communication.html

Papa, J. (2011, April 23). What is Team Communication []. Message posted to

http://www.ehow.com/about_5340885_team-communication.html

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