Besides the strategic performance review, personal reflections on our group’s effectiveness for problem-solving are also valuable. The present considerations are based upon the experience I got from my group simulation, “Succeeding in Business” lectures, and a scholarly article. During the group session, our team faced organizational and communicational challenges that affected the group’s performance. While some of the problems were appropriately addressed, others were ignored.
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One of the central challenges our team faced was organizing our meeting and selecting a leadership pattern. Before our team held the first meeting, we had an appointed leader who was unable to facilitate everyone to agree on the time and place of the simulating session. In my personal opinion, the issue arose because our leader tried to apply transactional leadership rather than transformational.
Our leader always tried to appeal to rewards and punishments rather than using charisma and related qualities to inspire our group members (“Lecture 10: Leadership”, 2018). For example, our appointed head would refer to our professor being angry if we do not complete the task, rather than motivate everyone by saying that our simulation can become the best if we focus on choosing the right time and place of the simulation. As a result of these mistakes, our group faced one of the most common dysfunctions of a team – the absence of trust (“Week 7: Teamwork”, 2018).
Solving the problem
The situation was resolved by applying the shared leadership model. As it became clear that our leader was unable to motivate the group, I had to take responsibility to become a co-leader. Taking up the collaborator role, I proposed everyone suggest the time and place of a meeting and asked all the group members to speak out about other’s propositions through WhatsApp. After that, I applied the rational model in decision-making and stated the best answer to our problem with supporting evidence (“Week 8: Decision Making”, 2018). In brief, we applied shared leadership to deal with the stated problem and used the model for our further decisions throughout the simulation.
Assessment of the Situation
I believe that the situation was addressed effectively; however, our team lost too much time before the solution was found and applied. According to Wang, Waldman, and Zhang (2014), shared leadership has a positive effect on a team’s performance as it is “strongly related to team attitudinal outcomes and behavioral processes” (p.181). The matter produced an enlightening impact on me, as before the simulation I believed that having a unified leader is more beneficial for a group assignment rather than using the shared leadership model. In my future group assignments, I will encourage all the participants to have several leaders apply both transactional and transformational leadership.
The group members addressed me after the meeting acknowledging my impact on the group performance. They expressed their amazement about me transforming rational decision-making theory into practice. In short, my experience in the matter had an enlightening effect upon myself, and my contributions to solving the problem had the same impact on the team.
Even though the end goal of the group assignment is achieved, our team’s communication pattern cannot be considered as the facilitator of the process. All group members were aware of the fact that one of the characteristics of a high-performing group was informality (“Week 7: Teamwork”, 2018); however, this aspect was addressed at inappropriate times. For example, cases of speakers’ interruptions were numerous, and whenever our leader tried to stop the interference, all the group members would say that interruptions were typical for informal conversations. Due to the matter, I would assess our group communication as not satisfactory.
First, critical thinking should be applied to the matter to realize why the interruptions mentioned above were numerous. According to “Lecture 11 – Entrepreneurship Skills” (2018), critical thinking includes developing and maintaining an excellent reflective mindset and challenging oneself. Because the members of our group did not apply such thinking, everyone was overconfident and found it appropriate to interrupt the speaker. Hence, my first recommendation is to use critical thinking throughout team working sessions.
Second, active listening must be a central characteristic of an effective conversation. Business communication skills include active listening, asking questions and giving answers, and applying influencing skills (“Week 7: Teamwork”, 2018). During our group session, most of the group members failed to listen to the others appropriately. Thus, my second recommendation is to improve active listening skills and show civilized disagreement.
Even though I had been aware of the theory concerning effective communication, I failed to use the knowledge during the group session. Despite being a co-leader and willing to accept responsibility, I could not put theory into practice in this case and joined everyone in interruptions. I believe my teammates did not appreciate this; hence, for my future assignments, I need to improve my leadership skills.
The main problems our team faced concerned meeting organization and group communication, and we found limited success in addressing the issues. Such assignments are crucial for learning business, as some companies are using teams as
fundamental organization design elements. In the future, this paper can be addressed to avoid the problems our group has faced.
Wang, D., Waldman, D., & Zhang, Z. (2014). A meta-analysis of shared leadership and team effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(2), 181-198. Web.
“Week 7: Teamwork.” (2018). Presentation, University of Sydney.
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“Week 8: Decision Making.” (2018). Presentation, University of Sydney.
“Lecture 10: Leadership.” (2018). Presentation, University of Sydney.
“Lecture 11 – Entrepreneurship Skills.” (2018). Presentation, University of Sydney.