Teamwork is a very important aspect of ensuring the objectives of a certain group is met. This entails working together collaboratively to achieve the set goals as a team (Thomson, 2015). I participated in teamwork whereby we held three team meetings. The team consisted of six members. The first team meeting was held on 8th May 2019, the second meeting held on 10th May 2019 and the third held on 17th May 2019. I managed to attend all these team meetings, actively participated in all of them and generally the experience in these team meetings was incredible. This paper is a reflection on the teamwork experiences in my team.
Strengths in relation to teamwork
Communication is a vital aspect of a team meeting. Therefore, one of the team processes experienced by our team is communication (West, 2012). Practicing effective communication was one of my greatest strengths, when it was my turn to give my points, I was audible enough. Our team meeting was based on Kurt Lewin’s theory on the importance of participation and the democratic style (West, 2012). All team members were given equal opportunity to freely participate in the team meeting. This was evident from the changing roles that were assigned to different members in different meetings. Therefore, I took part in this teamwork by taking various positions which were the time keeper position and the recorder. In order to ensure that the team meeting was effective, we had to have effective communication. We assigned one of the members to be the facilitator who was in charge of all the activities in the team meeting and conducting and guiding the communication in the team. In all the meeting, we selected a different facilitator. In this group of six, three members namely; Farah, Quinno and I were the active members who took part in the active roles and contributed a lot to the subjects of discussion in the group. The other three members were supportive in the meeting backing up the active members. Luckily enough we did not have any member who was not participative at all.
Our team had a well-defined ethos that helped to guide the team. The norms of behavior and the manner of conducting the team meeting are grounded in our rules and expectations that were set (Levi, 2014). These values and norms that helped to shape my involvement in the team include that; everybody has to attend the meeting on time so that the meeting can start on time. During the meeting, the purpose of the meeting has to be explained clearly, one topic is discussed at a time, turn taking as to be observed, discussions have to remain relevant, and every discussion is wrapped up out loud. Every member had the opportunity to participate by expressing their opinions. Team members were expected to use open-ended questions in order to facilitate the discussion. The discussions were expected to head towards the objective of every meeting. Responsibilities were assigned, and deadlines were documented too. Moreover, a form of power and influence was exhibited in the meeting by the consistent dominance of the team meeting by Farah and Quinno. Although roles were changed in every meeting, these two members kept being assigned major roles such as being the facilitator, recorder or the timekeeper. These two significantly influenced the group by engaging the team members with a lot of questions and encouraging the team members to expound on the points he contributed in the discussion so as to have a better understanding. The power and roles change by the type of influence did not change because it was these two individuals who shifted power and roles among themselves.
In every team meeting we conducted, we obviously had had differing opinions (West, 2012). At some point, we would fall into a situation whereby we had a conflict. All of our conflicts were constructive conflicts which were majorly due to the high quality of opinions given out of creativity which was very hard to come to a conclusion which side to stand with. For example, in our second team meeting, we had a big difficulty in determining the possible solutions to the problem and consequences of students consuming eating a lot of unhealthy foods. This was due to conflicting opinions on the most viable ways of addressing the problem. We never had any interpersonal conflict at all since all our team members. We had to resolve the conflict in order to come to a common understanding and conclusion, therefore, so to achieve this, we had to refer to the minutes recorded and identified which side of the discussion made clear and practical opinions that were achievable (West, 2012). Also, we had to consider which side of the discussion has vividly explained and outline the best criteria for addressing the problem at hand. Additionally, we were encountered by some dilemma at some point which required rational decision making. In such situations, decisions were made by considering the facts and the opinion given by the team members. Decision making was also done by weighing how the points were contributed and explained (West, 2012). Actually, the facilitator in the team meeting was assigned this role to make the final decision in such situations.
Areas to work on
Generally, I exhibited a lot of strengths in the teamwork which facilitated the group work. However, there are some areas I need to improve on. One is practicing turn taking, despite being cautioned in our rules and expectation, I found myself interrupting my team members as they were giving their points. Another area to improve is time keeping and fairness, I was a bit in effective in time keeping especially at the time I was appointed to be the time keeper I was unfair in time allocation during the meeting and I could also I failed to observe the time limits set.
To sum it all, the team meeting was effective and very participative. We experienced team process which includes; communication, decision making, power and influence, conflict and ethos. However, using Kurt Lewin’s theory on the importance of participation and the democratic style, our teamwork was effective.