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Working in groups

This presentation was adapted from The University of Southhampton "Working in Groups" document at: www.studyskills.soton.ac.uk/.../Working%20in%20Groups.doc
by

Bryan Nance

on 14 February 2011

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Transcript of Working in groups

Working in groups About teams and groups Project teams Study groups Reflecting on skills Groups functioning as teams How to become team players Ground rules Getting to know each other Team spirit Planning Maintaining In class Peer review Build a team Individual needs Achieve task Set standards
Maintain discipline
Build team spirit
Encourage/motivate
Set roles
Ensure communication Attend to personal needs
Valuing individuals
Using individual talents
Training and helping each other Define the task
Make a plan
Assign resources
Check performance
Adjust plan Let's look at some scenarios Scenario 1 You are working with a great group – they are all your friends. You often meet at the pub as it gives a good informal atmosphere and you can enjoy the work. It is good because no-one in the group nags or bosses anyone else around. You have done some reading around for this project and written a few things down and you hope that it will be useful. You assume everyone else is doing that too, after all, they all turn up and seem engaged. You are working with a group of people – they are all your friends. However, a couple of them have become really bossy and they tell everyone else what to do, constantly adjusting and fiddling with things and even controlling what you are doing. They have told you to do something you have got no expertise or interest in. There is very little team spirit, and you just seem like a group of individuals having to do this stuff. You never expected these friends of yours to be like this. You’ll be glad when it is all over. You are working with some people you know and some you don’t know. Things are going well, you have even developed ground rules, appointed a group coordinator and have regular meetings. However, as time goes on problems arise as two group members aren’t ‘pulling their weight’ – one has even stopped coming to meetings and hasn’t produced anything yet. The group is getting annoyed as they see all their hard work being compromised by the those who aren’t contributing effectively. Scenario 3 Scenario 2 How might such a team appear during the project presentation if they don’t change? What are the dangers for individuals working in a group like this? What does the group need to do now? What would you have learned about group work from such a group? How might such a team appear during the project presentation if they don’t change? What are the dangers for individuals working in a group like this? What does the group need to do now? What would you have learned about group work from such a group? How might such a team appear during the project presentation if they don’t change? What are the dangers for individuals working in a group like this? What does the group need to do now? What would you have learned about group work from such a group? How might such a team appear during the project presentation if they don’t change? What are the dangers for individuals working in a group like this? What does the group need to do now? What would you have learned about group work from such a group? How might such a team appear during the project presentation if they don’t change? What are the dangers for individuals working in a group like this? What does the group need to do now? What would you have learned about group work from such a group? Ignore person X and do his/her work yourselves Assuming there are no reasonable circumstances then contact person X and say you need them to do their share – refer to ground rules and what they have to do to complete the project. Do this in writing – email or letter –from the whole group - ensure a date for reply/action– retain a copy. Report person X to your tutor if you get no response) explaining which part of the project person X is responsible for. What would you do from the following? Find out if person X has a good reason for not doing the work Forming Storming Norming Performing the thinker action person people person Three types of people 5 team roles Leader Thinker Achiever Doer Carer Creates common purpose |provides communication and vision | clarifies objectives | makes sure everybody is involved, committed and motivated |coordinates the efforts of the team | ensures that decisions are made and the team makes progress. You may have preferred the ‘action’ or the ‘people person’ from above. So is this for you? Discuss with other team members how you see your role and their role in the team. Think how an ‘action person’ or ‘people person’ might develop this role. How do your perceptions compare with other team members? Leader/coordinator/project manager The caregiver Is concerned that everybody is fitting in |contributes humour and builds bridges around the team |works to develop a team spirit |is keen to get everyone to agree |watches out for feelings and attitudes |eases tension and fosters a positive spirit. You may have preferred the ‘’people person’ from above. So is this for you? Discuss with other team members how you see your role and their role in the team. Think how this role might differ with an ‘action person’ or a ‘thinker’ – can you see the problems that might occur? How do your perceptions compare with other team members? The Doer Always wants to be active |is prepared to get involved to help others |wants to see progress and adherence to plans |gets bored with too much discussion |hates time wasting |works hard to finish the task. You may have preferred the ‘’action person’, ‘thinker’ or ‘people person’ from above. So is this for you? Discuss with other team members how you see your role and their role in the team. Think how this role might differ with different types of people in this role – can you see the differences that might occur? The achiever Wants to succeed and strives for results |wants to progress towards the goal quickly |becomes impatient with delays | challenges assumptions and proposes improvements | has lots of enthusiasm | questions complacency. You may have preferred the ‘action person’ or ‘thinker’ from above. So is this for you? Discuss with other team members how you see your role and their role in the team. Think how this role might differ with an ‘action person’ or a ‘thinker’ – can you see the problems that might occur? How do your perceptions compare with other team members? The thinker Collects and analyses information | listens to what is being said and watches what is going on | is sometimes quiet before contributing ideas | thinks through the problem | sees solutions, anticipates problems. You will probably have preferred the ‘thinker’ from above. So is this for you? Discuss with other team members how you see your role and their role in the team. Think how an action person or people person might get on with this kind of person – can you see the problems that might occur for the team? How do your perceptions compare with other team members? We’ve got to know each other
We have done/intend to do something socially together
We feel confident enough to disclose some personal information about ourselves
As a team we have identified our strengths and weaknesses.
We have identified our preferences about how we like to work with others
We ensure all members feel part of the team
We all feel free enough to express our feelings.
We realise that planning is important, so we have done that and taken all points of view on board.
All members feel supported by the team. How to become a team How not to become a team We’ve not got to know each other, but we do chat a little about other things and feel that is enough
We’ve never met up socially as we have nothing in common
We don’t feel confident enough to disclose ourselves
We’ve not looked at the strengths and weaknesses and see no point in it.
We are quite happy to allow an individual to dominate if he/she wants to.
Some members of the group tend to exclude other members – but that is just how things are.
We avoid expressing our feelings, as things could go wrong, so we keep it formal and neutral.
Someone in the group usually takes control and says what has to be done – we are quite happy with that. If not, we just get on with what our task is and then put it altogether at the end – it usually works out OK.
We don’t need to feel supported by team members, we have our other friends for that. Understanding the task Time frame? The process (how to do it) The product (what you have to accomplish) Create a plan Communication Performance review Problem resolution Timing Not clarifying what your task or objective is
Not checking on progress
Not checking on time
Not clarifying or recording what has been decided
Not clarifying who is going to do what
Not clarifying what has to be done by when
Not establishing procedures for handling meetings
Not keeping to agreed procedures
Not listening to each other
Allowing individuals to dominate and others to withdraw
Not compromising individuals wants for the sake of the team
Not recognising the feelings of members of the team
Not contributing equally to the progress of the team What might be going wrong There are always free-riders in a team and their marks are boosted by those who do the work
Teams slow me down and that irritates me
I have difficulty with this subject and I’m afraid I’ll keep the others back
Sometimes team members won’t complete their tasks (at all, or on time!)
Sometimes teams don’t divide the work up fairly
Sometimes you get students who just don’t care about their grades, but I do Example problems I am usually prepared for classes so I am able to participate. I come with ideas and I am prepared to actively participate. Feedback Be descriptive rather than evaluative [report what you see, rather than an opinion]
Be specific rather than general
Be honest, but sensitive
Be constructive
Let receiver elicit some feedback
Be timely
Feedback must be clear Giving good feedback Now reflect on how an activity like this can improve your grades, allow you to enjoy learning and develop your interpersonal skills effective communication
team work
problem solving ability
analytic skills
flexibility and adaptability
self confidence and management
decision making skills
independent judgementnumeracy
logical argument qualities employers want in graduates 1. I can retain a clear idea of the team’s goal.
2. I work to keep my activities aligned with the team’s goal.
3. I know and understand my role within the team and check out any areas of ambiguity that could lead to misunderstandings.
4. I understand that planning is an essential part of team activity and actively do this.
5. I can prioritise my tasks and don’t get distracted.
6. I can communicate with fellow team members honestly.
7. I can deal with inter-personal issues as they arise in the team.
8. I understand that conflicts are a normal part of working together an deal with them openly.
9. I can accept my role in a team – sometimes as leader and sometimes as a group player.
10. I remain open to ideas during problem solving.
11. I see mistakes as a learning opportunity and learn from the feedback I am given.
12. I respect others in the team and support them.
13. I deliver what I have agreed to do, on time and to the best of my ability.
Use a scale of 1 – 4 where 1 = not confident and needs developing and 4 = confident of my ability regarding this skill. Reflect on your skills
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