Team Building and Collaboration, Part I

“To build a collaborative environment in which everyone feels respected and valued, team building is the essential first step” (Laureate, 2011). This week I read about the five stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Considering these stages, the adjourning phase, there have been several groups in which I’ve been involved, where I didn’t think we’d get to that point but we did. Think about which aspects of the groups made for the hardest good-bye.

“The ‘forming’ stage takes place when the team first meets each other” (Abudi, 2010, par. 5). I would call this the introductory section of the groups formation. Although each member is learning about the goals, vision, objectives, and what role each member will play, it’s “important for the team leader to be very clear about team goals and provide clear direction regarding the project” (Abudi, 2010, par. 6). What I consider the worst stage, is the storming stage. I believe this is what will make or break the group as a whole. Unfortunatly, “this stage is not avoidable; every team – most especially a new team who has never worked together before – goes through this part of developing as a team” (Abudi, 2010, par. 7).

The next two stages, norming & performing, are “focused on developing a way of working together” (Abudi, 2010, par. 11) and “reaching the goal as a group” (Abudi, 2010, par. 13). However, the last stage, adjourning, “the project is coming to an end and the team members are moving off into different directions” (Abudi, 2010, par. 17). This is probably the easiest for some and yet the hardest part of being in the group. For me, it’s the hardest.

When previously employed at Amazon, I was placed in a group that was so discombobulated that it needed a complete redo. I was added to the team after it was already formed but I knew the members on a business level and not so much on a social level. One meeting, I introduced myself and made suggestions and challenged the team leader from the very beginning. He gave me tasks to complete and I completed them along with showing the other team members on effective ways to complete their tasks as well. Because the team lead know my style and knew the others couldn’t complete their’s to that capacity, he looked to me to do the hard tasks and to help my team members when and where needed. After being in this dysfunctional team for so long, we found out how to survive each other and when each member broke away and went off to start new branches of the company, the commodity was missed. For me, I missed the team meetings, the food, the jokes, the laughs, and even when we were wrong they defended us then told us off behind closed doors.

To this day, I still keep in contact with them, even though I’ve left Amazon, they welcome me when I visit and ask if I’m coming back and that things haven’t been the same since I left; and I can agree. It hasn’t. When we separated, we didn’t have a ritual but in a way we socially are still together.

“Ideas alone cannot fully link people together. What connects people is not mere ideas but deep personal commitments. Commitments involve feeling, passion, and drive. Ideas only bring heads together. (Williams, 2007, p. 139)” (Laureate, 2011). During my time at Walden, I can’t imagine I will adjourn from relationships I formed while working on your master’s degree. When bonds are formed, they are hard to break if they are genuine. And, although we won’t be on the same journey, adjourning is important for growth. In some cases, members of a team can hold you back from your true potential.

Resources

Abudi, G. (2010). The five stages of team development: A case study. Retrieved from http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/the-five-stages-of-team-development-a-case-study.html

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Communication and Collaboration in the Early Childhood Field: Team Building and Collaboration, Part I. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Team building strategies [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

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