“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success-Henry Ford” (“Team Work,” n. d, para. 2). These words from Henry Ford can effectively be applied to the lifecycle of a small group. As humans, we encounter the complexities and challenges within a small group setting on a daily basis. As such, it is imperative to study and implement effective strategies to ensure successful interactions within these groups. For this reason, this paper will analyze a small group and the various aspects that pertain to it.
It will include relevant background factors that influence the team, leadership styles that are utilized, decision making strategies, and conflict management strategies that are applied during the team’s lifespan. MEET THE TEAM The team consists of 4 members that are part of a dynamic company that relies on small teams to address the ever changing nature of the industry that they specialize in. Firstly, John (early thirties) is the strong leader of 3 young, relatively inexperienced team members.
Next, Anna is in her mid-twenties with a couple of years’ experience and a business degree. She has strong people skills and has excelled in customer relationships. Next, Ben is a recent college graduate that has six months of work experience under his belt. He has solid people skills and his technical ability is outstanding. Finally, Ryan is a quiet team member that has strong technical skills and when called upon has good communication skills. This team has been picked to create highly technical solutions that are as dynamic as the company that they work for.
They will rely heavily on John’s leadership skills and technical abilities to lead them through the challenges that they will face. ANALYZING THE TEAM I. RELEVANT BACKGROUD FACTORS Each member of the team has unique qualities based on their various background factors as discussed by Tubbs (2012). These factors largely determine how team members will interact and engage with each other. As such, Moreland, Levine, & Wingert (1996) states: “Most researchers regard group composition as a cause that can influence many other aspects of group life, including group structure, dynamics, and performance” (p. 2).
Therefore, the background factors that directly influence group dynamics include personality, gender, age, health, attitudes, and values (Tubbs, 2012). Accordingly, each member’s background information will be discussed. A. John (Team Leader) John has effective communication skills, decisive decision making abilities, and excels in logical thinking. He is in introvert and falls into the ISTJ personality type (16 Personalities, n. d. ). His logical thinking can present challenges for the “F” type personalities who value people above tasks.
Therefore, it would be beneficial for John to determine the personality types of each of his team to ensure all round effective communication. John is about 10 years older than his subordinates and can provide guidance and mentorship to his team. Also, as his team has both male and females, he needs to ensure that communication stays professional, on task, and respectful at all times. Next, John is in good health and as such he can perform his duties without difficulty. He has a positive, calm attitude that is infectious. He motivates his team with a “can do” attitude that helps them through challenging projects.
Moreover, his value system is in accordance with the team values and can make sound decisions based on these values. Tubbs (2012) states, “Values . . . are seen as more fundamental than attitudes and are more stable and long-lasting. ” Also, according to Eyal, Sagristano, Trope, Liberman, & Chaiken,(2009), values are not always a good indicator of future behavior. However, due to the fundamental nature of values, John can heed Tubbs’ information and expect that the personal and collective value system of the team will predominately determine the actions and decisions of the group.
B. Anna Anna is an IFNP personality that has great communication skills. As an introvert, Anna might keep ideas to herself rather than share information that could lead to more effective solutions (Bradley & Hebert, 1997). However, Anna possesses great communication skills that utilize Bovee & Thill’s (2016) “audience-centered approach” (p. 9). This enables her to effectively communicate with fellow team members. Also, Anna would benefit in understanding that her reluctance to share information could hurt the team success in the long run.
Anna is a few years older than Ben and Ryan, but communication is not affected due to the slight age difference. Next, as a female Anna has to be aware of the different communication styles between males and females and thus understand her team’s communication patterns. Finally, Anna is healthy and can fulfill her obligation, and handle the pressures that the position brings. She has a positive attitude that helps her tackle tough challenges. She is able to motivate her fellow team members and thereby create a positive environment that drives the team forward.
Finally, she has a solid value system that is in line with the team group values. C. Ben Ben is the only extrovert in the group. His energy drives the group forward and will breach subjects that the introverts do not necessarily want to tackle. He has logical skills to create solutions that are well thought out while still taking customer needs into consideration. His qualities provide a bridging gap between Anna’s predominantly feelings and perception attributes and Ryan’s thinking and judging qualities.
As such, his extrovert personality drives the group while at the same drawing the best out of his fellow team mates to produce creative solutions. Ben is very close in age to Ryan and a couple of years younger than Anna. This fact does not affect their communications. Furthermore, he is healthy male. As such, he is able to perform his task as required. Also, he has a positive attitude for the most part but benefits from John’s infectious positive attitude that bolster’s the group’s spirit.
His values are in line with the rest of the group values and share a similar personal value system with Anna. D. Ryan Ryan is a quiet introvert that communicates when he needs to. He has strong technical abilities and excels in logical problem solving. Ryan is an ISTP which is the complete opposite of Anna. As such, these two personalities need to be aware of the differences as this could lead to conflict due to different communication styles. However, Ryan has the ability to communicate with clients and team members in a way that meets their needs, therefore displaying some “f” traits.
This will help with any communication challenges with Anna. Ryan is a healthy, young male that is able to perform his duty in an effective manner. As a male, he needs to be aware of the challenges that might arise due to Anna’s presence in the group. Ryan has a reserved attitude that is skeptical of most solutions that are brought to the table. This skeptical attitude is beneficial in analyzing all proposed solutions. Furthermore, he shares most of the core values of the team and thus the team values are in line with his personal value system.