Management of Effective Teams

Business leaders are beginning to see the importance of a good team and that they can be a competitive advantage (McShane -Von Glinow, 2003). In the current business environment, it is often necessary to achieve high productivity and successful results in limited time, with limited staff, and sometimes with very limited resources. Building a team that has members representing a diversity of talents and personalities is essential.

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A team leader is usually appointed for one of the following reasons. It can be because they are a natural leader or have experience. They can show a potential to lead and need to prove themselves or they may be appointed to a position out of necessity. This person inherently has the responsibility of building and or maintaining a group or team of individuals. How well they do this, will help to determine the probable success or failure of their projects.

The team member selection process is a critical task for the team leader. The team leader must consider the following with choosing the appropriate team members. The leader must fully understand the requirements of the project and break the tasks down into key responsibilities. The leader will then be able to better decide which members to choose and the roles in which they will play on the team. Once the tasks are created, the leader needs to evaluate all the candidates vying for a position on the team. The evaluation can measure skill sets, personality, and experience.

In the simulation, I was asked to choose four individuals to fill the four key roles of the assigned project called DARE. The project was scheduled to last a total of 8 months and it was important to choose the correct team members so that the project would be completed on time. Also, it was even more important for the team leader (me) to select the appropriate team members because each key task had to be completed in order for the next task to begin. So, there were specific reasons why I chose the four members out of the six whose profiles were provided.

For the first project task of building the case files, I chose Michelle Levey. I chose her because of her specific strengths relating to problem solving, planning, her analytical nature, and her fact gathering abilities. I needed someone in this position who would be a good communicator, have great analytical skills, poses the ability to put people at ease, have an investigative nature and to be very organized in recovering data from our patients. Mrs. Levey possessed the majority of the skills needed. I felt that it was more important to get good data with a marginal communicator than obtaining bad data with an excellent communicator.

The second project task which required the individual to act as a moderator of self help progress, I chose John Connor. He was chosen for his experience in dealing with people in a working environment as well has his team leadership abilities. He values team work and would make a great addition to the team. He is a communicator and that is exactly what is needed for the member in this role. I needed someone who has good conflict management skills, can facilitate group meetings, can manage stress. Mr. Connor appeared to fulfill the need.

Third, I chose Lisa Stafford for the project task of program follow-ups because of her ability to connect issues and for her strength in situation analysis. She has an extensive amount of social awareness displayed by her participation is social activities and social causes. This position requires that the candidate have good observation skills and the ability to take into account external factors when analyzing data. She looked to be a perfect fit for the position.

Finally, for the project task of supervising confirmation sessions or relapse management, I chose Daniel Nichols. I needed a real people person in this position who also has the ability to be strict and to motivate. The position requires that the candidate be able to successfully build mutual respect, be a compassionate motivator and discipliner, and have good conflict management skills. Mr. Nichols lacked a little of the conflict management skills according to his profile. It mentioned that his aggressive attitude has caused some ill feelings with management. However, I felt that his other skills out weigh this deficiency and I would just need to watch him a little more closely.

Once the team is chosen, it is important to decide on the important factors needed to be considered when effectively managing the team. It is of the utmost importance to recognize each individual’s personality and motivation. When the personalities of the individuals are known, the team leader can better determine their motivations. The three key motivators are money, job satisfaction, and recognition. It became apparent that my team is motivated by recognition. The quick fix for many of the problems that they had proved to be incentive and reprioritization based.

As displayed by the simulation, a person’s personality can play a negative or a positive role in the function of my team. The team member either fulfilled the need or needed assistance base on a shortcoming they had. As in the task completed by Michelle Levy, she had difficulty completing her task do to personal reasons. I was quickly able to overcome that problem but it could have caused the team to fail if I had not made the correct decision in resolving the problem. Later, John Connor had difficulty completing his task because of a divorce and feelings of inadequacy and insignificance. This problem would be a hard one to overcome. He had a personal problem that enhanced his desire to feel needed. Given the situation, his personality trait led him to feel insecure. Where as in the last task, Mr. Nichols needed no assistance other than re-direction of his priorities. His inherent need for competition and his inner motivation helped him to overcome all obstacles.