[acb-hsp] Strategies in Team Building
thedogmom63 at frontier.com
Wed Jan 11 23:50:11 EST 2012
Hi. You can share it now. I just put that note there because right now, it
is no way near close to being formatted properly. <LOL> It will be
properly done on the website. So now, if they try to print it out, it will
look really bad! But if they just want to read for info, not a problem!
thedogmom63 at frontier.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Darla Rogers" <djrogers0628 at gmail.com>
To: "'Discussion list for ACB human service professionals'"
<acb-hsp at acb.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:35 PM
Subject: Re: [acb-hsp] Strategies in Team Building
Can I share this now, or would you prefer people download it from your web
site? Damn good article.
Darla & Precious Roxy Who wises supervisors would read and learn from this
From: acb-hsp-bounces at acb.org [mailto:acb-hsp-bounces at acb.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 10:12 PM
To: Discussion list for ACB human service professionals
Subject: [acb-hsp] Strategies in Team Building
This will be for download on my website eventually.
STRATEGIES IN TEAM BUILDING
Jessie L. Rayl
E7033, Argosy University
Strategies in Team Building
There are a variety of strategies in team building and over the
years, there has been considerable controversy on what are the best
strategies to use when building teams. This is, perhaps, why so many teams
have failed. Looking at the qualities of team leaders is another approach
in explaining the success or failure of teams.
A growing literature on empowerment, self-management of teams
and leadership suggests that the role of the leader or change facilitator is
changing from planner and director to that of coach and supporter (C. F.
Floyd, Gannon & Pauwe, 1996; Manz & Sims, 1993; Smith & Sims, 1995).
Therefore, the assumption that the leader influences the organization's
outcome primarily through their influence on strategy formulation may need
to be reconsidered.
In other words, it was previously believed that all decisions were made, and
had to be made, from the top down in an organization and that only
management understood what was best for the organization. Now, there is
growing evidence through research that those who work for and with that
organization understand what works best with that organization and that
decisions need to be reciprocal: top down, bottom up. To do this, there
must be a team approach and everyone must be fully involved (Smith & Kofron,
The success of a team is often measured by both the cohesiveness
of a team as well as the productiveness of the team. Members look for
tangible results or outcome from the team, or from the organization and the
team leader is judged based on these things (Bachiochi, Rogelberg, O'Connor,
& Elder, 2000). Some things that team leaders / change facilitators can
expect to happen as a result of positive team-building include increased
membership, increased opportunity for members, increased growth in the
organization, increased morale, increased cohesiveness, increased interest
and awareness of the organization, increased enthusiasm for the
organization, increased attendance at gatherings, and overall increased
Conversely, in organizations that have poor team-building, the opposite is
true. Membership begins to decline, scapegoating occurs, enthusiasm for the
organization decline, attendance at gatherings declines, and overall
interests decreases. People simply find reasons not to be involved.
There are four general approaches to the study of leadership:
Behavioral (Blake & Mourton, 1964; Fleishman, 1953; McGrath, 1962; Stordill,
1974; Yukl, 1998) which discusses leadership in terms of what leaders do
including the skills or functions that they serve as leaders in the
The study of traits (Basis, 1985; Burns, 1978; 1977) looks at the
personality characteristics that leaders possess which enable them to lead.
"Charismatic and transformational leadership theories are just two examples"
(Bachiochi, Rogelberg, O'Connor & Elder, 2000).
The social psychology approach (Dansereau, Graen & Haga, 1975; French &
Raven, 1959; Hackman & Walton, 1976) view leadership as a relationship or
social influence process. "This approach has been influenced greatly by the
work in areas such as social facilitation/loafing (Latane, Williams, &
Harkins, 1979), group cohesiveness, (Berkowitz, 1954), group polarization
(Pruitt, 1971; Stoner, 1961) and group think (1972)" (Bachiochi, Rogelberg,
O'Connor, & Elder, 2000).
Lastly, situational leadership approaches Evans, 1970; Fiedler, 1967; Hersey
& Blanchard, 1969; House, 1971) view leadership as strongly contingent upon
the environment in which the leadership is to occur. . The leadership is
view as a strong interaction between the leader, followers and context.
It is important, then, to understand these concepts, the and the role of the
leader to be able to determine the best strategies for the team because of
the multiple variations of each organizational and/or team structure.
Role of the leader
"The major role of a leader is to guide and lead" (Williams, 1998). This
may seem obvious, but how does this happen? The leader needs to be aware at
all times of what is going on within his / her organization or team. "He
must keep everyone focused on specific duties" (Williams).
Secondly, because change requires that the change requires the imparting of
new information, the leader must ensure that members are provided the
necessary information or training to meet the demands for that change. For
example, leaders of an organization or team cannot expect that a newsletter
or website will be developed by people who do not possess the skills to do
the job or who do not desire to learn them, and those people should not be
selected for that position regardless of how well liked or popular they may
be. They would be better-served in other positions where they do possess
the skills or desire to learn the skills. The members need to be provided
opportunity to practice these new skills prior to actually being expected to
The leader needs to provide resources for each member to utilize and it is
each member's responsibility to make use of all available resources to
enhance their learning. Members need to understand that they cannot rely,
solely, on any one leader to do everything for them nor can they learn all
they need to know from one person.
Leaders need to be aware of issues that occur and are occurring within the
team and/or the organization which are creating conflict. They need to act
immediately and quickly to intervene, realizing that otherwise, these may
spin out of control creating major problems for either themselves or for the
organization resulting in hurt feelings, possible legal problems or ultimate
dissolution of the organization.
"Change requires hard work from a person who finds ingenuous ways to gather
the commitment and energy needed for the change process-which is the
function of the Group energizer or Engager" (Williams, 1998).
Now that we understand the above concepts and the role of the leader, what
are some strategies for making this happen, both as a team and in our
Select your board and officers carefully. Your board and officers guide
your organization. You want them to represent your organization well and to
the highest possible extent. People who cannot represent and moderate their
own lives are not likely to represent your organization, or, are likely to
do likewise with your organization -patterns repeat and reflect.
Select team members who have, or want to learn, the skills.
Set goals. Many teams fail precisely because they have no goals. They want
to do something, but they have no specific goals. Learn to set specific
goals with specific objects; both long-term and short-term. Have deadlines
for your goals and objects; then celebrate the accomplishments, with new
goals as soon as each objective has been met.
Bust the blisters: When problems begin to form, end it immediately. It is
essential for all leaders to have a list of people whom they know they can
call for support and consultation. Even if you have to retract a decision
to resolve something that will be a problem, it is better to do that than
allow something to continue to grow and grow only to fester into a huge
infection throughout your organization and destroy your team, or your
organization. Ask yourself: How does this feel now? How will it feel to
each person affected now, and in a year? What is the overall impact? If it
is bad now, it will not likely get better later-that is merely a myth. Make
it better now.
Communication: Communication cannot be over-emphasized. It is absolutely
imperative to communicate in all ways: in person, phone, email, via website,
and do so timely and respectfully. While each person has a slightly
different need for, and style of, communication, communication is essential
for effective team building.
6Quick Intervention: An effective leader recognizes when fast intervention,
regardless of whether it is a need or a problem, is needed.
Recognition: People like and need to be recognized for their contributions,
work and even existence. Not one member of an organization has to be a
member of your organization. Each member is there because he / she chooses
to be. Conversely, each one could choose not to be. Therefore, giving
recognition of that fact is essential. Member / team incentives are equally
An effective leader recognizes, and works with, issues of negative group
think. What is group think? It is defined by Merrianwebster dictionary as
"a pattern of thought by the group". When a group begins to think in
negative terms, the leader must be quick to intervene and strategize ways of
turning the groupthink into positive, proactive groupthink; otherwise, it
can quickly become destructive to the organization. Outside intervention or
training can be effective, or motivational speakers at conventions, fun
activities may help with this.
An effective team leader recognizes Group Polarization as well. Group
polarization occurs when it becomes apparent that members are polarizing
themselves against one or a couple members. Polarization is also referred
to as scapegoating. This may serve a purpose for members who are angry or
insecure. Nevertheless, it can be extremely hurtful to members who are
being polarized against, and destructive to the organization. Strategies
for dealing with this include immediate intervention from the leader through
communication with sides, mediation, and the recognition that the member(s)
being polarized against is the victim and the organization / team is at risk
of failure if such behavior is permitted to continue.
Cultural Awareness: It is essential for leads to be aware of cultural needs
and concerns of all members. Each member of the team needs to be included
from his / her cultural standpoint. For example, it is no longer acceptable
to plan conventions for predominately the white Christian heterosexual male
and female population. Other factors including various racial-ethnicities,
gay-lesbian, disabilities, age ranges, etc. must be included from a vast
array of perspectives from food to social activities to religious or
What makes a successful team? The Group Energizer is the leader. Whether
it is of a team or an organization, the leader has a tremendous
responsibility. Much of what the leader does is how the followers will
Research shows that there are four types of leadership styles (Stewart and
Manz (1995): overpowering, powerless, power building and empowered.
Overpowering (those who are coercive, punishing, and autocratic) and
powerless leaders (those who are intermittent, directionless and distant)
are least effective.
Stewart and Manz (1995) posited that the power-building leaders allowed
teams to be self-managing by using behaviors such as guidance and
encouragement, delegation, reinforcement, and culture development.
Empowering leaders used behaviors such as modeling, boundary-spanning
(networking outside the team / organization), and assisting (mentoring or
coaching) which allowed teams to be self-leading.
In addition, knowledge of the change process, creativity, negotiation
skills, and decision-making skills (Hackman & Walton, 1986) have been found
to be essential to successful leadership.
Bachiochi, P. D., Rogelberg S., G., O'Connor, M. S., Elder, A. E., (2000):
"The Qualities of An Effective Team Leader", Organization Development
Journal, Vol. 18, Iss. 1. P. 11+, O D Institute, ProQuest LLC,
Smith, K. A., Kofron, E. A., (1996): "Toward a Research Agenda on Top
Management Teams and Strategy Implementation", Ibar, Vol. 17, Iss.1, p.
135+, Irish Business and Administrative Research, ProQuest LLC,
Williams, B. R., (1998), "Twelve Roles for Facilitators for School Change",
Argosy University Online Lecture, (E7033, 2012), www.mycampus.argosy.edu
thedogmom63 at frontier.com
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