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July 27, 2012

Follow Up 5: Final Review Part 2

Follow-up to Follow Up 4: Final Review Part 1 from Melvin's blog

kas2Subsequently through this workshop I have learnt that when a team is performing at its best, you'll usually find that each team member has clear responsibilities. Also that every role needed to achieve the team's goal is being performed fully and well. But often, despite clear roles and responsibilities, a team will fall short of its full potential. Over the range of experiences I have experienced the different issues with conflict or incorrect delegation or absence of certain role inflicting damage, ie. In the absence of co-ordinator everyone did little bits without thinking of the work need to be completed; resultant of this absence the work was rushed at the end forgetting some parts and in turn getting a low grade for the presentation.

Perhaps some team members don't complete the things you expect them to do. Perhaps others are not quite flexible enough, so things "fall between the cracks." Maybe someone who is valued for their expert input fails to see the wider picture, and so misses out tasks or steps that others would expect. Or perhaps one team member becomes frustrated because he disagrees with the approach of other team members.

1sdOn the whole I have come to learn, that the team roles each person plays is a inclination to behave, contribute and interconnect with others in a specific way. Teams can become unbalanced if all team members have similar styles of behaviour or team roles. If team members have similar weakness, the team as a whole may tend to have that weakness. If team members have similar team-work strengths, they may tend to compete (rather than co-operate) for the team tasks and responsibilities that best suit their natural styles.

Thus for an effective team these nine roles are key. It is vital to identify the team roles in each team so each member can play at their strengths as well as clarifying any missing team roles.

Each team harbours the different players. As in the case stated above of the basketball committee, it is vital to determine the team roles as it would help prevent conflicts, establish correct delegation of tasks (each person can work at their strengths)

Action Oriented Roles

Shaper

Challenges the team to improve.

Implementer

Puts ideas into action.

Completer Finisher

Ensures thorough, timely completion.

People Oriented Roles

Coordinator

Acts as a chairperson.

Team Worker

Encourages cooperation.

Resource Investigator

Explores outside opportunities.

Thought Oriented Roles

Plant

Presents new ideas and approaches.

Monitor-Evaluator

Analyzes the options.

Specialist

Provides specialized skills.


Knowing this, you can use the model with your team to help ensure that necessary team roles are covered, and that potential behavioral tensions or weaknesses among the team member are addressed. Also, by understanding your role within a the team, you can develop your strengths and manage your weaknesses as a team member, and so improve how you contribute to the team.

The main point I have learnt is that Belbin's "team roles" are based on observed behavior and interpersonal styles. However it is always susceptible to situational changes; your behavior and interpersonal style within a team is to some extent dependent on the situation. This is because it relates not only to your own natural working style, but also to your interrelationships with others, and the work being done. Among teams of people that do the same job, a small number of team roles may prevail. For example, within a research department, the team roles of Specialist and Plant may be filled by several people. A team of business consultants may mainly comprise Team Workers and Shapers. Such teams may be unbalanced, in that they may be missing key approaches and outlooks. If the team is unbalanced, first identify any team weakness that is not naturally covered by any of the team members. Then identify any potential areas of conflict. For example, too many Shapers can weaken a team if each Shaper wants to pull the team in a different direction.

If I had to give five tips based on what I have learnt and experienced, to someone who will be working in a group, I would suggest the following:

First of all, spend enough time to introduce yourselves so as to develop confidence, respect and trust towards the other team members;

Secondly, organise the roles and tasks in accordance to skills, capabilities and desires, in order to make everyone happy and satisfied with their work;

Thirdly, promote a healthy and effective working environment, where flexibility and discussions are two main pillars;

Fourthly, constantly check on the progress of all members, remind the team of the goal you are aiming towards and make sure that the group is following the timeline initially set up;

Finally, reflect on the outcome and the process of the teamwork, so that mistakes can be corrected and the team learns through these.

image6.gifThus in conclusion, this workshop has truly given me the understanding of how to put together an effective team, work together as an effective team and succeed as a effective team. Team working has really opened my eyes to the team dynamics which I had no knowledge about previously, and one which I just left to a person being good or bad, quite a childlike methodology. I really hope I can develop the skill I learnt in identifying the different roles, building on my strengths which also being flexible for the betterment of the team. My real team experiences where I have implemented the learnt theory has beyond doubt opened my eyes to the reality of team working and how you can use the belbin’s profile to attain the most out of the team, even if you feel the people who you are in a team with are not work focussed. Everyone works differently in a team and it is playing at each person’s strengths that attains the stunning results. Create the ‘PERFECT CIRCLE


Best Regards

Melvin Jose


Follow Up 4: Final Review Part 1

Follow-up to P3 Follow Up 3: Tackling issues, not as one but in a group! from Melvin's blog

“Understanding and analysing the traits of each of the group members”

team.gifIndividual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, acivilization work.” Vince Lombardi
Adding to the previous post on my roles in the basketball committee, I would like to add that there were occasions where I adorned the different roles.

As the president of the basketball committee has been ill as of late, I became the link between the committee and him. As I have previously have performed event organisation roles during my undergraduate years, I decided to take charge bringing to light the situation to committee. Illustrating the need to starting fixing venue, date and organising teams. With numerous tasks, I firstly brainstormed with the committee all the requirements, following which delegated the work and divided it appointing the correct team player for the task at hand. Having a really good public speaker amongst us, I was quick to pick him out as the resource investigator to talk to possible venue personnel etc . Thus in this way I delegated the work amongst us, based on team profiles.

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An issue arose with this person during the brainstorm. During the session, another member came up with the idea of obtaining a venue with an electronic score board, as well as having a professional videographer tape the whole match. Clearly this person was the plant. However the issue arose, when the other person (supposed to be the resource investigator), disagreed the idea straight away saying it was slightly unrealistic. Only when he spoke about the monetary aspects and the difficulty in finding a cheap professional videographer, did I realise he also had a secondary role as an implementer. This was the area where I stepped in as a team player and tried to lighten the mood by bringing to light the grandness and beauty in having a professional video taken, which could also be a good video for the website and thus attracting more future members. I also added that a cheaper option could be found suggesting I would help the resource investigator to find an alternative. This was a key area where actually determining the tendency of each person towards a team role. As in this case determining the qualities and tendencies(My first action point) illustrated the pros and cons of each team role. As with the case of the resource investigator being quite extrovert and enthusiastic, it really helped the tasks. However also being an implementer meant inflexible, which in the case with the plant meant a conflict situation. Thus this identification was vital based on individual traits, shown in the table. It is also key to understand each role comes with an allowable weakness, but if the team is balanced a weakness of one will be counteracted by the strength of another.


cqjvsdWith the lack of time we decided the venue and video amongst us. While he handled the venue I along with 2 other members scoured the internet and their own contacts for a cheaper option. It was then I decided to post some flyers in the library at Warwick and in school of Life sciences, thus playing the role of implementer to get the video organised for the match. Following this I got contacted by students who are good with video editing. Free lancing the video was the best option as we got a cheap deal, and upon asking them for previously done videos chose one for the video.

My ME role is one that I naturally perform. Throughout the whole process I kept an eye on the time line and how far the tasks have been completed. At time criticising ideas and keeping a track of who does what, whilst pushing members to get work completed (SHAPER).

Another example where ‘Understanding and analysis of the traits’ was crucial was at the organising for the end of term meal for our course. A group of us decided to set up a meal two of the members were given the job of deciding on the place, whilst the remaining 3 including myself focussed on letting people know through the intranet, inviting our tutors as well as organising a trip to Alton towers. So as initially the venue was not fixed everyone was notified that the location would be fixed in a day or two. We met up to get their ideas on location , however they were ready with a grand location already. So we told everyone of the location, but about a week away from the set date for the meal none of us were told about the cost etc. Thinking they must have already sorted and booked it we left it and didn’t confirm with them. About 4 days before the set date, I was a little worried and went to find out about the cost of the venue they had booked. It was only then I came to know they hadn’t booked the place. They just kept re thinking of the venues, without notifying us and without even keeping in mind the gravity of the situation. It was then I realised that they were PLANTS coming up with brilliant locations, but not effectively communicating with the group about their idea as well as failing to state the cost that was going to be charged (£40 per head). This was clearly not suitable and panicking I took charge of splitting the group up to assess the situation, together discussing possible venues but always criticising on how good the venue looked and the price they charged. It hadn’t realised that the individuals were not implementers or for that matter resource investigators. Therefore the team struggled and nearly messed up the last meal of the year for degree colleagues to come together before going our separate ways at the end of this month. I am happy to say the ‘Meal Was Saved’ and we came up with better location at the ‘Tarsus Hotel’.


Part 2 to follow

Best Regards


Melvin Jose



July 25, 2012

P3 Follow Up 3: Tackling issues, not as one but in a group!

Follow-up to Follow–Up 2: Action point implementation from Melvin's blog


“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

This week’s blog entry concentrates on the position that I currently hold in the Basketball Society, a society of approximately 25 members. The main tasks that I have been in charge as social secretary are: sending emails to the members of the society when necessary, , preparing several socials, taking part in the organisation of team barbeques and attending numerous executive committee meetings.
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Being part of the executive committee of the Society involves making most of the decisions together, which usually includes discussions and the obtainment of common agreements, and also requires supporting team members in the fulfilment of their role. I enjoy working in a team and I consider this to be one of my key strengths; I have been able to use this skill in my position of responsibility and it has proven to be very useful. Finally, if I had to put my behaviour among Belbin’s team roles I would say that I have been mostly a co-ordinator, monitor evaluator, implementer and a team worker, although at times I have also proven to have the qualities of a shaper.

Over the last few weeks the particular task has been to arrange the annual tournament alongside the committee, this has seen truly the use of a number of different roles to suit the different occasions. When the team lacked organisers, I adorned that role in the same way I did with the other team roles. However, the particular issue I had was in the absence of ‘Socialisers’ trying to play my least preferred roles.

Nevertheless, I have had opportunities to build on this role over the weeks with the range of group work and presentations I have had. Specifically, whilst part of a 2 member team I played the role of ‘resource investigator’ and ‘team worker’ at time, as it was vital when there was the risk of becoming isolated and inwardly-focused. Even at times when getting to work effectively was not possible considering it was nearly the end of degree and the summer, I tried to motivate the other member with inside knowledge on the opposition, illustrated the absolute need to work as the professor had a personal interest in our topic and also brought to light the need to perform the best to maintain module averages. Hence, made sure that the team’s idea would carry to the world outside the team through effective communication with different people in the course and professors.

Overall, I am making the art of judging clearly the different role players in the team and thus assess the absent roles. I have also come to play my preferred roles effectively whilst also being flexible to taken on other ones to prevent the occurrence of a dysfunctional team.
we_need_different_personalities_on_teams.jpg


Best Regards

Melvin Jose


June 28, 2012

Follow–Up 2: Action point implementation

Follow-up to P3 Working In A Team from Melvin's blog

Follow-Up 2: Action point implementation

Here's a summary of how I'm getting on with my action points

  • Work at my strengths, however in times of clashes (2 shapers/both co-ordinator and shaper being present) be ready to accommodate and implement my other manageable roles.
  • Ensure I apply my preferred roles thoroughly to ensure project completion and avoidance of conflicts, whilst also making sure all the roles in the team are filled, which would give a well balanced team of ‘Thinkers, Doers, Co-ordinators and Socialisers’

During the group work sessions on my course, the neglected role that is mainly noticed is the monitor evaluator. Everyone is ready to go forward with one idea and try and finish it, but no one is ready to take a step back and see the whole picture. Luckily it is one my favoured roles and one that I implement in every group work I partake in. However, following the workshop on one of the occasions I was in a group which had 3 M.E.’s including myself. Thus at every few hours all the work done was assessed, however I realised there were clearly members missing to co-ordinate the work to be done for the presentation. We had also missing enough plants, considering this presentation was leveraged on the need for new ideas as the presentation needed ‘INNOVATION’.

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Hence I took a step back and filled in the roles, my manageable roles of ‘Co-ordinator and Plant’. This meant we were able to work much more effectively using all the personnel resources. Hence we were able to come up with an effective and innovative approach, by dividing the work amongst all of us based on our own strengths. Specifically using one of the members who is good with technology, we were able to create a unique video adding an experience to our presentation.

Thus, by formulating each person’s strengths and preferred roles as well as filling up any empty roles we ensured the presentation was completed on time, innovative ideas were formed and all the market data was evaluated effectively. Using members who were really good resource investigators and team workers to direct debates I ensured we prevented any conflicts as there were strong personalities which clashed when the ideas were critiqued. Myself being a strong shaper, I ensured I used the guidance of the socialisers (team workers and resource implementer) to ensure I didn’t offend others with my opinions/points.

Tackling the effect of the deadly 3 is still a big task to me, as at time I still end up preferring to work independently. However, as I have realised teamwork yields better results and has more benefits, I strive to tackle my instinctual nature of being a Shaper, Monitor Evaluator and Completer Finisher all the time.

Best Regards

Melvin Jose


June 07, 2012

P3 Working In A Team


Follow-Up 1: Self Reflection

In Team Character > 

Preferred Roles: Completer Finisher, Monitor Evaluator, Shaper

Manageable Roles: Implementer, Co-ordinator, Plant

teambuilding-solutions.gif








With teams being an integral part of society and working in them being vital, I believed understanding them was crucial to operate successfully in them. Results are used as the primary measure of ‘success’ simply because they are easy to measure. However, there are better means of measuring team performance; which can both be linked 100% to an individual and in which Belbin Team Roles play a crucial part.

It is a well known fact, throughout the world at large, that inputs lead to outcomes. In companies this means that the results you achieve come from the activities you put into the market. In turn, these activities result from the competence of the individual concerned. People do not like carrying out activities where they think they will fail. Or, if they are forced to carry out this activity, they will not be as successful as they should be. It’s the difference between ‘doing what you’re best at’ compared with ‘doing your best’.team













Thus using the Belbin’s Team Roles my preferred roles were highlighted, stated above. These traits come with both pros and cons, illustrating that I need to truly understand my strengths and work using them in a team. It also suggests I understand the cons the traits exude and thus improving on them. So using the skills I learnt from this workshop, I plan on equipping myself with knowledge of my preferred traits (ones I am possibly good at), as well as knowledge of the other traits that are need in a successful team ( traits other group members could be). As I have had varying experiences with group/team projects whilst on the course, I aim to optimise myself to in team working through good understanding of the team dynamics and the roles played in a team. Therefore, I aim to make this session over the 2 week period very good and fruitful.

belbin_shaper.png

belbin_monitor.png











belbin_finisher.png










Hence in short, following this workshop I am about to start my next module which contain group work, an excellent place to use these team working skills. I plan to meticulously follow the developed ‘Action Points’ , which include:

  • Understanding and analysing the traits of each of the group members
  • Work at my strengths, however in times of clashes (2 shapers/both co-ordinator and shaper being present) be ready to accommodate and implement my other manageable roles.
  • Ensure I apply my preferred roles thoroughly to ensure project completion and avoidance of conflicts, whilst also making sure all the roles in the team are filled, which would give a well balanced team of ‘Thinkers, Doers, Co-ordinators and Socialisers’
  • Also having the deadly 3 I will need to ensure, whilst working in the team to work with each member, as the disadvantage of my preferred roles illustrates one who does things independently


All of the above are essential to prevent the formation of a dysfunctional team.

bel


Thank You Trudy

Best Regards

Melvin Jose


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