Discussion: My Best Team Experience
Nearly everyone has been part of a team during the course of their lives. Some of these team experiences may have been positive, some perhaps negative, and some neutral to the point that they are barely memorable. By working together with a team, you are offered unique opportunities for growth as other members will challenge your assumptions and present different perspectives. Think of your experiences being in teams. Which ones stand out as being most memorable?
In this Discussion, you will dissect the characteristics of a positive experience with a team. Then, you will use this analysis to develop clear takeaways for your own development as a team leader and manager.
To prepare for this Discussion:
· Think about the best team experience you have ever had. This may be a work
· How to talk to your team - see pdf
· The discipline of Team - see pdf
Respond to two of your colleagues’ posts in one or more of the following ways:
· Ask a clarifying question about your colleague’s description of their team experience or suggested managerial practices.
· Suggest one or more additional practices your colleague could use as a manager to promote effective, positive, and inclusive teams.
· Relate an example from your own experience of a positive, effective, and/or inclusive team to what your colleague shared.
· 3 – 4 paragraphs
· No plagiarism
· APA citing
1st Colleague – Natasha Mills
My Best Team Experience
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Peter Drucker is considered the first to point out the effectiveness of team-based organizations (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). From this discovery, other scholars have put in a lot of research on strategies to create highly effective teams, leading to organizations' current perception of teams. As a result, it is characteristic of most, if not all, organizations to encourage teamwork. However, not all organizations, or more specifically teams, always get the concept right. Katzenbach & Smith (1993) posit that the word team is always so loosely bandied about that many managers have become oblivious of its true potential and meaning. I can attest to this claim based on my experience working with different teams, where I have come across equally as many positive teams as negative ones.
In many cases, the negative team experiences were characterized by the features that make up working groups. In distinguishing between teams and groups, Hozmache (2019) associates teams with elements of complementary skills, a set of performance goals, commitment to a shared purpose, and holding each other mutually accountable. On the other hand, groups have the characteristics of sharing insights, perspectives, and information for decision making and focus more on individual performance, goals, and accountabilities. The best team experience I had involved the features of the former, while my negative team experiences were based on the features of the latter definition.
In that team experience, the team members talked about “we” rather than “I”. I am confident that this mainly stemmed from how the leader perceived team work, causing him to lead by example. Further, the team members did not only share information for the completion of projects. Instead, they interacted and communicated with each other, which enabled us to get to know each other at a personal level and resulted in the creation of trust between team members. Lastly, people shared a common purpose and accountability as evidenced by the use of “we” instead of “I”. With shared accountability and purpose, the team members would support each other because they were aware that any challenges or issues would be placed on the entire team. The outcome of shared accountability and purpose, open communication, leadership by example, and trust between team members led to the creation of a safe environment and a positive team culture that made the team highly effective. Establishing a purpose, sharing vulnerability, and building safety are some of the key elements of a great team (Matsudaira, 2019). These key elements in one of my team experiences leads me to consider it as the best.
One of the factors that contributed to the positive culture, inclusivity, and engagement of this team was leadership by example. For instance, the team leader would always show a keen interest in getting to know the team members beyond work, and shared about his personal life sometimes. The team members emulated this by getting to know each other as well, which contributed to the building of trust. Therefore, the leader set the culture for the team, and the rest of the members picked the signals (Matsudaira, 2019). The second factor is that the team always had a shared purpose. Developing a spin to an initial mandate from outside is what makes teams successful (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Our team thrived in this element. For example, the organization would give us a project with certain deadlines and deliverables, but the team would set its own deadlines and deliverables that often achieved better results than those which the organization expected from us. The third factor was the team’s maximization of the complementary skills of the team members. For instance, each of the team members was aware of the other’s strengths. Thus, we integrated these skills during the completion of projects that it became difficult to hold a team member individually accountable.
The two practices that I could use as a manager to ensure effective, inclusive, and positive teams would be to have a diverse team and to lead by example. Having a diverse team is the first step to practicing inclusivity and ensuring the effectiveness of teams. As such, it aids innovativeness and the generation of a range of ideas. Williams & Mihaylo (2019) suggest that one of the best actions leaders can take to interrupt bias and have effective teams is to insist on a diverse pool. Another practice would be to lead by example, which would give the rest of the team members the right signals for being cooperative, engaged, and committed to the team (Matsudaira, 2019).
Hozmache, M. (2019, December 18). Team vs Group [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf-SPZOmmng&ab_channel=MihaelaHozmache
Katzenbach, J. R. (1993). Smith, Douglas K.(1993b) The Discipline of Teams. Harvard Business Review, 71(2,111-120).
Matsudaira, K. (2019). How to Create a Great Team Culture (and Why It Matters) Build safety, share vulnerability, establish purpose. Queue, 17(1), 5-13.
Williams, J. C., & Mihaylo, S. (2019). How the best bosses interrupt bias on their teams. Harvard Business Review.
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2nd Colleague – Nicole Strauss
RE: Discussion - Week 6
Top of Form
My best team experience was my first Admission Manager role in a large hospice in Florida that valued its employees. We had excellent retention, employee satisfaction, and overall incredible work performance. The great culture started at the top with our executive leadership team. Our Chief Nursing Officer and my direct boss, the Access Director, invited managers to strategic planning sessions every three years. They included us in action planning for our departments and the organization. My direct boss was fantastic at cultivating a distinctive team culture and building a diverse and inclusive group. According to Matsudaira, (2019), a leader must set the culture for the team and lead by example. Our leader was present and involved in our work, took the time to understand the challenges, and completed direct observation visits with the staff.
Our admission team worked cohesively on projects and set measurable yet attainable goals. The group included nurses, administrative staff, physicians, and social workers. These disciplines worked together to facilitate creative thinking and problem solving for challenging issues within the department. We were not always successful in meeting our goals, but we always supported one another through the process. This diverse team worked together using each other’s strengths from different backgrounds to bounce ideas and challenge each other to think outside the box in our goal setting and problem-solving. We also had a good quality improvement model that allowed us to receive feedback from other team members about our admissions. As Cable (2019), stated, “people want to feel inspired, find meaning and see the impact that their work has on others.” Our team’s work always had a purpose, and our team was invested in supporting each other and the team's success.
The three factors that contributed to our positive culture, inclusivity, and engagement were: being included in strategic planning sessions for the organization, the diversity of our team with the different disciplines, and our quality improvement mechanisms. These factors set our team up for success and allowed us to work cohesively, working together to solve problems and meet our goals.
Two practices that I will incorporate into my daily routine are cultivating a purpose for our team’s work and providing a safe culture for all team members to share ideas. Positive work cultures stem from shared views on a team and the people on the team feeling safe to share their thoughts. This type of idea-sharing enriches employee engagement and allows staff to feel valued and essential. As Matsudaira shared, good leadership helps establish a culture that enables a team to be and do its best. When staff feels valued and important, they become invested in the work and the outcomes; they share a common purpose. As Hozmache (2019), mentioned in his video the essence of a team is their commitment and a shared sense of purpose which facilitates team focus and inspiration. I will strive to create these environments for my current and future work teams.