The paper "Four Phases of Teamwork Proposed by Bruce Tuckman" is a good example of management coursework. Our team comprised of five members, and we had four group meetings in which we discussed the topic area and prepared the presentation. Working on the assignment as a group gave us an invaluable opportunity to not only gain better knowledge but also understand the dynamics of teamwork. Despite the limited time and few meetings, the team still experienced a series of phases propounded in leading literature on teamwork. This reflective essay offers an in-depth analysis of how the team morphed through different phases and handled conflict along the way.
The discussion also underscores the importance of teamwork, the role of conflict in group dynamics as well as how the team worked together to prepare the presentation. Firstly, it was remarkable to watch the team morph through the four phases of teamwork proposed by Bruce Tuckman. At the group formation phase, we came together and had a somewhat formal session where we got to know one another. The next step was the confusion (storm) phase, and this manifested as the team began to tackle the question, lay down ground rules, and work out how to distribute the work.
At this point, each person expressed their individual competencies, priorities, interests, motives, and goals in an irreconcilable manner (Grazulis, 2012). Gone was the anxiety and hesitancy that were characteristic of the initial phase as members voiced parallel ideas on how to accomplish the task. Fortunately, our familiarity with leading teamwork theories coupled with prior group work experience helped us to understand that this was a natural occurrence in teams, especially newly formed ones.
The team quickly recovered from the irreconcilable aspects and stopped focusing on individual differences or entrenched positions. Instead, we directed our focus on a common goal and engaged in constructive discussions as to how we could adopt collective plans and standards to accomplish the project. At this point, the group was in the normalization phase where members adapted to each other’ s differences. The final stage is maturity, where we worked jointly to get the work done (Somech et al. , 2009). The four phases are merely a model that the group dynamics followed.
A closer examination reveals that there was more at play than just getting through the four phases of teamwork. Tarricone and Luca (2002) note that there is a suite of attributes, which contribute to success in teamwork, including the commitment to achieve success, interdependence, sound interpersonal skills, effective leadership as well as positive feedback and open communication. In the first place, our team prioritized respectful communication and interactions from the word go. Poor communication tendencies such as talking over one another were discouraged. Instead, we deliberately opted to communicate clearly, listen to one another, and disagree respectfully on material matters.
It is my belief that the commitment to deliver a stellar presentation enabled each member to remain focused on completing the task. The lack of interest and uncommitted members often go a long way in undermining a group’ s effectiveness. Sharing a mutual goal and following a common plan to get things done is important during teamwork (Sycara & Sukthankar, 2006; Morgeson et al. , 2009). Another key quality that drives success in group work is proper team composition, where the members must understand their role in a team and what is expected of each person with regards to their contribution to the project (Tarricone & Luca, 2002).
I was glad to see that there was no free-riding during this project as I have witnessed in previous teams. There were clear expectations placed upon each person with specific timelines to perform different tasks. What’ s more, we issued progress reports even without meetings, which provided an opportunity to re-evaluate our positions and discuss any unexpected difficulties. There was also perfect attendance during scheduled meetings, which helped us to work smoothly as a team.