My Progress In Teamwork Ability
In my initial assessment, through self-reflection and mostly self-diagnosis, indicated that I possessed a positive attitude towards teamwork and had considered it as a strength. I sought to further develop my ability to be able communicate well with other individuals to further my teamwork ability. I had a pre-perceived surface-level notion of teamwork whereby thinking it refers to a group of individuals being able to cooperate and work together to achieve a common goal in a high-performing and efficient manner. However, after being able to interact with my group, I began to realise that my idea of teamwork was too simplistic and didn’t involve the intricacies of working together with different personalities who have ideas and values which differ from myself.
Initially, the team was largely considered as an informal group, meaning that there was no apparent leader and thus I was less inclined to provide my own opinions and thoughts in hopes of avoiding conflict and disagreement, thinking that it be beneficial as it would not stifle teamwork. However, through establishing contractual obligations which everyone had to follow, it presented a sense of direction and enabled myself to be open and communicative with the rest of my group. Our team had a well-defined purpose, setting out performance goals in which we wanted to achieve individually and collectively. According to Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, the most effective teams translate their common purpose into performance goals. If the team fails to establish such goals, confusion and mediocre performance arises and the team fails to properly evaluate whether their actions with result in achieving their goal (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). The implementation of these teamwork guidelines and contracts had a significant impact and stimulated both greater team and individual performance in the gamulation – we were consistently improving the satisfaction metrics in the first 2 crises (see Appendix A) due to having clear performance goals which we collectively set out but also by being extremely motivated to achieve high scores within the gamulation. I personally felt highly motivated as it seemed like all group members were actively getting involved. Through this, I was able to bond with my teammates and thus be able to communicate openly, through a humoristic way, receiving a 4.8/5 in Peer Feedback which involved being “Able to incorporate humour into speech which makes it more engaging for the audience” and “Effectively communicated the main message through clear and careful diction” (see Appendix B). This indicated that I was comfortable and willing to be vocal, hence strengthening and reinforcing the overall cohesion and teamwork of the group.
However, I focused heavily on the actively speaking aspect of communication with the initial thought that being able to speak confidently would solve all teamwork issues. There were disagreements and conflicts due to several competing personalities within the group, but I was able to improve my outlook in times of conflict by “imagining myself in the other persons shoes” (Kinicki et al. 2018). Furthermore, by applying the definition of ‘Communication Competence’ established by Yoder “Communication competence is the ability to choose among available communicative behaviours so that interpersonal goals may be successfully accomplished during an encounter while respecting the goals of others” (Yoder. 1994) in the second round of the gamulation, I was able to take step back, listen in greater detail and evaluate the perspectives and ideas of other group members without interfering, hence benefiting the overall cohesion and teamwork with the group. By doing this, a group culture is established and is essential in enhancing teamwork as it serves as the basis of a positive group environment for future tasks, reinforced through “A good organizational culture not only improves the performance and reduces the turnover rate of the organization, it also facilitates the solution of internal issues in the organisation” (Hao and Yazdanifard. 2015).
Hence, I have progressed and strengthened my teamwork ability significantly through identifying and implementing a multitude of strategies consistently in relation to communication into my behaviour. This resulted in an increase in my peer rating and overall idea that teamwork is not one-dimensional but multi-faceted.