All through our lives we are in one way or another faced with working in teams. The process starts as early as in kindergarten where children are assigned to make figures out of clay in the groups of three or have to sign songs in duets or quartets for the kindergarten leaving recital…
In my short paper I would like to cover the benefits and drawbacks of working in teams because this issue is becoming of utmost importance in today's rapidly developing world. I would also like to present some models for conflict resolution, because conflicts, when two or more people have to work together and combine ideas, are inevitable.
Teamwork is a gratifying and often crucial part of employment and many leisure activities. Moreover, today one's ability to work in a team is sought after and highly valued. It seems that working in groups is very easy, though as the experience shows, it may be one of the most challenging tasks one faces at university and in the workplace. This is caused by the fact that all people are different as well as not all traits of characters of different people can be combined successfully. The biggest drawback of working in a team is that usually not every member of the team is prepared to put in the same amount of effort. Moreover, in every team there are "free riders", who come to the group meetings to socialize instead of doing what they are supposed to do, and do not complete their tasks. Because of them other team members end up having to do work that they fail to complete or start an assignment over because someone did not do it right. Of course, such situations are very stressful and after couple of experiences of this kind one may get a strong feeling and he/she is better off, though doing more work, completing the project alone.
However, working in teams has its strong advantages. When working in the team it is possible to combine the strengths of all the members and direct them to the completion of the project. Whilst being a member of a team, a person acquires such useful skills these days as the ability to plan and organize the time. In a group, one learns to negotiate and compromise, and to practice decision-making skills. Moreover, one gains additional knowledge from another person, meets new people, and discovers how to identify the needs of others and build positive relationships, and develop cooperative learning strategies (University of Phoenix, 2004).
As it was mentioned earlier, groups do not exist without conflicts. According to Wisinski (1993) conflict is defined as "a disagreement or disharmony that occurs in groups when differences regarding ideas, methods, and members are expressed". What is important to remember that conflict do not always lead to negative outcomes, furthermore, a healthy conflict may lead to a rise in motivation and successful completion of the project. Thus, the primary goal for the administration of the company or a team leader is to learn how to use conflict as a tool that can benefit, rather than destroy the group (Krivis, 2006). For this, one should be familiar with conflict resolution methods. Lower I would like to mention two of them: the "4 R's" method, and the A E I O U method.
The "4 R's" method stands for: Reason- the leader is responsible for finding what every group member considers to be the reason for the conflict. Reaction- the leader is responsible to rate how the group is reacting to one another in a whole. Results - leaders should explain the consequences of this conflict, pointing out the benefits of maintaining peace within the group. Resolution - the entire team should discuss all ...
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