October 16, 2009

Article on Teams

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:10 am by ctennert

This is a great article that emphasizes the importance of teamwork, specifically in product development, and specifically targets good and bad behaviors displayed by the leaders of these teams.  Some very obvious points were made, such as having good communication with in the group, sharing the same outcomes or goals, and obtaining support from the leader of the group. 

As far as researching why some leaders employ effective tactics and seem to be more motivated than others, is a hard thing to gauge.  Any number of factors could weigh in and contribute to enthusiasm or lack thereof.  The article does point out some habits good leaders exhibit, however.  Leaders should look at themselves as  the protectors, tie breakers, or “insulation” as one leader puts it in the article.  A good leader encourages double-loop learning within the group, and promotes team ownership in the product or project at hand.  Bad leaders will just “soak up the limelight,” taking credit for the group’s work, and will restrict information flow to the members.  (I can’t image this).  One idea I loved was the encouragement of bonding between team members outside the work environment.  Retreats can be very effective motivating and bonding experiences for co-workers.

Also, the ideal leader will know how to handle conflict.  Conflicts are opportunities to learn, in my opinion.  A disagreement between two team members should be seen as an opportunity to see an issue from diverse angles, and the team leader should always embrace all ways to look at a problem, all while keeping the peace.  I agree with the article’s position on so-called failure as well.  It states that this is also a way for the team to learn, and better themselves for the next go-around.  Good team leaders encourage acting on professional decisions, and should always back their team up no matter what.

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