Team Dynamics & Collaboration One competency growing more important in modern leadership is team dynamics and collaboration. Team dynamics are developed through communication, productive meetings, conflict resolution, and collaboration. How a team interacts, communicates, and works together has a dramatic impact on how successful a team is in meeting its goals. Collaboration is essentially working with others to create something or achieve a shared goal. There are many elements that go into successful collaborations amongst teams, including leadership, organizational support, a shared vision, effective communication, a clear project plan or path to success, appropriate resources, and group cohesion. You will find that highly motivated and successful teams spend a great deal of time on team processes, communication, and cohesion.
Team Dynamics & Collaboration in Leadership Team dynamics can be difficult toestablish at the beginning of projects and collaborations within organizations, so it is important that leaders get the ball rolling on developing cohesion and trust amongst their followers. Setting up an informal meeting with your team can be an essential step in breaking the ice and developing communication, trust, and establishing group processes and norms. It may be frustrating in the beginning, especially in virtual teams, but developing a rapport with team members is an important step in facilitating collaboration and communication. As teams develop and enter the "norming" stages, it is essential that leaders recognize opportunities to improve group processes and further establish positive group dynamics amongst their team or organization. If communication begins to break down, leaders might find team building activities or communications exercises useful in getting things back on track. Because team dynamics define how effective your team is going to be in their work performance and generating new ideas, leaders cannot undervalue the importance of their development.
Artifact Because developing team dynamics impacts a team's ability to collaborate successfully, I found that getting off on the right foot with introductions and learning about my teammates’ interests was a wonderful way to break the ice. I have had four classes that required a group project upon the course’s culmination, but my most successful group project was in OGL 343, Social Processes in Organizations. Earlyinto our collaboration we were instructed to set up a videoconference for our team introductions and to begin the “forming” stage of our project. This was the first time I had a group project requirement of videoconferencing, though it had been a recommendation in previous group projects. In virtual teams it is particularly important to set up video meetings as soon as possible. Many people feel disconnected from virtual teammates, and team dynamics can begin to feel like an abstract concept without formal practice to solidify them. I have included my report from our initial team meeting through Microsoft Teams as my artifact.
Reflection Team Dynamics & Collaboration in Organizational Leadership Building a team into a well-oiled machine is not an overnight process, and developing the skills to successfully navigate team dynamics and collaboration takes practice and patience. Every team has different personalities, skillsets, and norms that develop over time. As an Organizational Leadership major, a lot of emphasis has been put on the increasing utilization of teams.Team building retreats and exercises are commonplace in organizations. Organizations clearly value leaders who recognize that teams have many working parts and are willing to put in the time and effort to build cohesion amongst the chaos. The importance of developing dynamic teams and facilitating collaboration cannot be ignored in organizational leadership.
Personal Growth & Development I have always thought of myself as very extroverted, empathetic, and open-minded. These are qualities that have been useful to me not only as a manager and shift supervisor over the years, but also as a trainer for Starbucks. When someone comes into our stores as a new partner, there is a lot of uncertainty about where they will fit in with the store dynamics and how they will work with others on both sides. I am a big believer in leader-member exchange theory, and learning about team development and collaboration has validated the importance of adjusting my leadership style to fit my followers. Our store has developed norms and a strong dynamic of teamwork and collaboration. The skills I have developed through my OGL program have made me a more dynamic and influential leader.