Team Dynamics Essay

1270 words - 5 pages

One of the classifications that can be applied to a team is that it is a group of people. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (2001) defines group dynamics as "the processes involved when people in a group interact with each other. These interactions are a critical part of the success of any team. Fortunately, it is a part that team leaders can influence (Melymuka, 2002, p. 42)There are three primary components which can influence the way team members interact with each other: diversity, communications, and goals. Understanding how these components affect a team allows a leader to moderate their influence.Laroche (2001) said "... the dynamics of multicultural teams are quite different and often significantly more complex than the dynamics of culturally homogeneous teams, since team members may have quite different concepts of teamwork." (p. 22)Good communications is key to the success of any team; "... sharp and competitive people can sometimes lack basic communication skills and (be) unable to work collectively in a co-operative way." (LeGales, 2003, p. 11)The dynamics of a team mostly affect its internal goals, but can influence how the team is perceived by others. (Isgar, Ranney, & Grinnel, 1994, p. 45). These components are the primary discussion of this paper.There are many definitions of diversity, in general diversity refers to the ways that people in differ. Diversity in teams is more challenging than the simple definition because people in teams include different ethnicity, experiences, values and thinking styles. These differences are an advantage to a team because they bring diverse perspectives that increase the amount of skill and knowledge to the team. The variety of these differences also may aid in the resolution of conflict.Creativity increases because there is no one best answer to solve problems. People work together toward a common solution by having different ways of solving difficult problems. The more ideas that a team has, the more likely they can develop a workable answer. Productivity also increases because people pull together to work toward a single goal.Disadvantages of diversity in the workplace exist for several reasons. One reason is the cultural difference that is involved when you have a diverseteam. Another reason is the lack of communication and participation that exists when teams are diverse.Cultural difference can cause extreme work environments. Ones ethnic background can have a barrier on the way an individual works and, the way they work with others. Some cultures believe that segregation is the only way to work. Ones culture can in some instances be of the same outlook and offer a better opinion than a diverse group of individuals in the same situation. Some cultures find that their own work ethics are far from that of other cultures. The standards that have been instilled in various cultures can be different from diverse cultures.The lack of knowledge to communicate with other cultures hinders the ability...

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