Discuss the importance of identifying norms within a team. Why is clear communication considered an essential element during team development? Provide an example when you were a team member and the lack of communication caused significant problems for the team.
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Discuss the importance of identifying norms within a team?
Norms can provide critical organizational functions by clarifying core values for group organizations and conveying a sense of identity (Baack, 2012). Once a team is set up, it is important to establish its own traditions, habits, customs and expectations about how things should be done. From my experience working in teams, I found out that when team rules and expectations were pointed out from the start, the group became more successful and able to accomplish goals.
Why clear communication is considered an essential element during team development?
Communication is important for any organization, but this is especially true for team development when the norms of the group are being formed. Effective communication can help to avoid the development of counter-productive or negative circumstances that may prevent the team from achieving its objectives. Without clear communication, a team will lack the structure or direction required to succeed.
Kouzes and Posner pointed out in their book “Credibility” the power of communication when they stated: leaders understand the fact that unless they communicate and exchange information with their members, none would be very interested in what is going on (Kouzes & Posner, 2003, p. 172). I agree that what Kouzes and Posner mean is not just about communication, but also about building trust between the members of the team.
Provide an example when you were a team member and the lack of communication caused significant problems for the team.
Last year, I was part of a sales team of five members. The team was extremely dysfunctional. Distrust between the team members and the sales manager was one of the key problems for the company. The trust starts with management, but in my case, the sales manager badly communicated team objectives and expectations to all the team. With poor communication and strong favoritism, the team members started to pick up sides and unattached to the team. There was no accountability since resentment and rage grew, and even the sales manager took sides. There are a variety of reasons why this team was not successful, including poor communication and lack of clarification about team goals. Unfortunately, weak leadership has contributed to a lack of confidence and an inability for the team to work together to move forward and make progress.
Baack, D. (2012). Organizational behavior . San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Kouzes, J.M. & Posner, B.Z. (2003). Credibility, How Leaders Gain and Lose It , Why People Demand It. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.