Valerie Hansen, Carl Sabas, Arthur Lee
July 23, 2013
It is bound to happen; someone is thrown into a team, a group taking on a new person whom they have never met. It can be nerve-racking, awkward, and even irritating. For the individuals who deal well with change, this may present an exciting addition. On the other hand, for those who have settled in their ‘comfort zone’, it could throw them completely off. Every day individuals are faced with different tasks and are put into situations in which they may not be the most comfortable. There can be a fair amount of research done to form a team, and keeping that team as one cohesive unit takes time; it does not happen overnight. Conflicts in personalities, learning to trust one’s teammates, communicating, and working together to accomplish the mission, are key aspects of team dynamics.
Both in the military and out in the civilian sector, forming a team in the workplace is a very common occurrence. From a team coming together for something as simple as creating a presentation, to a group of soldiers preparing to go on a mission. Concerning the military, it is a very structured and organized beast, which relies heavily on cohesive teamwork. Often, teams are thrown together and each individual is left to accept and learn about his or her newfound team members; this is never simple. Miranda Kennett, an executive coach, explains that there are steps to be followed to forming a team: forming, storming, “norming” and performing. “Successful teams are coherent and cohesive. The individuals may not even like each other, but they have found a way of working together effectively”. (Rigby, 2011, para. 12)
When individuals are thrown together into a team, one must consider each person’s interests and values; as it may take time for the team to get that “one team, one fight” motto rolling. What each person brings to the team is critical for his or her situation, as each member usually will cooperate to achieve a certain goal if it is in his or her interest to do so. This can dictate team formation, organization, decision making, maintenance, and ultimately, success (Barrett, 2013). Once a team is formed, team members start thinking about the good of the team, and less about themselves. This is not to say that it is an easy transition; conflict is inevitably just around the corner.
Working in teams is quite an adjustment for some. The clash of personalities, beliefs, and backgrounds; and the choice they are left with is to accept it. Once the team is formed, and the individuals begin to learn about each other, some may create instant bonds whereas others notice an immediate dislike toward an individual. Although one would think that a combination of different personalities would off-set a group, it can be quite the opposite. In a study where a team was created with an equal distribution of different personality types, the results reflected that the team blended well and could complete a task in a timely manner with positive results (Choi, Deek, & Im, 2008). So, while some may view their differences as a setback, it can provide the team with the balance that they need.
Each person has his or her own set of values, and once those individuals are formed into a group, there are team values that start to form. Some of these may be known before entering into the team, but others may be acquired once a relationship is formed between the team members. This happens because the members are no longer thinking as individuals; they now have this “family” that has become almost an extension of them. The need to support the good of the group is once again taking action. The health and welfare of the team becomes important to each team member because it is known that to achieve the primary goal, the group must do it together. Just as the Navy has its’ core values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment; each team member carries each with