Sep 25, 2020 in Book Review

Creating Effective Teams by Wheelan

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Abstract

The piece by Susan Wheelan presents an in-depth analysis of attributes that constitutes the dynamics noted and experienced by many people across the world in organizations. The dynamics either results in the success or failure of groups to form teams that are effectively able to realize the desired goals not only of the organizations, but also the members of the teams. The book presents a clear distinction between groups and teams within organizations and the factors that make them different. Teamwork is an important aspect for most groups bound by the interest that have realized success in many fields whether related or involved in issues of social, economic, or political affairs.

The piece notes a detailed process of how to create effective teams stating and clarifying that it is not an event but a process that requires patience and time. This process shows that people learn and go through the stages the same way as their lives go through the different stages. Furthermore, at each stage, the experience and expectations vary, and hence comprehending the process would be paramount for people and organizations interested in creating an active team. Everybody within the organization has a responsibility to play and support the teams.

The organization has to create the perfect environment in which groups can thrive, develop and deepen the knowledge in setting objectives, framework, and foundation to improve other aspects related to team building (Wheelan, 2014). The book notes an important element that has made many organizations struggle to meet the expectations of creating effective groups such as a lack of structures to handle members' concerns by focusing on leadership. Such a position creates a discrepancy and gap that is challenging and hard to fulfill for organizations to build effective teams that would show maximum results and positive outcomes for the organizations.

Although sustaining high performance is difficult, with the correct approach, it is possible. High-performance teams spend less time producing expected results or outputs; they create quality work and have competencies in communication skills thus able to address issues objectively. There are challenges experienced in building an active team, which requires objective discussions, and this would demand knowledge of both the leaders and the members of such groups forming units (Wheelan, 2014).

Leaders have a great responsibility in the initial stages of the team creation and have to be in a position to employ tactics at every stage of creating effective teams as the situation and conditions change with time. Leaders and members with profound knowledge and competence thus have to realize and steer the teams and organizations towards desired goals and objectives with ease.

Each stage of developing effective teams thus have to have goals with varied skills and knowledge that can help members and leaders overcome the likely barriers at each stage. Communication is an important aspect that helps teams realize their aims at all stages of development. However, nowadays, the traditional ways and genuine communication are limited and hence teams might employ effective virtual communication tools to help them achieve their desires of creating effective teams irrespective of the geographical barriers and distance between the members and leaders of a group. Active groups are important for organizations and conform to a phrase that says ‘United we stand and divided we fall.’

Concrete Response

The work by Wheelan reminds me of the personal experience I encountered in groups and events in the past. There was a team task to complete a project in groups. There were seven members of the team, and we competed with other teams in the class to present the best business plan and idea that we could start in the community. Each team had a leader, and our team has three girls and four boys. A girl led the group. At first, we had many conflicts within the group that we almost decided to disband and form another group or work separately. The source of conflict was one girl who opposed almost everything and did not accept the suggestion that the leader had concerning the project. She expressed her dissatisfaction and criticized the group leader and spoke about things not related to the tasks that we had.

For example, she could talk about the dress code and style of the team leader and compare her with other students. Consequently, the members lost their concentration on the project as most of the time they spent trying to resolve the conflict. Today we understand that two girls were once best friends, but the quarrel made them stop contacting each other. However, after we have found a solution to the issues and continued the work, we produced the best presentation and were the winners in the class among the six groups formed. Judging from this experience, today I can understand that I have accomplished the team task.

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Reflection

There are some concerns that I have noticed about the book. First, the author has too many chapters that repeat already discussed issues in the previous sections. For example, chapters 7 ‑ 10 present information that has already been mentioned earlier. It distorts readers and makes them lose interest in the book. The chapters also have little new information related to the goals that leaders and members have to set to form an active team. If the new data about aims in the chapters were in the relevant sections and sections, it would make it easy for readers to comprehend the ideas entirely and reduce the volume of the contents that repeat in the sections.

Chapter 12 that concerns ‘recent research’ should include the information that the investigation is dynamic and keeps changing. Although the time of publishing the book is not the case, some of the findings might be obsolete in contemporary times.

The research findings and observations represent the personal views of the author. It would be better to have an external expert for analysis and review before publication. There is a likelihood of bias in the research conducted to conform to the author’s views, and hence, professionalism would make her work better received globally. Chapter six explains that leaders should not be responsible for every leadership assignment offered. It creates conflict as such tasks can learn new ideas and skills. In addition, it might create a negative picture from the management board points of view, and possibly results in adverse outcomes in some instances. The author would see how to resolve the conflict which arises from rejected leadership assignments.

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Action

In many life situations involving group members, one is either a leader or a follower, and hence a member. It either creates real positive actions that one can be as a member or as a leader to create good and effective teams to realize desired goals at an individual, group, or organizational point of view. The first changes that I am going to take in my life because of the reading are to be patient in teams and never quit in the initial stages, as leads to great and effective teams. I will learn and develop the virtue of patience in many of the things that I would engage in at all levels to develop that skill in the next three weeks. I will be patient in settling in groups or any contexts in life that would provide an opportunity to measure my capacity.

For example, when waiting for a friend who is late, I will be patient and will not judge or quit. In addition, I will write down the number of incidents that I have exercised patience in the next two weeks to observe if there are improvements and the progress in learning the important skill that proves critical in making effective team members and leaders at the initial stages of the group and team formation. The second change is participation in groups, which I would join either as a member or as a leader, actively and independently from the head that will help the team focus and their objectives and interests.

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In my workplace, I would first encourage the members to read the information on how effective team members and leaders can create groups. I would encourage them to read at least one article or chapter of a book that tells about effective team creation and productive members of a team. Moreover, I would emphasize on making publications as stated by the author. It is the reason most of the organizations and groups have failed to create effective teams because they are unable to fill the gap that exists between information related to becoming a productive member.

According to my responsibilities, the first action I will take is communicating with at least ten people in the next two weeks about how to create positive and efficient teams sharing with them ideas on how groups become organizations and how people learn to be members and leaders. I would like to talk to youths, adults, and leaders who intend to become members of the group.

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