Reflective Essay on Teamwork; Collaboration and Cooperation in Teamwork, Group Decision-making, Change Management in Teamwork, and Leadership and Teamwork.

Reflective Essay on Teamwork

This article is a reflective essay on teamwork. Study it to adopt insights that you can use to create excellent essays on teamwork and aspects surrounding it such as collaboration and cooperation, decision-making, effectiveness in teams, change management, and leadership.

Introduction to Reflective Essay on Teamwork

This article aims to examine the process of teamwork, change management, and leadership, as well as other issues relevant to the SCPHN’s role. Barr and Dowding (2008) argue that effective critical reflection is necessary for leaders to enhance their awareness and effect change where it is needed. Densten and Gray (2001) agree, adding that active reflection is necessary for leadership development.

A five-person peer learning group (PLG) was formed with the goal of identifying an area for change in their practice that was supported by evidence and formulating a plan for implementation. Because our group was made up of School Health and District Nurse SCPHN students, finding a common change initiative was more difficult. However, our team overcame this challenge and identified a need for change in the workplace because of low employee morale. A review of the literature revealed that this is a feasible initiative. The PLG’s work was to be presented to a group of peers in the form of a presentation. Our group was appropriately dubbed “The Motivators.”

Sullivan and Garland (2010) distinguish groups from teams and discuss how groups become teams, as well as the importance of having a deep understanding of this procedure for effective team leadership and management. A team, according to Morhman et al (1995), is a collection of people who work together to create a product or service for which they are all responsible. They have a common purpose and are interdependent in achieving it, with their interactions resulting in a collective outcome. Groups, it is said, vary in that they carry out their jobs independently of one another, and sometimes even competitively (Sullivan & Garland, 2010).

Collaboration and Cooperation in Teamwork

How can teams collaborate and cooperate effectively?

Working in small groups, it has been said, is favourable to successful learning and entails teamwork and cooperation (Will, 1997). Topping (2005), on the other hand, takes a pessimistic approach, saying that using peer learning practices in educational settings is merely assembling a group of people and hoping for the best. Cooperative learning is claimed to encourage learning among group members via debate and peer review, while collaborative learning is socially created knowledge based on the negotiation of differing viewpoints among people (Will, 1997).

It is critical for teams to work together in order to accomplish a goal (Sullivan & Garland, 2010). Collaboration, according to Clements et al (1997), is the cornerstone of a healthy team, and it, along with efficient communication, is essential for creating high-quality outputs. Working collaboratively, according to Parker (2008), requires a clear goal and agreement of view when making decisions; DFES (2004) emphasize the importance of shared accountability in collaborative work.

My PLG worked together and cooperatively, as indicated by: a willingness to take on new responsibilities within the team, maintaining communication channels, holding frequent meetings, and exchanging information, resources, and ideas. Slavin (1996) takes the viewpoint of social cohesiveness, in which peers aid one another because they want each other to succeed. This concept applies to my PLG since our presentation was graded as a team effort. Strong group cohesion, according to Sullivan and Garland (2010), creates more personal support and collaboration within the group, which was visible in our group.

However, since each team member has limited time/exposure to the other team members’ learning subject, Slavin (1996) recognizes the limitations of learning in this method. Because our group had diverse schedules, we had trouble meeting up, but we overcome this by staying in touch through email. Oliver (2006) recognizes the difficulties that might develop in teamwork, while Eisenhardt (1997) emphasizes the need for stability when aiming for peak performance.

Group Decision-making

How can a group make decisions effectively?

Tuckman (1965) proposed a four-stage model, which he advocated as the optimal group decision-making procedure. According to Adair (2004), it is a problem-solving toolset.

  • Forming: This was not an issue for us since we all knew one other. We swiftly developed from our beginnings as a group into:
  • Storming: During this period, the team was allowed to develop. We discovered a change opportunity, which was constrained by our mixed professional group, and devised a work timetable for the near future. We conducted a SWOT analysis to determine the potential strengths and weaknesses in executing the change. Because no one was eager to take on the role of leader right away, we unanimously chose the person who had offered the reform idea in the first place. We exchanged contact information, agreed on a schedule, and set up our next meeting.

When a team has acquired trust and is working toward a single purpose, it is said to be Norming (Adair, 2004). It’s conceivable that some team members may forego their personal ideas at this point in order to advance the team’s purpose. At this point, everyone in the team is responsible for achieving the team’s objective. I was lucky to be a part of a group that collaborated effectively and was highly driven. We were able to fast get to the final phase thanks to this level of cooperation:

  • Performing: At this point, we collaborated on allotted duties and communicated often between sessions. Throughout the process, we provided each other with support and encouragement, and our team leader promoted communication and mutual support.

Action learning (AL) is described as a continuous process of learning and reflection that is aided by coworkers with the ultimate objective of achieving a goal (McGill & Beaty, 2001). It has a bottom-up strategy and is supposed to encourage creativity over reform (Pryjmachuk, 1996). In essence, this is what our group accomplished: by getting together to concentrate on and reflect on the difficulties of individual group members, the group was able to go forward with their planned action. According to Pedlar (2008), AL is a problem-solving technique in which people are given the opportunity to establish and create connections that help to improve the transformation process. Lord Darzi emphasized the connection between research and innovation (2007).

Effective Teamwork

How can a team operate effectively?

Most businesses are concerned about efficient teamwork, and it is well acknowledged that elements impacting team effectiveness are many (McGill & Beaty, 2001). The validity of Belbin’s Self-Perception Inventory (SPI) is supported by empirical research (Aritzeta et al, 2005). Belbin (1981) created the SPI to detect the behavioural traits of people within a team, allowing for the formation of successful teams via a creative and suitable mix of persons (Broucek & Randell, 1996). Later, the Observers’ Assessment (OA) was established, which boosted validity even further (Belbin, 1994). Despite criticism (Furnham et al, 1993), Belbin defended the tool by claiming that it was not meant to be used as a psychometric instrument (Belbin, 1993b).

As a learning experience, our group utilized a variation of the tool (Foundation of Nursing Leadership, 2011) to determine our responsibilities within the team. In equal proportion, I emerged as a ‘Supporter’ and a ‘Questioner,’ closely followed by a ‘Finisher’. This corresponds to Team worker, Monitor Evaluator, and Completer-Finisher in Belbin’s SPI. According to a proponent of Belbin theory, better control is gained by being able to predict team attitudes (Fisher et al, 2000).

Although I would not entirely agree, I was surprised at how accurate this was for me. Although we did not utilize the SPI to evaluate our team’s qualities before starting the project, it was a fascinating and useful assignment to do. Our team had a diverse set of personalities, which may have contributed to our collaborative cooperation. Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ Model, on the other hand, has been argued to favour the management of organizational dynamics because it maintains motivation through the desire to achieve (Burnes, 2004).

Change Management in Teamwork

How can change be managed in teams?

The present healthcare re-design necessitates a desire and aptitude to adapt to change (Institute for Innovation and Improvement, 2011). Although McWilliam and Ward-Griffin (2006) and Darzi (2007) argue that healthcare personnel have both the mandate and the capacity to lead and effect change initiatives, efforts to contrive change are universally regarded to be laden with problems (Parkin, 1997; MacFarlane et al, 2002).

Resistance, which is thought to have both good and bad impacts and should be anticipated by managers implementing change, is one of the key hurdles to change (Sullivan &Garland, 2010). Resistance to change, according to Waddell and Sohal (1998), should be used and treated as evaluative information to rethink the proposed change. According to Pederit (2000), resistance reveals real concerns about planned change that should be reconsidered.

According to Bovey and Hede (2001), resisting change is a normal and inescapable human behaviour. Fisher and Savage (1999) create a model of personal transformation – The Transition Curve – using Personal Construct Theory, which describes a process people may go through throughout the transition phase of change. Similarly, the phases of grieving outlined by Kübler Ross (1969) are applied to the process of change, albeit Connor (1998) modified the order in his ‘Cycle of Negative Response’, arguing that the emotions involved in transition are less powerful.

Because change is seen as uncomfortable, it is only natural for the change agent to provide a calming effect. The freeing and developing parts of a theory Y management style are supposed to help transformation; McGregor advocated for the notion that control, success, and improvement can be achieved by enabling, empowering, and delegating responsibilities.

Resistance to Change and Conflict of Interest

What is the difference between resistance and conflict?

In parts of the literature, the difference between resistance and conflict seems to be blurred (Parkin, 2009). Parkin distinguishes the two by emphasizing conflict’s more forceful and emotional aspect. Our PLG was lucky in that no conflict arose; nonetheless, DiPaola and Hoy (2001) argue that big, varied groups have a higher risk of conflict due to broader contrasts in aims and viewpoints. Because our group was small and had similar interests and aims, there should be few sources of contention.

Although it has been argued that nurses as a group are prone to avoid confrontation to the cost of successful change implementation, Chuang et al (2004) supports this by stating that nurses’ common beliefs foster more tolerance and respect (Valentine, 2001). Anderson (2005), on the other hand, asserts that every organization, big or little, has an unlimited capacity for conflict.

Conflict has traditionally been considered as having a negative influence owing to the tensions it causes (Medina et al, 2005), although it has also been claimed that conflict may improve team performance (Jehn, 1995). According to McAdam (2005), disagreement may be productive, resulting in inventive achievements, or harmful, preventing creativity. As a result, managing rather than resolving conflict is preferable.

Good management, according to Bruce and Wyman (1998), may channel conflict into innovation and beneficial results. It is critical that learning opportunities be not lost as a result of conflict avoidance (Fagan, 1985). Working through disagreement may lead to better understanding, motivation, and more successful collaboration (Sullivan and Garland, 2010). According to Crawley and Graham (2002), the advantages of healthy conflict include providing a catalyst for change.

Leaders, according to Nicholson (2011), may create circumstances that either restrict or help innovation, and Bruhn (2004) agrees, suggesting that how leaders manage change sets the bounds of success. Within healthcare organizations, innovation is now the most preferred phrase, signifying positive change (Parkin, 2009). Pryjmachuk (1996) supports this logic by claiming that innovations are welcomed but change is not.

According to Reid (2009), Strategic Health Authorities have a legal mandate to support innovation. According to studies, change in whatever form is unpopular and causes stress and conflict (Stewart & O’Donnell, 2007). There is a plethora of change techniques in the literature, ranging from the authoritarian approach of ‘controlling’ to those that embrace the ‘engaging paradigm’ (Dunphy and Bryant, 1996: 692).

Lewin’s Change Management Model

What is Lewin’s three-step change management model?

The ‘Motivators’ determined that Lewin’s (1951) three-step method to change management was the best model for addressing the identified issue. The model has been criticized for being obsolete and unsophisticated (Dawson, 1994), although Burnes (2004) claims that this critique is based on a limited interpretation of the model. The model should be considered in conjunction with the other aspects of the proposed approach: Field Theory, Group Dynamics, and Action Research, which work together to form a robust model (Burnes, 2004b; Darwin et al, 2002) that includes:

Leadership and Teamwork

Reflective Essay on Teamwork
Change Management in Teamwork
  • Unfreezing: is defined as minimizing the behaviours that sustain the current state and acknowledging the need for change in order to improve the situation (Goppee & Galloway, 2009). At this point, excellent communication is critical; ideal practice would ensure that people who will be impacted by the change agree, or at the very least are aware of the need for change (Kotter and Cohen, 2002; Curtis and White, 2002). People are less likely to oppose change if they are included in all stages of the planning and execution (Curtis and White, 2002). As recommended by Borril et al (2001), a Gantt chart was created as a tool to establish a timeframe/schedule for executing and assessing the suggested modification.
  • Moving: The Gantt chart would serve as a framework for the change’s modification and evaluation. It’s a good idea to double-check that everyone participating in the change is clear and educated about it, as well as any other experts involved (Goppee and Galloway, 2009).
  • Refreezing: refers to the point at which coworkers have embraced the shift both emotionally and cognitively. As needed, support mechanisms such as legislation and resources should be used to stabilize and strengthen the transformation (Goppee and Galloway, 2009). The use of measurement in supporting improvement is a defining characteristic of strong, high-performing teams, according to the research (Darzi, 2008). As a technique of guiding local improvement and innovation, measurement, benchmarking, and audit are advised (NHS, 2008., Care Quality Commission, 2009., DH, 2008). Data collecting before and after a change is also seen as a useful tool for analyzing a change (DH, 2009; Cooper and Benjamin, 2004).

Leadership and Teamwork

How does leadership influence teams?

Effective leadership is required for change to take place (Darzi, 2009). As SCPHNs, we believe that cultivating leadership skills is critical to achieving change; NHS (2011) claims that leadership capacity and competency can be developed and is a key expectation of practising professionals (Darzi, 2009). The ‘trait’ theory of leadership, according to Hogan et al (1994), states that individuals are born leaders with intrinsic leadership traits that cannot be learnt.

Reflective Essay on Teamwork
Leadership and Teamwork

According to Borrill and West (2001), leadership is crucial in building good teamwork, and it should maximize the advantages while minimizing the team’s flaws. Transactional leadership is widely employed in healthcare (Curtin, 2001), owing to its proclivity for attaining goals. Some have compared it to a management approach (Finkleman, 2006), with the concentration on work and organization and little attention paid to the needs of the followers. Transformative leadership, on the other hand, is believed to be universally applicable (Bass et al, 1987), persuading followers to put their own interests aside for the welfare of the group or organization.

Because this visionary style actively fosters and welcomes innovation and change, we determined that the transformational method was the best fit for both our team and driving change in the workplace (Curtin, 2001). Transformational leadership, according to Bass (1998), also entails enabling and encouraging colleagues to achieve and perform at their best. When teams are demoralized, demotivated, or overwhelmed, transactional leadership is deemed to be improper (Stordeur, 2001).

Conclusion

In today’s working environment, nurses must embrace required adjustments. They should not only accept changes when they occur but also examine working procedures on a regular basis and be proactive in adopting adjustments as needed. If this does not occur, nurses will be forced to cope with the consequences of changes imposed on the nursing profession by others.

Overall, although management skills are crucial and required, the future demands leadership to offer the dynamics necessary to challenge and lead organizations into an era when fast change management is a must. Nursing leaders are in a unique position to influence these changes and play a key role in their facilitation.

The Next Stage Review emphasized the need of having a high-quality workforce in order to provide high-quality treatment, and defined the 21st-century healthcare professional as a “practitioner, partner, and leader.” Contributors to the program have expanded on the notion of practitioner, partner, and leader to create characteristics for community practitioners that would result in radical progress.

Many excellent efforts fail because not enough attention is devoted to the people who work for them and the steps that must be taken to create the environment in which the desired traits may thrive. Organizations undergoing transformation should think about how they might encourage such qualities in their own workforce, as well as the steps that need to be taken on many fronts.

Employees’ education and training, management and leadership, service commissioning and regulation, and performance monitoring may all contribute to the formation of a good, enabling culture in which staff consistently seek to enhance safety, effectiveness, and the experience of care. The same elements, on the other hand, might work against empowerment, motivation, and personal responsibility, lowering the chances of success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the group decision-making process?

Tuckman (1965) proposed a four-stage model, which he advocated as the optimal group decision-making procedure. According to Adair (2004), it is a problem-solving toolset.

  • Forming: This was not an issue for us since we all knew one other. We swiftly developed from our beginnings as a group into:
  • Storming: During this period, the team was allowed to develop. We discovered a change opportunity, which was constrained by our mixed professional group, and devised a work timetable for the near future. We conducted a SWOT analysis to determine the potential strengths and weaknesses in executing the change. Because no one was eager to take on the role of leader right away, we unanimously chose the person who had offered the reform idea in the first place. We exchanged contact information, agreed on a schedule, and set up our next meeting.

2. Is resistance a form of conflict?

In parts of the literature, the difference between resistance and conflict seems to be blurred (Parkin, 2009). Parkin distinguishes the two by emphasizing conflict’s more forceful and emotional aspect.

3. What are Lewin’s 3 stages of change?

  • Unfreezing: is defined as minimizing the behaviours that sustain the current state and acknowledging the need for change in order to improve the situation (Goppee & Galloway, 2009). At this point, excellent communication is critical; ideal practice would ensure that people who will be impacted by the change agree, or at the very least are aware of the need for change (Kotter and Cohen, 2002; Curtis and White, 2002). People are less likely to oppose change if they are included in all stages of the planning and execution (Curtis and White, 2002). As recommended by Borril et al (2001), a Gantt chart was created as a tool to establish a timeframe/schedule for executing and assessing the suggested modification.
  • Moving: The Gantt chart would serve as a framework for the change’s modification and evaluation. It’s a good idea to double-check that everyone participating in the change is clear and educated about it, as well as any other experts involved (Goppee and Galloway, 2009).
  • Refreezing: refers to the point at which coworkers have embraced the shift both emotionally and cognitively. As needed, support mechanisms such as legislation and resources should be used to stabilize and strengthen the transformation (Goppee and Galloway, 2009). The use of measurement in supporting improvement is a defining characteristic of strong, high-performing teams, according to the research (Darzi, 2008). As a technique of guiding local improvement and innovation, measurement, benchmarking, and audit are advised (NHS, 2008., Care Quality Commission, 2009., DH, 2008). Data collecting before and after a change is also seen as a useful tool for analyzing a change (DH, 2009; Cooper and Benjamin, 2004).

4. How does leadership impact team performance?

According to Borrill and West (2001), leadership is crucial in building good teamwork, and it should maximize the advantages while minimizing the team’s flaws.

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Reflective Essay on Teamwork

 

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