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PSY 126 Week 11: Team Dynamics, Creativity & Problem Solving

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Team Dynamics, Creativity &
Problem Solving, & Decision Making
Matthew L. Eisenhard, Psy.D.
Week 11: Psychology for Busine...
Teamwork
• Involves working together
to achieve something beyond
the capabilities of individuals working alone.
▫ Organiza...
Types of Teams (a.k.a. Groups)
• Formal Groups
▫ Functional Groups
 Formal ongoing groups = permanent.
 Typically manage...

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PSY 126 Week 11: Team Dynamics, Creativity & Problem Solving

  1. 1. Team Dynamics, Creativity & Problem Solving, & Decision Making Matthew L. Eisenhard, Psy.D. Week 11: Psychology for Business & Industry
  2. 2. Teamwork • Involves working together to achieve something beyond the capabilities of individuals working alone. ▫ Organizations today are based on teams. ▫ Being a team player requires high levels of emotional intelligence. ▫ Being a team player is the 2nd most sought after skill employers seek.  Communication and personal skills is 1st .
  3. 3. Types of Teams (a.k.a. Groups) • Formal Groups ▫ Functional Groups  Formal ongoing groups = permanent.  Typically managers and employees in specific departments (marketing, production, etc.). • Informal Groups ▫ Develop spontaneously when people get together because of similar interests. ▫ They come and go according to events and people in the group and can vary accordingly.
  4. 4. Types of Teams (a.k.a. Groups) • Task Groups ▫ Consist of functional group members. ▫ Put together for a specific task (job). ▫ Coming called committees.  Ad hoc committee (task force).  Formal and temporary (temporary groups) = discontinue after task is accomplished.  Standing committee.  Formal and ongoing, but has rotating members.
  5. 5. Types of Teams (a.k.a. Groups) • Virtual Teams ▫ Do most of their work via electronic digital communication.  Groupware is a digital tool to work on a document at the same time. ▫ One of the challenges of virtual teams is developing trust.  Effective teamwork is even more challenging when teams are put together from many different countries around the world.
  6. 6. Your Team Behavior • Self-assessment 11.1. • Every person on the team does not have to do all the things on the assessment to have an effective team – as long as someone is doing them. ▫ Questions 1-5 refer to team structure. ▫ Questions 6-13 refer to team dynamics. ▫ Questions 14-17 refer to team development.
  7. 7. Teamwork – The Formula • Team Performance Model Formula ▫ A team’s performance (TP) is based on its structure (TS), dynamics (TD), and stage of development (SOD).  TP = TS + TD + SOD ▫ All teams face the Systems Effect.  A team is only as strong/effective as its weakest link.  If one link is weak… so is the whole chain.  If one person is weak… so is the whole team.
  8. 8. Team Structure • The structure of a team affects the team’s performance. FOUR PARTS
  9. 9. Team Structure 1. LEADERSHIP ▫ Leadership styles affect the team performance. ▫ Teams with effective leaders outperform teams lacking good, strong leaders. 1. COMPOSITION ▫ Refers to diversity of team members (functional/technical skills). ▫ Diversity enhances performance – better decisions – more innovations than homogeneous teams. 1. PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION MAKING ▫ How the team works together when they encounter problems reflects on the overall performance. 1. CONFLICT ▫ Can be useful or not useful. ▫ Solving conflicts important to how team functions effectively.
  10. 10. Team Dynamics • A.K.A. Group Process. ▫ Refers to the pattern of interactions that emerge as the group/team develops. ▫ Job recruiters & employers seek applications with leadership and team dynamics skills. ▫ Most people have little or no training in working in groups/teams. ▫ Six parts of group dynamics.
  11. 11. Objectives • To be effective teams need clear objectives (goals). ▫ And must be committed to achieving them. • Managers/Leaders ▫ Make certain there are goals and set priorities. • Team Members ▫ Must work toward gaining consensus of commitment to goals. ▫ Without goals and everyone working toward them – teams will struggle and fail.
  12. 12. Size • No ideal size – it varies depending on the team’s purpose. ▫ Functional groups: about 14-15. ▫ Task groups: 3-9 (5)  Too small = too cautious.  Too large = too slow, but larger groups tend to generate more choices and better ideas due to greater diversity. • Effects on group diversity ▫ Larger teams = more formal/autocratic leadership is needed to provide direction.  Larger groups tend to stifle equal participation. ▫ Smaller groups = leaders are more informal and participative. ▫ Generally equal participation is seen more in groups of 5. • Managers/Leaders ▫ Appropriate leadership style will vary according to group size.
  13. 13. Norms • The group/team’s shared expectations of its members’ behavior. ▫ Develop spontaneously as the group interacts. ▫ All groups tend to form their own unwritten rules about how they will do things. ▫ If one team member fails to conform to the norm, other teammates may try to force compliance = peer pressure.  Ridicule – ostracism – sabotage – physical abuse.
  14. 14. Cohesiveness • The attraction and closeness team members have for each other and the group as a whole. ▫ The more desirable membership in a certain group, the more team members are likely to conform to the normative behavior. ▫ Sometimes individuals will do things with and for a team that they would not do on their own.  Can be positive or negative depending on the nature of the team/group.
  15. 15. Factors Influencing Cohesiveness • OBJECTIVES ▫ Stronger the agreement and commitment of the group, the stronger the cohesiveness. • SIZE ▫ Smaller = more cohesive. ▫ Larger = more difficult to agree. • HOMOGENIETY ▫ The more similar people are, the greater the cohesiveness – people tend to be attracted to and agree with people most like themselves. ▫ Growing diversity in the workplace can lead to decreased cohesiveness.
  16. 16. Factors Influencing Cohesiveness • PARTICIPATION ▫ More equal the participation, the higher the cohesiveness. ▫ Domination by one or a few tends to make other members feel excluded. • COMPETITION ▫ Intragroup = competition with each other which leads to decreased cohesiveness. ▫ Intergroup = results in team pulling together to beat the rivals, increased cohesiveness. • SUCCESS ▫ More you win the stronger the cohesiveness. ▫ Losers argue among themselves more than winners. ▫ Success breeds more success.
  17. 17. Solomon Asch’s (1951, 1956) Line Judgment Studies • Solomon Asch (1951, 1956) had participants guess which line in the right box is the same length as the line on the left. Almost everyone easily gets this right—when alone. ▫ Asch had people repeatedly evaluate lines like these, while hearing other people also evaluate the lines. ▫ Sometimes, though, everyone else got it wrong.
  18. 18. • 76% of the participants conformed on at least one trial. • 12/18 trials confederates gave incorrect answers.
  19. 19. Status • Perceived ranking of one member relative to other members of the group. ▫ Based on…  Job title – amount of pay – seniority – knowledge/expertise - interpersonal skills – appearance – education – race – sex. ▫ It affects team performance.  High status members have a major influence.  In functioning groups, the manager/supervisor usually takes the leader role.  There can also be “informal” leaders.
  20. 20. Status Congruence • The acceptance and satisfaction members get from their status in the group. ▫ Members who are not happy with their status may feel excluded and not be active participants.  May cause team conflict if they fight for higher status.  Leadership struggles may go on for a long time – and never be resolved.  These struggles can ultimately undermine the team’s productivity.
  21. 21. Roles • Shared expectations of how group members will fulfill the requirements of their positions. ▫ People often have multiple roles in a group/team or job. ▫ Example: Professor  Teacher – researcher – writer- consultant – advisor – committee member.  Plus all personal and family roles.
  22. 22. • Task Roles = things group members do and say that directly aid in the accomplishment of its objective. ▫ OBJECTIVE CLARIFIERS  Role = make sure everyone understands the goal. ▫ PLANNERS  Role = determine how the goal will be met. ▫ ORGANIZERS  Role = to assign and coordinate resources. ▫ LEADERS  Role = to influence members by directing. ▫ CONTROLLERS  Role = to take corrective action to make sure goal is met – keeping people on target. Classes of Group Roles
  23. 23. Classes of Group Roles • Maintenance Roles = the things that group members do and say to develop and keep the group going. ▫ FORMERS  Role = get the members involved and committed. ▫ CONSENSUS SEEKERS  Role = get members’ input and agreement on decisions. ▫ HARMONIZERS  Role = resolving conflicts with members. ▫ GATEKEEPERS  Role = see that appropriate norms are developed and enforced. ▫ ENCOURAGERS  Role = be supportive, friendly. ▫ COMPROMISERS  Role = get members to adjust their positions to gain cohesiveness.
  24. 24. Classes of Group Roles • Self-Interest Roles = things members do and say to meet their own needs or goals at the expense of the team. ▫ AGGRESSORS  Role = deflate others’ status – negative criticism – putting other members down. ▫ BLOCKERS  Role = resist the group effort and try to prevent the team meeting its goal. ▫ RECOGNITION SEEKERS  Role = try to take credit for the groups’ accomplishments. ▫ WITHDRAWERS  Role = physically or mentally not involved with group – more concerned about their own personal matters.
  25. 25. Development of Team Stages • 5 stages of team development. ▫ Not all groups go through the same stages as they grow and develop. ▫ There are specific supervisory strategies recommended for each stage.
  26. 26. Stages of Team Development • Orientation ▫ Leader = Autocratic. ▫ Forming stage – roles and goals must be clearly defined. • Dissatisfaction ▫ Leader = Consultative. ▫ Storming stage – learning about each other and building trust; differences are experienced. • Resolution ▫ Leader = Participative. ▫ Norming stage – relationships are built, affiliations are made, norms are set; learning to work together.
  27. 27. Stages of Team Development • Production ▫ Leader = Laissez-faire. ▫ Performing stage – commitment is high and performance is enhanced; conflicts are resolved quickly, members are open with each other. • Termination ▫ Adjourning stage – found in task groups (not functional/ongoing groups); people usually have feelings of sadness at group dissolving or if a negative experience may be relief at ending.
  28. 28. Your Preferred Group Leadership Style • Self-assessment 11.2. ▫ More even the distribution of scores, the more flexible you are at leading in a group. ▫ Total of 0-1 in any style indicates a problem using it and could be a problem if ever needed. ▫ Compare this to scores on your self-assessments of situational supervision and communication style.
  29. 29. Meetings & Leadership Skills • Planning the Meeting ▫ Have a written plan that includes…  Goals – purpose of meeting.  Participants and assignments – who and what.  Agenda – list of items to be covered in order of priority (with approximate time allotted for it).  Time (start and finish) – date – place. • Conducting the Meeting ▫ Begin on time – review progress (minutes – secretary) ▫ Cover the items on the agenda – stay on task. ▫ Summarize and review assignments – end meeting on time – was everything accomplished? – get commitments from people on assignments – record all assignments to encourage accountability and follow-up on them.
  30. 30. Handling Problem Team Members • The Silent Member ▫ Usually not leaders – leaders should draw them out – team needs input and benefits from all members. • The Talker ▫ Has something to say about everything – tries to dominate – can cause intragroup conflicts – leaders have responsibility to slow these folks down and include others without alienating them. • The Wanderer ▫ Distracts the team from its focus – likes to complain and criticize – wants to socialize and divert focus of team – leader needs to divert and keep team on track.
  31. 31. Handling Problem Team Members • The Bored Member ▫ Preoccupied with other things – tend to be “know-it-alls” that feel superior to others in group – leader is obligated to keep members interested and active. • The Arguer ▫ Likes to be center of attention – likes to argue just for the sake of it rather than for productive purposes – leaders should never engage in arguments – don’t allow personal attacks – keep the focus on the goal and move on. • The Social Loafer ▫ Lets everyone else do the work and reaps all the benefits from the group’s efforts – leaders should not allow.
  32. 32. Meetings & Leadership Skills • Important considerations when working in a team… ▫ Never embarrass, intimidate, argue with others – no matter how provoked!  The result will make them look like martyrs and make you look like a bully.  If there are serious problems with members that do not respond to the positive techniques – see them outside of the meeting in private and try to gain their support and cooperation.
  33. 33. Problem Solving & Decision Making • Problem = when there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you wanted/expected to happen. ▫ Problem solving = process of making corrective actions in order to meet your goal. • Decision making = process of selecting an alternative course of action to solve the problem. ▫ Decisions are made to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities. ▫ These can occur at the same time.
  34. 34. Decision Making Styles • Self-assessment 11.3. • REFLEXIVE ▫ Shoot from the hip – make decisions fast (sometimes without getting or considering all of the necessary information). ▫ Positive = not procrastinators. ▫ Negative = can lead to waste and having to start over if not right the first time. • REFLECTIVE ▫ Takes plenty of time to decide – gets lots of information and checks out alternatives thoroughly. ▫ Positive = decisions are not rushed. ▫ Negative = procrastination can be costly. • CONSISTENT ▫ Makes choice without rushing or wasting time – the happy medium. ▫ Know when they have enough information. ▫ Follows generally the 5-step model for decision making.
  35. 35. Decision Making Model • Step 1 – Define the Problem. ▫ Separate the symptoms from the cause. ▫ If you do not find the “cure,” it will keep recurring. • Step 2 – Set Objectives and Criteria. ▫ Setting goals in place – you need to have a “must” and “want” list for your criteria in meeting the goal. ▫ Example: Hiring.  Must have a certain degree – B.A., M.A., Ph.D.?  Want to have bilingual skills – Spanish, French?
  36. 36. Decision Making Model • Step 3 – Generate Alternatives. ▫ Start thinking of ideas, methods, or other choices to use to solve the problem. ▫ Plan A, B, and C. • Step 4 – Analyze Alternatives and Pick One. ▫ Do a cost-benefits analysis to try to pick which plan will be the best. • Step 5 – Plan, Implement, and Control. ▫ Do it! Make sure to oversee the process and outcome. ▫ Be willing to cut your losses and change if you need to (switching to Plan B, C, etc.)
  37. 37. Creativity • The ability to develop unique alternatives to solve problems. ▫ Thinking “outside the box.” ▫ Innovation – the organizational use of creative ideas.  Vital to success  Pressure to come up with new ideas.
  38. 38. Four Stages of Creativity • PREPARATION ▫ Get familiar with the problem, the facts. ▫ Asks others what it is and get their ideas. ▫ Look for new or unusual angles. ▫ Do not set limits or boundaries. • POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS ▫ Brainstorming – look for as many solutions as possible without passing judgment on them. • INCUBATION ▫ Take a break – sleep on it – allow for insight. • EVALUATION ▫ Make sure it works, change course if necessary.
  39. 39. 5 Techniques of Group Creativity
  40. 40. Brainstorming • The process of suggesting many alternatives, without evaluation, to solve a problem. • Rules… ▫ Quantity – the more the better. ▫ No Criticism – hold evaluation of ideas. ▫ Freewheel – think “outside the box.” ▫ Extend – build on the ideas presented. ▫ Brainwriting – put it in writing.
  41. 41. Synectics • Process of generating novel alternatives through role- playing and fantasizing. • The nature of the exact situation is not revealed in order to expand the group’s creativity.
  42. 42. Nominal Grouping • Process of generating and evaluating alternatives through a structured voting method – helps to lessen the influence of status in the group and usually involves these steps. ▫ Each member separately writes her or his ideas. ▫ Ideas are then presented round-robin fashion. ▫ Discussion and clarification take place. ▫ First voting – members can defend and explain. ▫ Final vote is made for ideas to be presented to the leader for decision to implement or not.
  43. 43. Consensus Mapping • A cooperative attempt to develop a solution acceptable to all employees instead of a competition. ▫ A discussion where everyone has to mutually agree to a solution. ▫ Major benefit is the group is more committed to the result since the solution is one they equally generated and decided on as best.
  44. 44. Delphi Technique • Variation on nominal grouping – a poll is taken by a series of anonymous questionnaires. ▫ Opinions of each round are analyzed and resubmitted to successive rounds. ▫ May take up to five rounds to reach a consensus. ▫ Used for technological forecasts.
  45. 45. Pros & Cons of Group Decision Making • Pros ▫ Better decisions – avoid errors. ▫ More choices. ▫ Acceptance and commitment. ▫ High morale levels – better job satisfaction. • Cons ▫ Time consuming. ▫ Domination – those in power may prevail. ▫ Conformity of groupthink. ▫ Lack of responsibility – no individual held accountable and social loafing (some people do not pull their weight).
  46. 46. Global Team Decision Making • Collective cultures (such as Asian) groups are cohesive and there is less conflict – they are not competing against each other as much. ▫ Individualistic cultures (such as U.S., Europe) more intragroup competition. • Internet has made virtual teams more common.
  47. 47. Chapter Summary • Team dynamics and how they affect performance. • 5 stages of team development. • 4 situational supervisory styles for groups. • How to plan and conduct effective meetings. • Identifying and handling 6 types of problem team members. • 5 steps in decision-making. • 5 techniques for generating creative alternatives.

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