I started off this week by doing the readings, which gave me a feel for the direction our discussions in class would be headed and I was excited when I understood it was going to be about team dynamics and more importantly the potential flaws of a team. These readings very quickly had me looking back through my notes from another course, which I took last semester, Introduction to Strategic and Corporate Communication. During last semester we spent a good three or four weeks of this class discussing teams, and in particular how they can go wrong. So as I went through my old notes I started seeing the parallels to what I had already learned and what we were about to do and wonder why I had never noticed before that in many ways the concepts from this other course were applicable to our group project.
Well now that I had made this connection I figured I should take the time to try and apply the concepts from last semester. I remembered that one of the most valuable things I had ended up learning was how much of a difference someone’s personality type has on group dynamics. We discussed dysfunctional behaviors of teams and how those are a part of some people’s personalities, how some people display these behaviors naturally and will have to have a level of self-awareness to avoid behaving in a way that is destructive to a team. These behaviors include: blocking, aggression, storytelling, recognition seeking, confessing, dominating, withdrawing, and distracting (Hamilton, 2014).
Now that I had gone back and reviewed all of this and connected the applicability of these concepts the question came over me, well what am I going to do with this information? Sure I know what a bad team looks like and how it can become dysfunctional, but the challenge ahead of me is how am I going to ensure that my team does not become dysfunctional. I have started considering this and we discussed it in class, and communication and feedback seem like very important elements. We need to make sure to put everything out on the table. As I end this learning journal though I think I leave with the idea that I am wary of how to best use my understanding of a successful team and apply it to the reality of our group work. I have some ideas, like making sure I provide feedback regarding positive and negative behavior on a regular basis, but at the same time I am going to keep trying to come up with other ideas of how to quickly identify and avoid dysfunctional group behaviors.
Hamilton, Cheryl (2014). Communicating for Results: A Guide for Business and the Professions. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-1111842161