The problems that I found this week were seen through: the lack of commitment from my fellow team members and also the ability I have towards contributing towards team discussions. With half my team away during the week, I found it quite difficult to come to terms with the levels of contribution we were all ‘bringing to the table.’ Having only one person in my team plucking the courage to lead us (even though he is not our CEO), I come to grips with the uncertainty towards the success my team will have at the end of Mikesbikes. Maybe my team members are busy with other papers. But we all are, aren’t we? I am a sympathetic person (in most cases), and I know it may be a stressful time of the year, but I think that my team may need to call a meeting early next week to sort out the commitment we have as a team. Furthermore, expanding on the problem I also found myself trying to genuinely provide relative input that would be of use towards my team’s performance. I consider this a problem as my team and I cannot afford to have any slip ups. Thus, having wavy and uncertain decisions are really not ideal to have right now.
Relating Argyris’ article with my reflection this week, I have learnt that focusing on identifying and correcting errors within our external environment needs to critically reflect our behavior as a team. My understanding of this further extends to say that it is more than just about team members failing to turn up to class, but the extension as to why this is happening. Are team members feeling ok? Do we need to reschedule our team meet-ups to fit the commitments we have outside of class? Is there any way we can work as a team to help those not coming to class? A way of overcoming this issue could be towards strengthening the honesty and integrity we have towards one another. The readings this week mentions two points that relate to this dilemma. Firstly, it talks about the idea that the “ability to learn shuts down the moment team members need it the most (Argyris, 1991).” What can I learn from this is? Well i’ve further grasped the idea that the purpose of feedback is used to improve the ties we have with each other as a team, rather than towards individual members within the team. This is a team effort, therefore encouraging one another and ensuring we are working in unison is critical towards our performance within this class. Secondly, the reading talks about "theory-in-use (Argyris,1991)." What I learnt from this concept is the attempt to observe team members through their behavior and creating rules that would make sense of the way they behave. Katzenbach and Smith (1992) from week 2's readings talks about people within teams not pulling their own weight. Are team members giving up? Maybe they want a break this week while other team members put the effort in. What ever the reason is (i'm sure those are no where near being true), it will always come down to good old feedback. In light of this, a way of overcoming this is to (like i've said throughout this journal) evaluate one another's performance thus far. This can simply be through using next week's Tuesday class to discuss our levels of contribution and overcoming any other problems that need to be addressed.
Furthermore, a way of understanding my inability to provide solid unwavering decisions is through Argyris' (1991) theory of a "productive loner." From my understanding, I could consider myself one of these as I am continually comparing myself with those in my team who have a firmer understanding of the decisions they make. I don't really acknowledge the idea of competitive rivalry with others, especially if it is with the members of my own team. Therefore a way of coming to grips with myself would be to simply ask for help from team members. Something that I am continually trying to work on.
I believe my team has the potential to achieve the results that we deserve. Something that I plan to address early next week is refocusing the commitment we have together as a team. The next rollover will be a sure indication of our progress.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4—15
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3-27
Peiperl, M. A. (2001). Getting 360° feedback right. Harvard Business Review, 79(1), 142-147