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Running head: LDR636-OA PAPER

LDR636-OA Paper
Eric Henderson
Siena Heights University

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LDR636-OA Paper
Teamwork is slowly starting to become the most desired attribute by organizations across
the globe. The reason for this is that organizations and their employees have realized that
conjoined work with a group of individuals is more efficient and effective than doing the work
individually. This all sounds like a great idea until the teams are formed and the process officially
begins. A lot of work has to be done in order for the team to strive and reach their desired goals.
As you can imagine, every team does not produce the results they want and this is because of the
multiple problems that arise. In order for a team to truly be successful, there is multiple criteria
they need to meet.
Team Defined
Before the criteria for a good team is discussed, it is important to truly understand what a
team is. Teams are typically formed in an organization to meet work needs that an individual or
a group of individuals cannot meet as effectively (Learning & Development, n.d.). However, it
is important to understand the difference between a team and a group. Many groups have the
label team but they do not work as one. A group typically is assigned a task and they separate
to finish their individual assignments and then combine them at the end. A real team works well
with each other from the start of the task until the end of it. There is no separation of work load
and all opinions or ideas are shared amongst the team.
Team Selection
With this being said, organizations cannot just pull names out of a hat to form a team.
Each team an organization creates needs to be chosen strategically. Individuals for a team are
selected for their product knowledge, as well their skills, reasoning and leadership abilities
(Smith, n.d.). With this selection technique, individuals with the potential for creating a
successful team are introduced to the environment of teaming. In doing so, organizations hope
these individuals will discuss ideas and bring a diverse perspective in order to promote accurate
results and develop the organization even further.

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Team Traits
Now that the importance of teams is understood, it is also important to understand the
traits a good team possesses. First of all, each team must have a purpose or goal shared by all
members. If all members do not fully understand the purpose or the importance of the team, then
the teams work will lack. In order to make sure each member has a shared purpose, it is
important that the members trust each other. In order to work well with everyone and provide
successful results, teammates need to trust each other. This can be acquired by being honest with
each other, eliminating any conflicts, and showing empathy towards each other. Once the goal of
the team is understood and trust is established, roles need to be clarified. By clarifying the
responsibilities of each team member, the team is more flexible and able to work more
efficiently. It also gives each member a sense of importance because they know their
responsibilities, which gives them an authentic feeling because of their role for the team. Finally,
a successful team is really good at communicating openly and effectively (Building a
Collaborative Team Environment, 1997). Communication is the key to success because everyone
on the team needs to be on the same page. In order for everyone to be on the same page, each
member needs to attempt to understand all angles. The team was created to offer a diverse
perspective so it is important that everyone appreciates diversity.
Conflict
A successful team definitely has a lot of traits involved, which means a lot of work is
required by all members involved in order to make sure the process goes by smoothly. With this
being said, there is always conflict involved with every team. Conflict may be viewed as a
negative trait, but it is actually something that could impact the team in a positive way. The
reason for this is because conflict can push a team apart for a short time, but the team can
respond to the conflict and solve the issues, which could bring the team back together stronger
than what it was before. Not to mention, conflict is created by certain issues that come about in

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the team. When this conflict is resolved, that issue typically never occurs again and is improved.
However, the traits mentioned before are required in order for a team to truly resolve a conflict
and make the team better. If any of the traits previously mentioned are not present in a team, then
the conflict will continue to be an issue later on down the road. This will negatively impact the
team and their work will lack.
Ineffective Leaders
One conflicting issue that cannot be resolved without reaching outside the team is an
ineffective leader. A leaders role with a team is to guide them throughout the process of reaching
their purpose or goals. A good leader is very open to diversity, able to guide others rather than
showing them, and is good at delegating the team. Without a true leader, a team will lack identity
and structure, which will destroy a team because it will not give them the appropriate
environment suitable to strive and become successful. The issue with a lack of leadership is the
fact that a leader cannot just be assigned the leader just because the team needs one. Everything
has to be right for an individual to become a leader. They need to have all the characteristics of a
leader; they cannot just assume they are going to be a leader because of their seniority or
previous accomplishments. Because of this, if a team lacks an effective leader, they are basically
screwed until they find one.
Siena Heights University Baseball Team
The nonexistence of an effective leader was the issue for the 2015-2016 Siena Heights
University baseball team, in which I coach. The team had roughly 15 seniors on the roster, so
there were many players who had been with the program for a long time and were fully expected
to take the role of leadership and guide the team to success. The only issue was the fact that no
one on the team wanted to step up to the plate and take on that challenge. We had many players
who believed they were the leader of the team and even had others players believing in them as
well. The only issue with it was that they did not possess the characteristics of a true leader, so

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they really provided a negative image to the other player who had looked up to them as their
leader. Some negative out lashes from such players included a lack of trust, undefined roles, and
the inability to resolve conflict.
The players who believed they were the leaders of the baseball team did not believe in
their teammates in certain situations, and physically showed their distrust. All the players who
looked up to who they thought was their leader saw this distrust and thought it was okay for them
to show their distrust too. It was like the domino effect with the entire team, and by the end of
the year, multiple players were physically showing their distrust towards one another. What the
players dont seem to understand is that failure is a part of the game of baseball and a part of life.
It will happen sooner or later and it is something that is not supposed to cause distrust, but it is
something leaders can use to motivate others to become better in order to provide the results
desired. Instead of turning negatives into positives, they all decided to make the issue worse than
what it needed to be. From a coaching standpoint, the only thing we could do was continue to use
players in certain spots to try and gain trust back from the coaching staff and the players by
getting game repetition in and consistently doing their jobs successfully.
The next leadership issue the baseball team had was the multiple undefined roles amongst
the team. This was especially a problem for the players who believed they were leaders because
they didnt understand their role for the team and didnt understand what they could do to help
guide the team to success. Instead of trying to figure out their role and make it work for the team,
they made an issue of it by showing their frustration and spilling out their emotions. Almost
every move anyone in a leadership position makes is being watched, so it is important that
leaders handle themselves professionally because you never know who is watching. This was not
how our leaders acted and it really affected our team. Obviously as a coaching staff, we could
not tell these players that we expect them to be the leader. The leader is picked by the team based

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upon their actions and how they delegate. However, we do host individual player meetings
throughout the year and we tell each players their role on the team. Because of this, everyones
roles are defined by the coaching staff, but some players seem to think their roles have changed
between meetings without being notified so they often try to do more than is expected of them,
which isnt always a good thing.
The final issue from the alleged leaders on our baseball team was their lack of addressing
conflict. This may have been the teams biggest issue other than the lack of leadership. As I
mentioned before, failure is a part of the game of baseball and a part of life, so many times our
players did not perform as well as we wanted to. Because of this, we would give them a game
off, substitute players in for them, move them in the lineup, or switch their positions. There are
multiple coaching strategies we have to do in order to put the best team on the field to win.
Unfortunately, our false leaders would become frustrated when we made a coaching strategy that
involved them and directly impacted their playing time. Instead of coming into the coachs office
and addressing the conflict, they would talk behind our backs, complain to everyone, and make
the situation worse than it needed to be even though we had the smallest intentions with our
actions. Once these types of out lashes got bad, we typically had a meeting with the player to
discuss things. Although the outcome of the meeting results in a better ending then not having
the meeting, there is still conflict because the players are still upset at what had occurred
previously and they did not like the response they received. Although their attitudes are adjusted,
they still hold in this conflict, which directly impacts their playing. Not to mention, their
temperature gauge is already high so if another conflicting issue occurs, they will blow their
gasket easier than it took the first time around.
Coaching Changes
From a coaching standpoints, we need to do a better job with our team in order to be
successful. We need to start off by building positive relationships with our players in order to

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start gaining trust with one another. One way we could do this is by doing more team activities
other than baseball. We can organize activities that inflict trust with one another, and allow our
players to open up to other players. This is a strategy I see from time to time that really seems to
work. Another thing we could work on is communicating more effectively with our players. This
way we clearly define the roles to our players, so they have a better understanding of what they
can do to help the team be successful. Communication will also help us to resolve any
conflicting issues because we can do a better job providing an environment that promotes a free
flowing conversation, without holding anything back. Now that the 15 senior son our team has
graduated, we will now have a younger team we will be able to coach with more because they
are not as resistant to change as the older guys are. Because of this, we should have a good year,
as long as we implement our changes and truly work as a whole to make things better.
Conclusion
Overall, leadership is the most desired attribute that every team needs. Without
leadership, teams will lack guidance and structure so it is important that someone in the team is
considered the leader. Everyone in a team needs to truly value the purpose of the team and
understand its importance. Once the vision is clear, trust needs to be inflicted between each
member of the team. Without trust, there is no team, so it is important that everyone trust each
other and enjoys working with one another. Communication is a great way to inflict trust with
each other. It is also a large part of teamwork because they have to communicate effectively with
one another to successfully achieve their vision. Conflict is also a major pat of teams and it needs
to be addressed as soon as possible in order to avoid future issues from appearing. Conflict can
be a positive thing for teams as long as it is handled effectively and the issues are resolved.
Conflict allows organizations to take a long hard look at the issue(s) that causes the conflict and
really try to understand how they can resolve the issues and make sure they never occur again.

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Once all of his is accomplished, the team can use each other to conjointly take in diverse
opinions in order to create diverse perspectives to achieve their required outcomes.

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References

Building a Collaborative Team Environment. (1997, August). Retrieved August 04, 2016, from
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/teams/building-acollaborative-team-environment/
Learning & Development. (n.d.). Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://hrweb.mit.edu/learningdevelopment/learning-topics/teams/articles/basics
Nguyen, S. (2010). Eight Common Problems Teams Encounter. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from
https://workplacepsychology.net/2010/12/17/eight-common-problems-teams-encounter/
Pohlman, P. (2002). Team Building: Major Issues Facing Teams. Retrieved August 04, 2016,
from http://www.poynter.org/2002/team-building-major-issues-facing-teams/1831/
Smith, C. (n.d.). What Is the Role of Teams & Teamwork in Organizations Today? Retrieved
August 04, 2016, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/role-teams-teamworkorganizations-today-31096.html
Woolf, S. (2014, August 19). 7 Workplace Collaboration Statistics That Will Have You Knocking
Down Cubicles. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://blog.clearcompany.com/7workplace-collaboration-statistics-that-will-have-you-knocking-down-cubicles