Our learning team has been together for over seven classes and has been able to adapt each of our strengths to the completion of all learning team assignments. Since we have been together for so long, the roles and responsibilities have been informally assumed rather than formally assigned. For example, Mr. Velez and Ms. Riley have an outstanding working knowledge of PowerPoint and our team has harnessed that strength to prepare all of our presentations. Even though Mr.
Velez and Ms. Riley receive the input from each of the team members, they take it upon themselves to create the layout and insert each of our parts into the presentation. Mrs. Wist and Ms. Fehr provide most of the team research for papers and presentations because of their aptitude with Internet and database searches.
Mr. Pappas provides the group with direction for most of the presentations because of his oral presentation skills. Our decision-making strategy varies depending on the task that needs to be accomplished. For example, when determining a place to meet for Learning Team we use the consensus method, "which is a group decision that has the expressed support of most members." (Websters Dictionary).
The reason is we are able to quickly arrive at a decision with minimal effort and disagreement. However, when we have a difficult or complex decision to make, such as how to proceed with a particular paper topic we usually employ a combination of brainstorming and value-based thinking. The reason we combine these two types is because we spend the first part of the process, brainstorming "which is generating ideas through freewheeling and without criticism" (Organizational Behavior Book), gathering the ideas from all team members. After all ideas have been collected we use value-based thinking to weigh each of the generated ideas and create a framework to build our papers and presentations. Luckily for our team we have not had any conflicts that have surfaced which required our resolution plan to be initiated. However, our conflict resolution plan is to resolve any conflict through group discussion and a team vote with the outcome being majority rules.
Even though we use a majority rules approach, we attempt to remain sensitive to the personal goals or feelings of all team members. Nevertheless, conflicts do arise that cannot be resolved without outside intervention, at this juncture the team members agree to defer to a third party, usually the instructor, for resolution. In order to complete the final Learning Team project we have adopted the following schedule to ensure that all parts of the presentation are completed timely and with the utmost attention to detail. Each of the team members agree to begin reviewing the DiSC Platinum Rules Assessment by Learning Team three and will bring their individual results to Learning Team four. In addition to bringing each of our individual results, each team member will bring their ideas for the PowerPoint and oral presentations to the fourth Learning Team. At the conclusion of this Learning Team, we will have a finished PowerPoint and oral presentation to be delivered in the final class.
Time management is a difficult tool to master but one that we have had great success in using appropriately to complete all assigned tasks. Since we have been together for so many classes we have been able to identify our teams peak and valley performance times. Through trial and error we have arrived at our teams peak performance time. We tried meeting on different days and times throughout the week before finally agreeing on the time and day that is most conducive to producing our projects.
We recognized that meeting on Tuesdays did not allow us enough time to adequately prepare for the Learning Team assignments and meeting anytime after Thursday did not give us enough time to review and finalize our assignments. Therefore, we have settled on Wednesdays as the best day of the week for our team to encourage our mental flexibility and creativity. Wales (2002) defines assertiveness as "the ability to understand and describe one's needs, skillfully express one's opinions and stand up for one's beliefs." Nobody on our team lacks the appropriate assertiveness to get their point across, but we are all respectful of the opinions of each other and are able to include everyone's opinions for the betterment of the team assignment. Our group has been effective with setting realistic time limits and prioritizing our responsibilities and tasks. For example, our team has not been deficient on any of the assignments that have been required for our classes or have we failed to get a grade lower than a B. All of us have taken pride and ownership in each of the team assignments that have been turned in or presented and attribute much of that to the setting of high standards that are accepted by all team members.
Prioritizing responsibilities and tasks assists in the development of our team's schedules for all assignments. Each of our team members uses a variety of time management skills to complete individual and team assignments. Ms. Riley and Mr. Pappas use a to-do list, Mr. Velez and Mrs.
Wish prioritize, and Ms. Fehr uses an activity log to keep track of all that must be done because all of us must balance work, family and school. While we bring many type of time management skills to our team, we are able to combine the best attributes of each to produce quality workmanship. We consider ourselves a high-performance team because we have consistently been able to maintain a high standard of work-product. We ensure that our team spends time together outside of the structured environment of the Learning Team setting. We have established strong core values of honesty, integrity, and respect that have guided our teams purpose for all of the classes we have been together and have been able to set measurable goals that have been attained consistently on a weekly basis.
Finally, we have been able to maintain a high-performance team by incorporating all of the strengths of each team member. References Schermerhorn, J. R. , Hunt, J. G. , & Osborn, R.
N. (2002). Organizational Behavior. United States of America: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Wales, S. (2002).
Why coaching. Journal of Change Management, 3 (3), 288. Retrieved September 2, 2003, from Pro-Quest database. Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (4 th ed. ).
(1999). United States of America: Houghton Mifflin Company web "Time management skills".