Group Activity Unit

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GROUP ACTIVITY

Group Activity

Unit

Managing groups or teams is a sensitive issue that requires sharpleadership and people management skills. Leaders must be capable ofkeeping a team focused on its tasks and goals and at the same timekeep members motivated and engaged in attaining the set objectivesusing allocated resources and within the set timeframe. However, someissues may arise and hinder the operations of a team and thus theneed to have team leadership skills to negotiate through thedifficulties.

Group1: Managing emerging issues and enabling opinion sharing

Ambiguity or vagueness in team interactions is detrimental to theobjectives of the group. Thus, if it appears in my team, I willdiscourage and fight it. Members must be able to communicate theirideas clearly where applicable. They can freely express theiropposition or support on various issues under deliberation. The teamshould choose a unique way of making decisions with the consensusapproach being the most preferred. However, where it fails, Williams(20012) recommends going with the majority approach. Consensus as adecision-making approach allows members to support individualdecisions even if they do not agree with it while the majorityapproach means that numbers decide. However, I would discouragevoting on any issues to avoid encouraging groupthink or herding.Instead examining the facts alone will give more accurate positionson a given issue. Ideally, by discouraging ambiguity a team leaderwill in the process encourage team members to analyze issuescritically and reveal any underlying problems that are likely to beignored.

A team leader and even other members should help one another to voicetheir opinions at all times. An open-door policy where members canmake their contributions freely should be the starting point. Anotherway would be to create a culture that values members’ opinions onall issues. There should be no repercussions for voicing one`sopinion. Alternatively, it is thoughtful to establish monetary ornonmonetary incentives for creativity and expressing opinions.Non-monetary incentives could include naming rules or conceptssuggested by a member after them. Again, people management skills arecritical in that responses or views expressed should not be ridiculedor ignored. Individual members should be allowed enough time to voicetheir opinions and should not be cut short. Another approach would beto adapt technology to encourage participation. A good example iscreating groups on social media sites and applications includingWhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. The informal nature of these socialmedia platforms may encourage better sharing of tacit knowledge andcreate a more relaxed environment to voice their concerns and shareopinions. Another way to promote the exchange of views is bydeveloping a method through which members can submit commentsanonymously (Williams 2012). At the same time, opinions voiced mustbe acted upon to encourage members to make their views knowncontinuously.

Group2: Relaying negative messages

Delivering negative messages to subordinates or team members isarguably a very delicate issue. If not handled well, bad news cankill morale or create unwanted outcomes. In my case, I would planadequately on delivering a negative message by critically examiningthe side of the employees and that of the upper management. To startwith, I would seek to understand the message, how the decision wasmade, existing options, and how the options were examined as well therationale informing the final verdict (Gallo 2015). By understandingthe issue well, I will be better positioned to digest the issue anddeliver it in a manner that the team members will understand. As thego-between the subordinates and the upper management, I am requiredto interpret and translate upper management’s decisions intoactionable tasks. Therefore, I will familiarize myself with themessage and seek the knowledge that informed such a decision andprepare myself emotionally. I will also acquaint myself with thepotential solutions or the positives to the bad news.

As a manager, I should be familiar with how the negative news islikely to impact them and thus examine the positives. I will alsochoose the appropriate time to communicate the message. If it affectsindividual employees only, I will ensure privacy and deliver themessage in a humane manner by showing empathy. I will also be genuineand answer arising questions truthfully. I believe that the varioussteps mentioned above are sufficient in delivering bad news. If Iwere to be the recipient of a negative message in the workplacescenario, I would love the same steps to be followed. Furthermore,several authors and management experts agree that the mentioned stepsare efficient.

Delivering information on time helps in controlling gossip. Again,honesty is important where facts support it to discredit any rumors.Thus timely delivery of information truthfully should prevent gossipfrom emerging and spreading (Hamm 2006).

Negative messages and situations are likely to demotivate anddemoralize team members even if they are not directly affected.Consequently, I will seek to empathize and acknowledge the full arrayof emotions that might be at play. For instance, some employees arelikely to feel guilty that their colleagues were affected by thenegative messages, and they were not, or they may feel that they arealso likely to be hit by a similar situation in future (Hamm 2006).Thus, I will seek to rebuilt trust and liaise with HRM to motivateand boost morale.

Group3: Strategies to alleviate deadline-related stress

Just like individuals, teams need some level of stress in the rightdoses for it to perform well. However, when poorly managed, stresscan lead to exhaustion, depression, illness, and poor results. Thereare two broad ways to manage deadline-related stress: preventingstress and managing stress when it occurs. There are six mainstrategies to avoid stress. The first is identifying tasks withtime-tags. Second is breaking down goals into small actionable taskswith smaller time limits. The third is carrying out a continuousevaluation to understand how much of a task is completed and how muchremains to be done. The fourth strategy is never pushing the deadlineas it encourages laxity. The fifth strategy is proper planning oftime to avoid procrastination. The sixth strategy is remainingflexible enough to accommodate changes in the organization or marketenvironment. Consequently, the team should be open to changing goalsin response to changes. Such a strategy is most relevant in long-termgroups or those dealing with technological innovations that changerapidly.

Where the above strategies may fail, it is important to identifysigns and symptoms of stress. They include cold or sweaty hands,frequent heartburn, stomach upsets, panic attacks, excessivesleeping, or insomnia, lack of concentration, obsessive or compulsivebehaviors, fatigue, etc. (Harvard Business School 2013). Afterobserving such symptoms, then I would apply other strategies to copewith stress.

The first strategy is taking a stand with my team. It involvesplaying my ultimate role as the leader of the group charged withoverseeing operations and motivating members. As the go-between theupper management and subordinates, I have to declare my position andstand with the team. I should not blame the members for delays or‘throw them under the bus.’ Instead, I will assure them that ‘Ihave their back’ (sic). The second strategy is finding ways torelieve stress. For instance, a weekend away or a night out as teamwould help reduce stress. Again, some activities can be carried outduring team meetings such having dancing sessions mid-session canwork wonders in releasing tension. The third strategy would be toencourage creativity in accomplishing team tasks in a manner thatdoes not build up stress (Williams 2012). All the same, team leadersshould employ their creativity to fight and manage stress.

Conclusion

From the discussion above, it is clear that the management of teamsis a sensitive and tricky issue that requires serious approaches. Anygiven team must learn how to manage and be well equipped to handlearising issues. As indicated, I possess the knowledge on how tomanage teams effectively and look forward to putting such knowledgeinto practice.

References

Gallo, A. (2015).How to deliver bad news to your employees. Retrieved from,

&lthttps://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-deliver-bad-news-to-your-employees&gt

Hamm, J. (2006).The five messages leaders must manage. Harvard BusinessReview. Retrieved

from,&lthttps://hbr.org/2006/05/the-five-messages-leaders-must-manage&gt

Harvard BusinessSchool (2013). Managing teams: expert solutions to everydaychallenges.

Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Williams, M.(2012). Strategic planning. In A. Kaye, J. Fox &amp R. Urman (eds.).Operating Room

Leadershipand Management. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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