Assessment 4: Reflection (4A: Individual Reflective Essay)
Reflect on your leadership and facilitation skills.
Submit a written reflection on your role as a group facilitator.
Reflect on your planning, facilitation and leadership with explicit research and links to the theory covered in the course, for example:
- How did the stage of the group impact your facilitation style and content?
Analyse facilitation style and content.
- Which strategies did you use to ensure participation? To resolve conflicts?
- Which strategies did the planning for your session assist your delivery as a facilitator?
- Which leadership styles did you use and why were they suitable for the context?
- What worked well?
- What could have been improved?
- How did age, gender, diversity, background (trauma, mental health) impact on your facilitation and communication?
Individual Reflective Essay
According to the notions developed by Graffius (2023), teams are formed in five stages; forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Forming is the initial stage and adjourning is the final stage of team building. In my understanding and recognition, I performed efficiently in the adjourning role within our team. I have realised from my understanding of situational leadership that is required to placate conflicts within a group. As opined by Flavian, Guinaliu & Jordan (2022), team members prefer having a female as a lead while supporting a male in conflict resolution.
At the termination phase of a team, the adjourning member ensures the quality of performance within the group and enables appropriate quality control of the team’s work (Etareri, 2022). I believe I was strict with my teammates regarding the quality of their work within the team. I have realised that fluency and clarity among team members during group work are essential to maintain synchronicity among team members. Conflict resolution among team members was a difficult task for me as my omnivert nature often resulted in me failing with conflict resolution.
As I have learnt from my experience as a finisher within the team, it is important to ensure fluidity in team dynamics. I realised during the performing stage of our team, conflict resolution in the early stages of team building improved the quality of our work and enhanced interpersonal bonds among team members. According to the outcomes developed by Magana et al., (2022), managing communication, consistency and composure during team conflicts ensures resolution of the problem. I recognised through my time with the team members during the norming and storming stages, the need for accommodation and compromising skills for improved relations among team members.
As opined by Leroy et al., (2022), the key to enhancing team performance is building inclusivity within the group. I had recognised that building team spirit during the norming stage was effective if every member compromised on some level to accommodate others’ opinions and beliefs. I tried to integrate inclusivity within the team by encouraging the participation of every member in the decision-making processes. I also realised that the adoption of a transformational leadership style while managing conflicts allow team members to be innovative in developing solutions to problems, it also encouraged inclusivity within the group. Transformational leadership style was best suited for our group since this particular style allows the leader to motivate, inspire and influence team members while considering the individuality of members within the group. Considering the diverse nature of our group, encouraging mutual respect and individuality of members imbibed innovative solutions from the members and solidified unity in diversity within the group.
During the norming stage of our team building, I realised that the uniqueness of our group is based on our diversity in age, gender and cultural backgrounds. In my understanding, inclusivity within diversity in a multicultural group requires compromise and accommodation with respect for every individual’s viewpoint. According to the notions developed by Radke, Larson & Brecht (2022), group dynamics is based on the type of leadership and communication style that is implemented during each stage of team building. Hence, I come to an understanding that every member, despite the designated team role, has the opportunity to exercise leadership and conflict resolution qualities during the norming and storming phases.
I believe it was the interpersonal bond between all members that helped in conflict resolution during our group work. I could have implemented aspects of transactional leadership during the performing stage of our team as it could have encouraged better performance from the team members. However, in my understanding, transformational leadership qualities encouraged inclusivity and participation of every member during group discussions and elicited suggestions from everyone regarding issues that hindered team progress. According to the views developed by Aranzabal, Epelde & Artetxe (2022), teams built upon Belbin’s team-building theory served better in performing multidimensional tasks. I have noticed within our group that individuals who stepped into various team roles from the initial days have remained in those roles till the dissolution of the group.
As the ‘finisher’ in our group, I believe individuals in our team have moved past formalities and formed a close bond with each other and we could still make a new team for future work. Applying tenets of group dynamics, I have recognised that our team works best due to our multicultural diversity and mutual respect among team members. As noted from the findings of Etareri (2022), the forming and norming stages in team building establish the type of interpersonal bonds and communication style that would exist within the group. In my observation, our group works efficiently with the implementation of transformational leadership and passive and assertive communication styles.
I have noticed during the performing stage that several members turn aggressive due to task difficulties. However, their amicability to receive help from other team members despite gender or cultural differences proved to me that our team dynamics have improved due to effective conflict resolution activities during the norming and storming stages.
As my role within the team is that of a finisher, the adjourning stage required me to re-evaluate our team performance and contemplate the type of changes in communication and leadership styles that could have been integrated. However, based on my observation and analysis of our group, no changes would be required if we are to continue with the same individuals.
Aranzabal, A., Epelde, E., & Artetxe, M. (2022). Team formation on the basis of Belbin’s roles to enhance students’ performance in project based learning. Education for Chemical Engineers, 38, 22-37. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1749772821000452
Etareri, L. (2022). Fundamental Stages of Development through the Relevance of Team Building. https://themedicon.com/pdf/engineeringthemes/MCET-03-058.pdf
Flavian, C., Guinaliu, M., & Jordan, P. (2022). Virtual teams are here to stay: How personality traits, virtuality and leader gender impact trust in the leader and team commitment. European Research on Management and Business Economics, 28(2), 100193. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2444883421000528
Flores Ureba, S., Simón de Blas, C., Borrás-Gené, O., & Macías-Guillén, A. (2022). Analyzing the Influence of Belbin’s Roles on the Quality of Collaborative Learning for the Study of Business Fundamentals. Education Sciences, 12(9), 594. https://www.mdpi.com/2227-7102/12/9/594/pdf
Graffius, S. M. (2023). Five Phases of Team Development. International Journal of Engineering Education, 32, 55-63. http://www.scottgraffius.com/resources/Use-the-Phases-of-Team-Development-(Based-on-Bruce-W.-Tuckman’s-Model-of-Forming,-Storming,-Norming-…-%7C-by-Scott-M-Graffius-%7C-14-February-2022-%7C-ScottGraffius_com.pdf
Leroy, H., Buengeler, C., Veestraeten, M., Shemla, M., & Hoever, I. J. (2022). Fostering team creativity through team-focused inclusion: The role of leader harvesting the benefits of diversity and cultivating value-in-diversity beliefs. Group & Organization Management, 47(4), 798-839. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/10596011211009683
Magana, A. J., Karabiyik, T., Thomas, P., Jaiswal, A., Perera, V., & Dworkin, J. (2022). Teamwork facilitation and conflict resolution training in a HyFlex course during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Journal of Engineering Education, 111(2), 446-473. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1002/jee.20450
Radke, D., Larson, K., & Brecht, T. (2022). Exploring the benefits of teams in multiagent learning. arXiv preprint arXiv:2205.02328. https://arxiv.org/pdf/2205.02328