Individual Team and Small Group Experience Essay
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A team is a coordinated group of persons organized to work jointly to accomplish a specific or common goal. A group includes at least three people and even though all teams are small groups not all groups function as a team. In a group setting it’s possible that each member may have a different agenda or mission separated from one another and each team member may have a different idea of what needs to be accomplished. A team has individual who work together to achieve a general task. Teams usually have clearly defined team- members responsible and being fortunate to have been part of both a team and a group. We will then look at Tuckman’s theory of group stage development, describing each stage and relating this theory to practical examples from my own experience and look briefly at the potential for oppressive behavior in each stage and how this can be minimized. Next we will look at what is understood by group leadership, looking at three broad styles of leadership and how these may be applied effectly within a youth work setting. We will then look at how in dividual roles can development. The first was a small group of 20 and 24 year old from a local dance group that we created.
The group never consisted of more than nine and was often as low as four or five. This evenly split mixed sex group was set up for a long term activity based work one evening each week for practice, which would encourage social interaction and thus help to develop positive social and interpersonal skills. This was a long- term group and was only terminated after four years of activites, planned and delivered by two female co- workers and myself. Groups may be defined in many ways, indeed providing an absolute definition of a group, as with much of the theory around group work, is highly problematic and contestable. However, for the purpose of discussing group work within a context of working with young people we may define a group as a small gathering of young people. Group work may simplistically be described as the study and application of the processes and outcomes experienced when a small group comes together. Konopka (1963) defines group work as a method of social work that is utilized in order to ‘help individuals to enhance their social functioning through purposing groups experiences, and to cope more effectively with their personal, group or community problems.
Teams initially go through a “forming stage in which members are positive and polite. Some members are anxious, as they haven’t yet worked out exactly what work the team will involve. Others are simply excited about the task ahead. As leader, you play a dominant, role at this stage, other member’s roles and responsibilities are less clear. This stage is usually fairly short, and may only last for the single meeting at which people are introduced to one- another. At this stage there may be discussion about how the team will work, which can be frustrating for some members who simply want to get on with the team task. Thus as members begin to assert their individual personalities, the comfort of the forming stage begins to come under siege. Members experience personal, intra and inter group’s conflicts. Aggression and resentment may manifest in this stage and thus if strong personalities emerge and leadership is unresponsive to group and individual needs, the situation may become destructive to the group’s development. Indeed there is a high potential for individuals to abandon the group during this stage, as for some the pressures created by the group may become too much of a strain.