Incident 1 4
Incident 2 5
Incident 3 7
III. Conclusion 8
Incident 1 9
Incident 2 9
Incident 3 9
In general, the activity takes place in two basic forms – individual and group. During the individual work each specialist engages in a reflective analysis of their opportunities in terms of the results of his activity in the group. He must acquire new knowledge and skills, organize it all in a single complex, as well as receive a product that is expected of him by other members of the group (his part of the results). Differentiation and the relationship of individual actions is provided by the reflection of the participants on the basis of joint actions and planning of possible forms of their organization. There are a lot of views to the definition “reflection”. For example, “Gelfuso and Dennis (2014) consider reflection as a process to produce a warranted assertion, and they define this process by means of the phases” (Clara, 2014). “Reflection has long held prominence in service-learning” (Mitchell et al., 2015).
Thus, one can say that the basis for the emergence of reflection is an activity. The action joins implementation of thinking, as well as its change and development through reflective mechanism. There are a lot of different models of reflective practice. Such theories “build on several assumptions of human behavior, with a major underlying assumption of human persistence in maintaining free behaviors and the consequences that arise as a result of threats to importantly define free behaviors” (Chadee, 2011, 2). The theory of Gibbs is widely used in this investigation. According to expert Gibbs, “the Reflective Cycle has six distinctive stages, leading from a description of the event/experience through to conclusions and consideration for future events” (Www2.hull.ac.uk, 2016). This theory can be useful in analyzing of making decisions individually and their impact on the work of the whole group. Another theory of specialist Kolb is based on the learning cycle: “effective learning is seen when a person progresses through a cycle of four stages” (Www2.hull.ac.uk, 2016). This theory is used in analyzing the effectiveness of the knowledge usage in practice. According Kolb’s theory, “the Learning Cycle emphasizes reflective observation as a way to analyze and draw conclusions from an experience” (Www2.hull.ac.uk, 2016).
Critical Incidents Analysis
Some incidents have happened during the MEGA business simulation in a team. Let’s analyze three of them more detail. This experience can help me develop my transferable skills and it can be used in the future in my professional life.
The first incident is connected with differences in opinions of the team members. Some participants suggest a strategy of diversification, another – strategy of differentiation. The right decision depends on that how team members can argue and defend their point of view and how they convince other participants of a team. In this case, it is difficult to make the right choice as well as to stay in good relations with the all team members. This incident can become the basis of appearance and further extension of the conflict. Such situation can have functional and dysfunctional consequences.
There are several functional consequences of this incident and conflict. One is that the problem can be solved in such a way that is acceptable to all sides, and as a result, team members will more feel their involvement in the solution of this problem. This, in turn, minimizes or completely eliminates the difficulties in implementing the decisions – hostility, injustice and forced to act against the will.
The other functional consequence is that the sides are more inclined to cooperation rather than antagonism in future situations, which are perhaps fraught with conflict. In addition, the conflict can reduce the possibility of the group thinking syndrome, and obedience when subordinates do not express ideas that, in their view, do not correspond to the ideas of team leaders. Team members can work out the problem in execution through the conflict even before the decision begins to run.
Another type includes dysfunctional consequences. If conflict is not managed or not controlled properly, dysfunctional consequences can be formed. They are conditions that prevent the achievement of objectives:
dissatisfaction, increased staff turnover and reduced productivity;
a lesser degree of cooperation in the future;
a strong commitment to the group and more unproductive competition with other groups;
understanding of the other side as “the enemy”, the idea of own purposes as a positive, but the purposes of other side as a negative one;
shift in focus: making “victory” in the conflict more important than solving the real problem.
Thus, this incident can help me develop such transferable skills as ability to persuade, to defend my own point of view and to argue my position. Organizational skills come to the fore in this incident.
Another incident connects with the following situation: all team members except one person agree with the chosen further directions of a company’s development. Only one team member has another opinion and does not want to accept the decision of the majority. In this case, intragroup conflict can occur. Intragroup conflict arises if the purpose of the group is contrary to the objectives of the individual. This conflict can also arise if the individual opinion does not coincide with the views of the entire group.
There are several effective methods of conflict management to solve such or similar incidents. They can be divided into two categories: structural and interpersonal. Four structural methods of conflict resolution, which can be used by me in my future professional life:
a clarification of the requirements for work;
the usage of coordination and integration mechanisms;
the establishment of corporate goals;
the use of complex reward system.
In general, uneven professional and personal development of team members exists in terms of maximizing tasks, the potential leaders appear. Team success and achievement of the objectives of the project are beginning to depend on personal achievement, initiative and responsibility. Thus, the main organizational resource becomes the leading private. In this case, someone cannot agree with the opinion of the majority and defend his own views.
Strong motivators are a team responsible for the results of the project and the pursuit of personal leadership and success. Each team member usually understands that his high personal ratings on the team become a guarantee of its further successful professional career. It can increase the likelihood of their participation in other projects.
It is necessary for efficient organization of the team:
a clear division of roles and responsibilities;
awareness of goals and the current objectives of the project by all members of the team;
an accounting of personal and professional qualities of specialists by combining them in a team;
an attention of managers to the achievement of project objectives as well as to establish friendly working atmosphere.
Thus, one can say that this incident can help me develop interpersonal skills, improve communicative skills and get opportunity to regular intragroup conflict.
The third incident is connected with that two members of the group have joined much later. One of them adapts quite quickly. Another one falls behind greatly, and it interferes with the work of the group. It should be noted that the manager of the project is responsible for the organization of new team members to adapt to the style and methods of relationships in the team, in the development of their professional roles, duties, rights and responsibilities in the management of the project. If there is a significant update to the team, it is possible “express pass” all the previous stages of development of the team again.
It should be noted that one of the principles of teamwork is the distribution of duties and responsibilities for achieving goals rather than a rigid fixation of the functions. The principle implies avoiding the detailed division of labor in project management and activities of the individual division’s command by introducing command responsibility for the solution of specific problems. This principle allows strictly enough to plan the activities of the project team and its individual units to monitor and evaluate the activities of its members to use an effective system of incentives under criterion “goals / results”. In this case, all team members are responsible for the result of the work of the whole team. It needs to clarify the requirements for work for person who are joined the last for the team.
The method of clarifying the requirements for work is considered as one of the most effective in terms of preventing dysfunctional conflict. Every employee should have a clear idea of what results are expected from their operation. Each team member should also clearly understand the limits of his responsibility, his authority and rules to be followed in the course of his career. One of the main tasks of the head is to report this data point to his subordinates.
The consequences of this incident can help me to develop skills, which are characteristic of our team leader. Also an important skill is the ability to train a team member. It will be useful for me in further leadership and preparation of new employees (so-called, juniors).
In my opinion, the goal of my further managerial activity will be “to ensure success in the implementation of new organizational strategies, the development of new products, the rollout of new systems, and the management of mission-critical programs” (Julian, 2010, 2). At the same time, It should be noted, that “since reflection is not a spontaneous activity, it requires time, effort and personal investment” (Chalikandy, 2014). All of the above mentioned incidents, which have happened during team work, can help me receive different transferable skills.
It should be noted, that “Our capacity for success, like our capacity for love, knowledge, skill, excellence, learning, and growth, is limitless” (Hall, 2015, 8). In this case, each difficult situation or conflict in a command can impact on my skills.
According to experts White, Brooke and Laxton, “reflective practice is deemed an essential skill for future practitioners to learn and perform and provides the framework for transferring and applying learning (theory) into different practical scenarios”. In our case, theories of Kolb and Gibbs are useful in the investigation of incidents.
There are a lot of views during first incident. Each team member has own point about every strategy. In this case, my reflection analysis is built in accordance with my opinion, with opinions of at least one member from each group with different views. Anyway, involvement of all participants of the team in making the final decision can resolve the incident. It impacts positively on the ability to come to a common decision, which is important for team work
It is assumed, that there are at least three reflection assessment of a person, who does not agree with the majority of the team in the second incident: from my point, from point of other representatives of the majority and from the point of those one person. In this case, the theory of Gibbs can be used. It is important to describe what happened and consider good consequences of possible response as well as bad ones.
Last incident give me an opportunity to be in the role of mentor or teacher and develop appropriate skills. The process of adaptation of new members in the team shows its main principles, team structure and sharing of responsibilities and, that is very important, the presence of the leader and the ability to manage a group. If any person, who are joined to the group later, rather quickly adapts, it can say about the high level of team management. The last one can be an important transferable skill for me as a participant of a team.
According to experts Desjarlais and Smith (2009), “reflection is a personal process that can deepen one’s understanding of self and can lead to significant discoveries or insights”. Thus, one can say that reflective analysis positively impacts on the formation me as an effective manager.
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