What should the team leader do to get the team’s communications back on track?

Part 1:

Please read the attached article then respond to the following prompts, thank you.

According to Ferri-Reed (2012), there are four active generations in our workforce, making it challenging for current leaders in the workforce who are trying to manage a successful team. Ferri-Reed suggests that learning and taking advantage of each generation’s strengths, can help build a high-performance team instead of it being a challenge.

What can a multi-generational team do to recognize and appreciate their differences in order to create a high-performance team?

As a team leader, how would you foster/nurture collaboration, effective communication and resolve conflict within your multi-generational team?

Ferri-Reed, J., (2012). Blending Different Generations into a High-Performance Team. Journal for Quality & Participation, 35(3), 1-3.
File Blending Different Generations into a High-Performance Team.pdf (111.731 KB)

Part 2:

Choose ONE of the following cases to respond to.

Case 1

You have just become the manager of an insurance office with five professional agents and several clerical assistants. The office is part of the larger company headquartered in another city. Your office handles both sales and the processing of insurance claims. The office has been traditionally organized, with the manager running the office and supervising each employee individually. You have heard a lot of about the advantages of shifting to teamwork. Shifting to teamwork is supposed to improve morale. However, you have also heard that it can be difficult to create and manage teams. You are comfortable and capable as a traditional manager but think maybe you should try something new, such as teamwork. Use the following questions to consider your shift to teamwork.

What are the pros and cons of reorganizing the office into a team?
Who should be on the team? Should the team include both the professional and clerical assistants?
How much authority or control should you maintain over the team?

Case 2

You are the leader of a customer service improvement team that meets weekly at the end of the workday. Early in the team’s life, the team had some communication skills training. You closely follow the analysis and decision-making structures from the earlier training. Overtime, as the team has become more comfortable with analyzing quality problems and creating solutions (norming stage), you have been using less structure in facilitating the team meetings.

However, you have begun to notice problems with the meeting lately. Not everyone is participating, and the discussions are becoming dominated by several of the older male team members. You have noticed that their critical personal remakes have tended to silence some of the women team members. An argument that took place recently has caused other team members to stop participating during the meetings. Also, discussions tend to drift off topic and seem like repeats of previous conversations.

What should the team leader do to get the team’s communications back on track?
What is the best way to handle problem team members during the meetings?
Does the team need more skills training, more communication structure, or outside facilitation? Justify and explain your answer.

Case 3

You are the leader of a virtual team that is coordinating research projects among your corporation’s five research centers, distributed around the world. Although you had a coordinators’ meeting several years ago, cost and time constraints make meeting regularly in person impossible. The research centers have videoconferencing equipment, but time differences among the sites make the use videoconferencing services difficult. Consequently, most of your team’s communication is done via-email.

The virtual team has worked well at exchanging information and keeping everyone up to date on the progress of research. However, there is a growing conflict between one of the US research centers and the Asian center; they seem to be unable to coordinate activities and negotiate project roles. Their emails are getting more critical and disrespectful, and the rest of the team is tired of reading their back-and-forth bickering.

How can you (the team leader) deal with this communication problem?
Does the solution require either face-to-face or videoconferencing meetings?
What could be done to prevent such problems in the future?

You may use the following references:
Levi, D. (2013), Group Dynamics for Teams (4th edition). Sage Publications, Los
Angeles. ISBN 978-1412999533

Thomas, K.W. (2002). Introduction to conflict management: Improving
performance using the TKI. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc. Item #4816
(No ISBN available)

Straw, J. (2002) The 4-Dimensional Manager (Paperback). Inscape Publishing,
San Francisco CA. (ISBN# 9781576751350)

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