Team Communication and Stages of Team Functioning
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Team Communication and Stages of Team Functioning

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Team Communication and Stages of Team Functioning




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Slide1

Team Communication and Stages of Team Functioning

TECM 4180

Dr. Lam

Slide2

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Slide5

Social Loafing

Occurs when an individual exerts less effort working in a team than if they would have worked by themselves.

Slide6

What causes slacking?

Large teams?

Sort of

Lack of peer reviews?

Just barely

Randomly assigning teams?

Not really

All of these factors explain only 4.5% of the variation in social loafing.

About 20 peer-reviewed research studies on these factors alone

Slide7

What else causes slacking?

Communication and team cohesion explain 53% of the variance in social loafing

Slide8

Communication is important…

Slide9

So, where to start?

With media choice

It may seem obvious to select a medium that matches your synchronicity needs, but

98% of all student communication was through email (Lam, 2013)

Slide10

Media Synchronicity Theory (MST) (Dennis, et al., 2008) synchronicity as a predictor of communication performance

Synchronicity is defined as a “state in which individuals are working together at the same time with a common focus.”

MST focuses on the capability of media to support synchronicity

.

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Transmission velocity- How fast will the message get to the receiver?

Parallelism- How many transmissions can be sent simultaneously?

Symbol sets- what are the different ways of encoding a message?

Rehearsability

– Can you edit or fine tune a message before sending it?

Reprocessability

- Can you retrieve a message again in order to process the information further?

Slide13

Let’s Practice

What is the transmission velocity of the

following?

Phone call?

Face-to-face meeting?

Text message?

Chat or IM?

Email?

Discussion board post?

Slide14

According to MST

There is no “best” medium

Texting isn’t better than IM or email, for example

Instead there is a “best fit” for certain situations

This is especially important when you think about communicating with your team members

Remember, almost ALL students default to email. While email is a great “fit” for some instances, it’s not for others

Slide15

How to determine “fit”

Consider your feedback needs.

Do you need immediate feedback?

Can you wait to have a discussion?

Consider the communication context.

Is it new information that requires considerable discussion?

Is it familiar information that requires less discussion?

Consider social circumstances.

Have you agreed upon using certain mediums for certain tasks?

What is appropriate? (Is it 4am and a text would wake up your teammate?)

Slide16

Step 1: Considering your feedback needs

If you need Immediate Feedback, consider a synchronous medium

Text message

IM/Chat

Phone call

Video conference

Face-to-face meeting

Other?

If you don’t need immediate feedback, consider a less synchronous medium

Email message

Social media message

Discussion board posting

Other?

Slide17

Step 2: Considering the Context

What are the characteristics of the communication process?

Is it new and complicated?

Use a medium that allows you to have a detailed discussion (e.g., face-to-face, video conference, IM)

Is it familiar information?

Use a medium that doesn’t require as much set up time (e.g., texting)

Do you need to record the content for a later date?

Use a medium that allows for recording (e.g., avoid phone or video conference)

Mixed situation?

Consider multiple mediums. For example, send a text and then a follow-up email.

Slide18

Step 3: considering other social factors

Have you agreed on a particular medium?

If you’ve agreed to use

gchat

for group discussions, then use it. However, you may have to use an additional medium that can notify everyone to join

gchat

(like a text).

What are the social norms?

E.g., Is it appropriate to initiate a video chat at 2 AM?

Slide19

Let’s look at some examples

Consider synchronicity needs, communication process, and other social factors.

Scenario: It’s 6pm on Thursday afternoon. You won’t see your group again until the next Monday. You want to make sure John is almost done with the outline that is due on Monday.

Answer

the following:

Do you

need (or want)

immediate feedback?

Is the information complicated or simple

? Should it be saved or recorded?

Do you know what medium John prefers or will most likely use?

Based on those answers, what medium did you choose?

Slide20

More examples

Consider synchronicity needs, communication process, and other social factors

.

Scenario: It’s

9pm

on

Sunday afternoon

. You won’t see your group

until Monday

. You

want to contact John so that you can get the outline and edit it before class Monday.

Answer the following:

Do you need (or want) immediate feedback?

Is the information complicated or simple? Should it be saved or recorded?

Do you know what medium John prefers or will most likely use?

Based on those answers, what medium did you choose?

Slide21

Even more examples

Consider synchronicity needs, communication process, and other social factors

.

Scenario: It’s

1 hour after class just ended. You have met with your group and divided all the work up until you meet again in two days. You suddenly realized that no one has volunteered to complete the audience analysis.

Answer the following:

Do you need (or want) immediate feedback?

Is the information complicated or simple? Should it be saved or recorded?

Do you know what medium John prefers or will most likely use?

Based on those answers, what medium did you choose?

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Final example

Consider synchronicity needs, communication process, and other social factors

.

Scenario:

Your final project is due Monday. It’s Sunday afternoon and you need a group decision on the final report. Each team member has a different section and you are in charge of putting all of the sections into one single document.

Answer

the

following

:

Do you need (or want) immediate feedback?

Is the information complicated or simple? Should it be saved or recorded?

Do you know what medium John prefers or will most likely use?

Based

on those answers, what medium did you choose

?

Slide23

So, what’s this Slack thing then?

It’s a tool for team communication

Caveat: It won’t solve your team communication problems

BUT, it does have capabilities of several mediums all-in-one

Rehearsability

– Write and edit messages before sending them

Reprocessability

– You can search and find all messages within slack

Slack shouldn’t be the only way your team communicates

Face-to-face meetings are essential

Phone call should still be used for urgent/time-sensitive messages

Slide24

Slack terminology

Public #channels- These are topic-specific forums that anyone on your team can participate in (note: whoever creates the channel needs to invite the rest of the team)

r

esumes

pm-documents

d

rafts

f

inal-deliverables

Private Channels – Topic-specific forums that are between only specified parties

Direct messages – One-to-one communication between you and another team member

Slide25

Stages of Team Development

Provide us with a framework for team progress

Is not absolute truth for all teams

Help us make sense of team productivity and individual behavior

Slide26

Tuckman’s Stages of Team Formation

Image from: http://

www.mspguide.org

/tool/

tuckman

Slide27

Let’s Form

Team Charter – Due Monday, February 1

See course website for template

Work Breakdown Structure and Project Schedule due Monday, February 3