We learned effective communication is essential in overcoming conflict, embracing our similarities and differences, and streamlining our work. On the basis of your learning, review the scenario given below and develop the ways to address any misunderstandings based on ineffective communication.
You have been invited to be in charge of developing a team-building activity to improve collaboration, morale, and increased communication for your team members. Your department is closing for the day so you all can spend about four hours together in a team environment. The staff members will be placed into groups of three to run a maze, and the winning team will receive an extra four hours paid time off (PTO) time to use for a half vacation day. All members are excited about getting extra time off and, even though they have not participated in a maze-running event, they are happy to be out of the office. After the race is over, the group will be treated for lunch at a very nice restaurant. Review the following details of team members:
•Rosamma and Mary are the two administrative staff members who do not get along. Rosamma keeps to herself, is quiet, wears traditional long dresses and cooks’ ethnic foods for lunch every day. Mary is outspoken, loud, hurries through assignments, and seems to be on her cell phone often talking about her personal life to friends. Mary is twenty and Rosamma is forty-six.
•Cindy, thirty-five, and Lolita, forty, are the part-time staff members. They often bring their problems to work and are stressed due to the economy. They interact at work with the full time staff, but the full time staff think they complain too much and “what for, they only work part-time.”
•Chip is a twenty-three-year-old maintenance worker who has two children and works a part-time job at night in addition to his full-time role. He is tired as he has been continuously working for many days.
•Samir is fifty-five and works full-time, and cannot wait until he retires.
•Sarah is the fifty-two-year-old negative department manager who complains about everyone else. However, she is a strong informal leader and has influence over the group.
•Jerry is twenty-four and in graduate school. In fact, he is the president of his class and majors in business. He will likely leave in about one year when he graduates. He has a positive attitude and is currently a bit demotivated because no one likes to work together and there seems to be no direction at this point. He has made fun of Sarah just because she makes negative comments to him.
•You are the manager (use your current age) and you are just promoted into this position as the leader of the group.
You need to divide the teams into three groups. Remember this is a team-building activity.
• Can you put Rosamma and Mary together on a team when they clearly have communication issues and Mary feels Rosamma is “slow and too quiet . . . besides, she prays all the time.” Should the two younger males in the department be put on the same team or divided up to run with the women, even though they make comments about how old Sarah is and how she wears old-fashioned clothes? Give reasons.
•How will you make the determination which members to put together?
•Should members, who have a negative attitude, be placed with team members who are excited about this event? Why or why not?
•How will a negative manager affect the overall group dynamic as opposed to a positive leader who wants to see his or her team develop?
•How influential can an informal leader be among the team members? Can an informal leader carry more power than the formal manager?
•What barriers to effective teamwork can you anticipate and how will it be addressed?
•What specific traits will make this team-building activity a success?
•How can effective leaders demonstrate care and value the workgroup to improve collaboration, motivation, and low turnover in the workplace?
•How do you think results can improve when effective communication is practiced in the healthcare field with peers, colleagues, and leadership teams?