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Non verbal communication includes all forms of communication that does not use words. Verbal implies the use of words, and hence non verbal excludes the usage of words. In a conversion non verbal communication holds as much importance as does the verbal forms of communication. How is that so? Imagine a person talking very fluently but continuously making weird faces. Wouldn’t that distract that an audience into wondering why his expressions are deviating from the context of his speech! Non verbal communication includes the influence of the powerful body language which gives feeling and strength to the speech and allows stress and emphasis to be put onto what a person feels is important for the audience to understand (Lumsden and Lumsden, 1997).
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Listing is an important component of the communication process and active listening that of an effective communication process. Active listening implies that the audience listens carefully to the speaker’s messages and promptly replies. Active listening is coupled with prompt feedbacks which ensure a one-on-one conversation and the true meaning of the message being understood (Lumsden and Lumsden, 1997).
Understanding and Using listening skills to Move a Conversation Forward
Listening surely plays an important role in the overall communication process. The major impact of listening is the fact that it allows the message to be understood and allows a feedback to be delivered to the speaker. For listening to be effective is highly important the channels used for communication and the media employed are noise free and are as direct as possible. Of course the channel and media choice is influenced by the type of communication being undertaken but they very much affect the listening on the other end.
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Principles of Constructive Feedback
Feedback is somewhat the produce of the communication process that helps in determination of the success of the speaker in delivering the message effectively. A feedback that suggests the response desired obviously means the message was well delivered and an irrelevant one suggests the message has to be reconstructed and again sent. For that matter, it is important to send back a complete and constructive feedback so that the speaker of the original message can assess properly (Lumsden and Lumsden, 1997).
The Importance of Shared Understanding/Mental Models to Team Effectiveness
For a team to produce highly effective and productive work it is important that the team is highly motivated, and cohesive. For the team to be effective the elements of shared understanding and mental models play a due role. To explain the concept precisely, two heads are better than one, but only when the objectives are made similar and the goal is the same. Thus, the idea of shared understanding and mental models emerges which used methods to enhance the sharing, such as through removing the language barriers, etc., by establishing a common language for the group (Covey, 1996).
Developing Common Language/Vocabulary As One Aspect of Shared Mental Models in Interprofessional Teams
As briefly stated earlier, developing a common language or a vocabulary is a crucial aspect of shared mental models. They are highly effective in interprofessional teams, as they enable the communication barrier infused by cross cultural language problems to be removed through a common language which enables all of the members to understand each other’s messages correctly. But this just one aspect, it does not alone work effectively, there have to be others as well, like those that bring them on the same page as per the objectives of the project (Covey, 1996).
Definition of Inquiry
Inquiry is when one indulges the mind into finding out a solution and idea for a problem at hand.
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Brainstorming as an Inquiry Approach
Brainstorming is a highly common and useful inquiry approach whereby a person thinks deeply and comes up with several interrelated ideas for the problem situation at hand.
Creative Idea Generation in Teams
Being in a team allows an accumulation of creativity of several minds that use their minds to generate solutions for the same problem. The process is a lot faster in a team as there are several minds at word and much more effective than a single person sitting and thinking. On the other hand, it also allows several perspectives to be put into effect and different areas of expertise if the team is a diverse one, which only means a wide range of interesting ideas that infuse different viewpoints, which is not possible for individuals to come up with. Plus, there is always one members acting as the devil’s advocate which allows continuous assessment and critical evaluation of the ideas generate making them more refined before the final usage.
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Decision Making Methods
There are several team decision making methods, three of which are interactive group participation, nominal group and the third is Delphi group. Interactive group decision making is a group decision making format in which group members are brought together fact to face and have a specific agenda an decision goals. Nominal group is a group decision making format that emphasizes equal participation in the decision process by all group members. Delphi group is a group decision making format that involves the circulation among participants of questionnaires on the selected problem, sharing of answers and continuous recirculation/refinement of questionnaires until a consensus has been obtained. The “best decision” is described as a decision that (1) would not have been thought of by an individual alone, (2) is a sound solution to the problem, (3) is a decision based upon input, as unbiased as possible, from each team member, and (4) addresses the team’s goal for the decision-making process.” The quality of team decision making, the time it takes, and the extent to which a decision is accepted and implemented is affected by the decision making process used. Your reading for this module is important as it serves as a clear outline of the various methods for decision–making.
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Groupthink in Team Decision Making
Groupthink is a very common barrier and a major influencer in team decision making whereby the decisions of the majority of the group members influences the rest to lean onto support and agree to the majority’s decisions, rather than involving their own ideas, as they feel that the majority is right. However this is not always the case. Groupthink has the major drawback of suppressing several ideas of the group, as the members fear lack of compliance if they suggest their ideas.
Team Meeting Agenda
A team meeting agenda is a list of the objectives of the team meeting and what it is to accomplish. It is highly important to have an agenda on hand as it makes a meeting higly directive and specific. Without it the team members would have to witness a haphazard direction of the meeting. Having an agenda allows the team members to address each objective one by one and come up with solutions or ideas for each individually. This saves time and increases efficiency, and hence, paves way for an effective team decision making process. An agenda is prepared prior to the meeting which is carefully constructed and has to be highly relevant to the problem at hand.
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Issues to Consider in Having a Leader
When choosing a leader, it is important the leader is the one who is the most prominent in the group and all of the members know him and vote on for. A person is most suitable and is most likely to be accepted as a leader if all agree on him being so. No motivation or effectiveness can be gauged through team if they do not like their leader!
There are several forms of leadership styles. Two highly common conventional styles are autocratic and democratic styles. Autocratic leader is a leader who tends to centralize authority and rely on legitimate, reward, and coercive power to manage subordinates. A democratic leader is a leader who delegates authority to others, encourages participation, and relies heavily on expert and referent power to manage subordinates. Some new approaches are transactional leaders who clarify subordinates’ roles and task requirements, initiate structure, provide rewards, and display consideration for subordinates; charismatic leaders where a leader has the ability to motivate subordinates to transcend their expected performance; transformational leaders where a leader is distinguished by a special ability to bring about innovation and change; and interactive leaders where a leader is concerned with consensus building, is open and inclusive and encourages participation.
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Leadership qualities and traits revolve around his physical characteristics, personality, social background, intelligence and ability, work related characteristics, and social characteristics.
- Physical characteristics: the leader is the one who is active and energetic.
- Personality characteristics: he has an alert personality with originality, creativity, personal integrity, ethical conduct and abundance of self confidence.
- Intelligence and ability: the leader has the qualities of judgment and decisiveness, has knowledge and a fluency of speech.
- Work-related characteristics: the leader has the achievement drive, desire to excel, drive for responsibility, responsibility in pursuit of goals and task orientation.
- Social characteristics: the leader has the ability to enlist cooperation, cooperativeness, popularity, prestige, sociability, interpersonal skills, social participation, tact and diplomacy.
Benefits of team evaluation
Team evaluation allows the team to refine its entire decision making process, ideas and solutions that are generated, the members’ cohesion, and the team’s objective and direction orientation. Team evaluation takes place at any stage and should be ideally a continuous process whereby the team’s direction should be highly assessed to see whether the team is on its defined path to attaining the direction as required by the organization (London, 2007).
Virtual Team Meeting
A virtual team meeting is internet based where video conferencing and other forms of internet communication mediums are used. For an effective virtual meeting, with its team members spread across geographic boundaries, it is important that the visibility and audibility are proper and there is no element of noise present because that might distort all messages and remove all effectiveness. It is also important to let one person complete his statement before another one jumps in to make his, simultaneous conversations are to be avoided, as then no one would understand anything and mixed up messages could be delivered.
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Momentum is the combination of the three components: speed, velocity and mass. When the team is losing its effectiveness and actions are slowing down that means the team is losing its momentum and three areas have to be reflected on to make the momentum higher.
- Speed: team momentum is built upon the speed of actions.
- Velocity: velocity ensures that the actions are headed in speed in the right direction.
- Mass: mass accounts for the positive attitude of the team members. The more accountable, responsible, cohesive, understanding and positive the team members are the greater the mass of the team and the higher its momentum (Grazier, 2008).
Factors Influencing Team Motivation
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Team motivation is greatly influenced by the attitude of the leader, appreciation, recognition, freedom of thought and communication.
Importance of Recognition for Team Effort
For members after a job well done appreciation and recognition act as a feedback which generates high motivation. It is thus important the members be given their due share of recognition so as to ensure higher productivity the next time in future.