Individual Portfolio Problem-Solving Situation BY Insignias In this essay, I am going to describe and analyses my personal experience as a team member during a problem-solving situation. Firstly, I am going to state the significant issues that our team had identified in the scenario and describe our planning process. Secondly, I will talk about the problem solving theory we used and the solutions we agreed upon. Thirdly, I will analyses my strengths and weaknesses as a team member, using theories from our MBA course.
To conclude, I will identify further steps that I am going to undertake to become a more effective team member. During our simulation, we selected several important issues from the scenario. The first was the unfair dismissal of Noah by the parent company in Korea. He was pushed to sign documents to leave the company in one week. The second issue we tried to resolve was about Et Aurora’s bereavement leave and her subsequent resignation. The third problem we discussed was new management’s refusal to pay bonuses to the Banana employees.
During our first planning day, we agreed to use John Dew’s problem solving model because his model is very straightforward, well- structured and has a simple six-step approach. I was the captain of the group and let responsible for our team performance and planning process. Therefore, I suggested to my team members to read the printed copy of the “Human communication” by Joseph Devote, Susan Resource and Linda O’Neil (1996). I think that reading it would have helped us to perform better and save time because this material has detailed descriptions and examples of how to implement John Dew’s problem solving theory.
However, the next day I found that nobody had read it and our planning process was less effective than it could have been. For example, one team member was not sure what to do so I came and tried to elaborate on the task ND issues related to it. Some team members tried to use a yes/no question instead of asking an open-ended question when defining the problem. When I pointed it out, we were finally able to complete our task correctly. During our last planning preparation, I offered the idea to list all issues that we found in the scenario and write possible solutions next to it.
The list helped us during our simulation. We were prepared for each possible problem, the other team would want to discuss with us in the problem simulation process. Our problem solving process with the other team was very productive and quite smooth. We reached agreement on the first two issues very quickly. Et Arrow was offered one day paid leave and 3 days unpaid leave. We used the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA) to solve this issue. To avoid a personal grievance case, we decided to negotiate a better deal for Noah.
We agreed that Noah had to be paid compensation in order to avoid him bringing forward a personal grievance case under the ERA 2000. However, I think that we did not use Dew’s model properly to come to the best solution about bonuses. For example, when we discussed an issue with the bonuses, all team members came to a consensus that he employee would not get any bonuses this year because of the new management and new rules. Therefore, new targets would be set for the new financial year. All team members agreed that they reached consensus.
Consensus is the decision- making method. It exists only if all group members agree. It has such advantages as it puts pressure on any person who may disagree but does not want to prevent the group from making a decision (Devote, Resource, & O’Neill, 2001). In this case, I did not agree that Banana employees had to be deprived of bonuses because of the new management. I still think it is not the best solution for the company because employees were likely to be very unsatisfied and might not be motivated the following year to perform at their best.
I think that we disregarded the main steps in Dew’s model; we did not evaluate other possible solutions and did not attempt to foresee the possible negative effects on the staff of Banana Ltd. Reflecting on myself as a team member and specifically as a team leader, I noticed that I lack influential power. Although I had ‘legitimate power’, which is power based only on a person’s position and acknowledged by others (Dwyer, 2009), it did not help me to influence there to make preparations and read the chapter I had suggested. Legitimate power does not make you a leader.
According to the trait theory, there are seven elements, which are associated with leadership. To be a leader you have to possess those traits. One of them is the “desire to lead”, where leaders have a strong desire to influence and lead others (Robbins, Bergman, Stag, ; Coulter, 2009). I believe that I lacked influence because I could not persuade other people to read the material. Regarding reaching consensus, I tend to go along with the majority view because I do not want to prevent my team from making a final decision. This could damage my relationships with other team members.
According to the conflict management test Monsoons ; Johnson, 2009), I possess traits of the owl. Owls highly value relationships. During the negotiation, I always tried to communicate positively and listen without interruption, because I found that relationships with other team members are very important to me. I have also discovered that I was playing a task-related role in the team; this role belongs to the initiator, information seeker, elaborators and coordinator. The role helps the group to focus on the task (Robbins et al. , 2009).
I tried to initiate that our team prepared in advance, even though it was an unsuccessful attempt. Later, I initiated the listing of problems and possible solutions in the scenario. Furthermore, I initiated discussion by going first when other team members were reluctant to speak during the simulation. I always tried to keep the group focused on the task asking if they understand what we needed to do and offer guidance when the group was unsure. I think that being task- oriented is one of my greatest strengths, because it helps my team to remain focused. I am also an active contributor when it comes to my area of knowledge.
During our simulation, although I spoke more than others, I also tried to give everyone a chance to speak when they were confident to do it. What is more, I am an active listener too. This helps me to concentrate on other people’s ideas and thoughts and respond deliberately. However, I become very nervous when other team members focus their attention on me. I think I am not very confident to make speeches in front of other people, especially people that I am not familiar with. When members from the other team were looking at me while I was speaking, I started losing track of what I was saying.
At the end, I could not even express my thoughts clearly. My other weakness is giving appropriate feedback. To work effectively in the team, we have to learn to tell others about the effects of their behavior (Michaels member only ‘mumbled’ a reply when we asked something and could not be understood. It was unfair and meant that this person did not contribute or help us. So, I asked this person to speak clearly and contribute. Later, I realized that my feedback was destructive to the recipient and the outcome was negative. The person stopped talking and did not even try to contribute.
Instead of demanding and saying evaluative words, such as “mumble”, I should have given feedback that is more descriptive. For example, saying that it was hard to understand and ask the person in a good manner to speak clearly (Michaels & Chilliness, 1989). I believe that I can learn to give helpful feedback by practicing it every day with my relatives and friends. I will carefully read Journal of Management Education by Larry K. Michaels and Emily E. Chilliness in order to learn how to give helpful feedback. To achieve better results, I will try to record my experience and evaluate whether I am succeeding or not.
If I will get a positive response and results, I will know that I have learned to give a feedback. If not, I will record what went wrong and how people reacted. This will help me to track my mistakes and correct them gradually. As I become nervous when I start speaking in front of other people, I need to improve my public speaking skills to overcome the anxiety. I think that I have to write down the main points of every speech I am going to give. This will reduce my anxiety because I can have a look at any time if I covered every point of my speech. In addition, I might ion the Toast Master club at AY-JET.
This organization will help me to improve my communication, public speaking and leadership skills. I believe that if I am going to attend this club, my confidence in speaking in public will grow. During future teamwork, I will try to use my skills and evaluate whether I have progressed or not while attending Toast Masters sessions. I also have to learn how to influence people. I will read “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. These books will help me to earn more about leadership skills, especially how to influence people.