Retail Observer

June 2014

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM JUNE 2014 44 RO Timothy Bednarz Team Training Contact Timothy Bednarz at 715.342.1018 or at timothy. Excerpt from: A Team's Pupose, Function & Use: Pinpoint Leader- ship Skill Development Training Series T eam strength is both built and supported by the structure, roles and responsibilities that define a team. These provide the mechanisms to control and channel conflict, which keep individual team members focused on achieving their specific goals and objectives. Specific team building roles contribute to the achievement of overall team goals as well as to an improvement in the overall teaming process. In some cases, specific team building roles are assigned to specific individual members, while others are assigned to all collective participants. The most common team building roles within most organizations include the following: • Supporting—The supporting role is assumed by all team members. It allows them to reinforce other's points of view whether they agree with them or not. In actuality, this is the ability of team members to respect and accept the feedback and input of other team members. This results in better contributions from all participants. Individual members realize their comments are accepted, analyzed and considered by all other members within the team as part of its responsibility, structure and process. • Confronting—Confronting is also a role assumed by all team members. When individual team participants behave in a manner that is detrimental to the success of the team, other collective team members confront this specific behavior in a constructive manner. Confronting is confined to individual specific behavior, avoiding personal attacks that are highly disruptive to the team environment. • Gate Keeping—The gate-keeping role is normally assumed as a function of the team facilitator. However, the role can be assigned to all the individual members within the team itself. In this capacity, team participants make certain that particular team members do not monopolize discussions. They also make sure that all individual team members are included in every discussion, where all viewpoints and perspectives are acknowledged, discussed and dissected. • Mediating—The mediating role is normally assigned to either the team leader or team facilitator, whose main function is to prevent intense or prolonged disputes from being disruptive within the team environment. Often when disputes and debates take place, individual team members refuse to listen or respond to each other. Team participants within the environment often tend to become polarized to one viewpoint or another. It is up to the intervener to illuminate and clarify the real differences and areas of agreement within particular discussions. • Harmonizing—The harmonizing role is normally assigned to the team facilitator. However, individual team members can also assume this role. It is used when serious disagreements and disputes occur within the team environment. Individual members can often fail to realize the agreement and relationship between specific points. The intervener within the harmonizing role summarizes the various viewpoints and highlights how closely they are aligned to each other. • Summarizing—The summarizing role is often assigned to the team facilitator, but he or she can delegate to another individual team member. Often a team becomes overwhelmed by the intensity and depth of discussions and participants easily become confused as to its status and point of progress. The individual assuming this role specifically summarizes the particular discussion to date. Doing this allows the team time and room to breathe in order to gather its thoughts. It clarifies any confusion and restores team confidence as to its point of progress. • Process Observing—The process-observing role is normally assigned by the team leader to a specific individual. This team member focuses his or her attention on how the team is functioning to make certain that its processes and rules are being adhered to and interrelationship harmony exists. The team process is the dynamics of the group. It is how individual members interact with each other. The process observer pays close attention to specific interactions, observes points of conflict and disruption and focuses his or her comments on how to build constructive behavior within the team. This is an area often minimized within the team environment. The word "team" implies that goals are essential and that the techniques, organization, and methodology within it are vital to its overall success. However most members often fail to understand the impact of the dynamics of the team environment and how its interaction impacts the progress of the team. This is why the process observer role becomes an essential one to fill. TEAM BUILDING ROLES

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