Feedback & Teamwork Essay, Research Paper


1. Just image you are the coach of a professional basketball team and one of your players won t

pass the ball to other teammates, during in a game. What are you going to do? Well, the information I m going to give you about will help you solve this type of situation. Today I m going to tell you how effective feedback will benefit a team. First, I will define a team and how to manage it effectively. Secondly, I will talk about some key ways for feedback. Finally, we will bring them together and discuss how giving feedback affects a team.

2. Most people, when they hear the word team, think of sports. However, a team can be classified as your family, the personnel in your workcenter, or any group made up of two or more people working together to accomplish a common goal. Merrian Webster s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth edition, defines a team as, a number of persons associated together in work or activity as a group on one side. (Mer Webs: 1209) Let s pretend you just won $500 million in the lottery and you want to buy your own professional basketball team. So, you go around the country picking different players from all over the United States but you re missing the most important ingredient of a team, the coach. His job is to get all these different personalities to work together. Ok, the first day of practice the coach calls a meeting bringing everyone together. The first thing he asks the team is; what are you here for? What goals do you hope to accomplish? Everyone agrees right away that their goal is to win the championship. The next important step the coach takes is to establish ground rules and clearly defines each player s role on the team. Now, the team has established the ground rules and knows what their goals are. Everybody knows that when you place individuals together in a group, there are some growing pains you have to deal with. You might have some of your players who are overbearing, and some that are reluctant. So as the coach, it s your responsibility to guide your players through these growth stages and help them perform like a well-oiled machine. Ok, the season has started and your team has won the first five games without any conflicts. However, in the next two games you notice some tension between your players. There is not a lot of teamwork being displayed neither at practices nor during the games. So you have two options that you can choose from to solve this problem. You can either come up with the solution yourself (Direct Approach), or you can have the team solve the problem themselves (Participative Approach). So, you choose the second option. The book, Leading Teams, by Sam R. Lloyd, states, Implementation of solution generated by a team will go more smoothly than if the same solution were proposed by the leader without involving the team. (Lead : 40) The team has agreed upon a solution and now the captain wants to sit down to give you some feedback. Ok, to give feedback you must first understand what it is. Let s define it.

3. In the book, Teamwork, written by Charles A. Aubrey II and Patricia K. Felkins, they said,

Both managers and employees need information and feedback. (Team : 36) What they are really saying here is that feedback can be given by anyone, not necessarily by the supervisor. As a Noncommissioned Officer the United States Air Force for fourteen years, my experience as a supervisor have taught me in order to be a good leader, you must be a good listener. To make it easier for your people to come to you with their problems, or just come and say Thank you , is to earn their trust. Aubrey and Felkins further stated, Communication is easier in organizations where there is trust and respect between management and employees. (Team : pg. 37) After a couple of weeks, you call the team captain back into your office to accomplish the most neglected stage of feedback, Follow-up. He confirms what you already know, that everybody on the team is happy again. The season is going great, but what affect did giving and accepting feedback affect have on the team?

4. One successful step in this process was communicating. This allowed any member of the

team to come to you with their problems. Also, a close-knit team will come together and come up with solutions to any problems, big or small. In the book, Skill of Leadership, written by John Adair, he states, Without communication we remain isolated, stranded on our islands divided rather than united. (Skill : 149) Another successful step the coach used was allowing the team to work out their own problems, while still keeping a close watch over the process. My experience has also taught me, that you should allow individuals an opportunity to work out their own problems first. If the problem can t be solved, then you must step in and intervene. It may take a one on one feedback session to accomplish your goal. Let rewind the tape and review some of the highlights of the season.

5. The first highlight we discussed was a team and how to manage it effectively. To do this the team goals must be identified. Also, establishing ground rules and clearly defines roles so each player knows what is expected of him. The next highlight we looked at was the different ways to give feedback. We decided against the direct approach and allowed the team to solve their problems using the participative method. Keep in mind, the coach still needed to keep an eye on this problem solving technique. Finally, at the end, we looked at how feedback affects a team s dynamics. So, how did feedback affect this team? It brought them closer together and every player knew their inputs and ideas were important to the team s success. So you can see, rather you are the coach of a basketball team, or the supervisor of your worker center; feedback, if used properly can affect your team. Now, I would like to introduce you to the 2000 NBA Champions.


Adair, John, Skill of Leadership, pg. 149

Aubrey, Charles A. II and Patricia K. Felkins, Teamwork, pg. 36-37

Lloyd, Sam R., Leading Teams, pg. 40

Merrian Webster s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth edition, pg.

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