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Working in diverse teams
Working in diverse teams

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3 Behavioural roles in teams

So far you have looked at roles in a team in terms of technical and functional skills. Behavioural roles in a team is another aspect that needs to be taken into account for a team to work well.

Read the case study on Glenda below and consider the problems she is having with the team that she has put together.

Case study 1: Glenda

Glenda recalled looking around the meeting room with satisfaction on the first day that her team met, feeling pleased that team members, between them, had the appropriate skills for the task. Three months later however, Matt, who had been chosen for his expert knowledge, never seemed to be able to see the ‘bigger picture’ – the entire task in context. As a result he occupied himself with detail and technicalities and missed seeing important implications. Rob and Sara were quite the reverse, but were argumentative. Jenny seemed uncommitted and Steve seemed to have lost all his initial enthusiasm. Glenda’s initial hopes of delivering high-quality results had turned to worries about whether the task could be done to an acceptable standard.

(OpenLearn, 2016)

What Glenda had not taken into account when putting together this team was that people not only bring their skills and knowledge to the exercise; they also bring their personal attributes and the ways they behave, contribute and relate to others, which may be good or bad.

You may be able to recall experiences where you have been part of a team where there seemed to be either a clash of personalities or when, for example,no one wanted to take the lead and make a decision. If all team members behave in the same way, then not only is conflict likely but the quality of the task is likely to suffer.