It’s All About Knowing Each Other

Human is a social creature, we need each others to overcome our problems. This, also holds true for programmer. Regardless of skeptical image which programmer being portrayed as anti-social who dislike interaction with other people, in actual word programmer needs other to help them accomplishing their task. With the demand of application become more complex and difficult, programmers need to work as a team to develop their application. Not sure with that statement? Just try to make a football game yourself, and see how many months, or even years, it takes for you to develop that game (if you have necessary guts to finish it tho :D). Compare your result and time to professional game developer that works as a team. Now, you surely have convinced enough, aren’t you?

Team and Team Dynamics

Photo by B S K from FreeImages (Free Diversity 3 Stock Photo — FreeImages.com)

So, what is a team? According to Lumen Learning, team is a group of people who collaborate on related task toward a common goal. An example of this can be seen in your course’s group task. You and your friends assemble a team that is needed to finish it. Your team will consist of individual that focused in one aspect of the tasks, and responsible for it. Problems that occurred when we try to solve our task will be discussed together, and after several attempts and discussions, voila, you have finished your task together. A team does not mean that you need to work with them 24/7. You can have several teams with different purposes and assemble temporarily for certain amount of time, which is the case for your team in course’s group task.

Team dynamics meanwhile, according to Kurt Lewin definition in 1939, is a means to understand the individuals that make up for a team, exploring behavior, and reasons for that behavior. By implementing team dynamics, consciously or unconsciously, we learn how to interact with each other and recognize each individual’s abilities, therefore allowing our teams to utilize resources, which is our abilities, effectively. Positive team dynamics will lead into supportive working environment and trust between each other, that make our work more productive. Meanwhile, negative team dynamics will lead into poor-decision working and unsupportive working environment, filled with conflict and talk behind the back. Therefore, having a good team dynamics in our team is a must.

Build Your Team Dynamics

Now, we have know what is team dynamics and its importance, we move on to our next question, how do we create a positive team dynamics? According to DeakinCo, there are several ways that we can do to improve our team dynamics.

  1. Know our team better. First things that we should do when we want to build team dynamics is know our team. By knowing our team, we can address which problems that need to be solved, implement a solution that match with our team’s members personalities.
  2. Address problems ASAP! Problems is a time ticking bomb. We need to address it fast before it explode and spread wild just like fire in a forest. We can solve our problems by discussing it with our team and face it directly with all teams present or face to face with the one who has problems, or indirectly by asking another person inside or outside of our team who can solve our problem.
  3. Considerate with our surroundings. A problems, sometimes does not rise into the surface without any cause or pre-caution. Because of that, we need to pay attention to all things that is happening in our team and detect unacceptable behaviors or difficulties that our members have and address them right away. Doing so, will create a positive work environment and prevent problem from goes up into the surface. Just like wise man said, prevention is much better than healing, isn’t it?
  4. Build Communication. Communication is key in developing good team dynamics. Good communication will make people trust each other and feeling updated to what is going on. This, will create a sense of belonging in our team and encourage them to discuss and work together to solve issue that we face.
  5. Clearly defined each roles. Our team consist of several members that has their own specialities. However, not all specialities clearly defined and we may have role that collide with each other. This collision can result in confusion and conflict, which will bring negative team dynamics to our team. To avoid that, we need to clearly defined each roles and responsibilities at the beginning of our work.
  6. Team Capacity Building == TIMBUL. Team capacity building is the process of turning team’s member into cohesive team members. Cohesive team means that they know each other well, has a positive attitudes between themselves, and eager to help each other to reach their goals. Cohesive team member will lead into mutual respect with each other and bring more constructive discussions. Team capacity building are usually conducted by HRD department or team leaders. It usually consist of several fun and relax activities that encourage we to open up and know each other better.

Servant Leader

Servant leader is a concept where leaders act as a servant to their team. We, as a leader, need to prioritize our team’s cause before our own. This can be done by acknowledging other’s people perspectives, give them the support that they need, and involved them in decisions, which will leads into sense of belonging within our teams. It will also increase trust and relationship between higher-ups and their subordinates. Several characteristics that we need to have to become servant leader is:

  1. Listening. A good leader is the one who listen to their subordinate’s suggestions and comments. By doing this, your subordinate’s will feel that their opinions matters and encouraged to contribute directly for our team’s goals.
  2. Empathy. An understanding of what another people has gone through, feel what they feel, and give them required support and encouragement will increase trust that they have to you.
  3. Healing. Servant leaders should be able to solve and rebuild broken relationship between them and their subordinates or between their subordinates.
  4. Awareness. A servant leader should had the require awareness to step aside his/her feelings and judge things neutrally, with team’s cause as his/her priority.
  5. Persuasion. A good leader have to persuade others to accept his/her opinion, instead of forcing it. A common understanding will make your subordinate reasoning of your decision and avoid any dissatisfaction.
  6. Conceptualization. A servant leader must have visionary vision and able to see things more broadly.
  7. Foresight. A servant leader should have broad insight, either based on previous experience, or your own judgement on current situation.
  8. Stewardship. Servant leader should make people comfortable in voicing their opinion and opening themselves to us.
  9. Commitment to the growth of people. Servant leader should prioritize his/her people and try to encourage his/her subordinate growth.
  10. Building community. A servant leader should know how to build team’s environment and culture.

My Team Dynamics

In my team, to build our team dynamics we start with opening up with each other way before our task begin. There, in the middle of the night which is the right time to open up ourselves, we get to know each other better, therefore creating mutual trust and empathy between each other. We also talk about many things to create mutual understanding between us. There are no leader in our team, however, I consider all of us a servant leader who has to work for our team’s cause. I implement this by helping others when my work has done and gave them some suggestions to solve their issues. To enhance our team dynamics even further, we always have daily scrum meeting at the specified interval and keep others updated of what we have done. We also do not hesitate to vent our frustration there :D.

Finally, we have arrived at the end of my writing. Hopefully, with this you have understood the importance of team dynamics and servant leader. Looks forward for your implementation of them in the future!

Just a so so learner