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Effective Team Strategies: Understanding Group Roles

Mar 29

Effective Team Strategies: Understanding Group Roles
 

Quite often during a student’s educational career, he or she will often encounter various group creative assignments where cooperation between team members is essential to the success of the project. Proceeding without this cooperation would lead to a lack of productivity and a failed project or assignment, should the group fail to rally itself with sufficient time left before the due date. It is therefore critical that students grasp the important of having a well-structured team to ensure cooperation between members and the effective use of each member’s unique talents.

To be able to structure a team effectively, the group needs to assign and regulate specific roles to each member so that everyone is well-aware of what tasks they are to perform. There are five different roles and each of them is necessary for the overall welfare of the team and the progression towards the end-goal – the successful completion of the project. Below follows the different roles:

Leader: Usually occupied by only one individual in order to make the teamwork process smoother, the leader of the group is responsible for delegating specific task to the other group members and other administrative tasks, such as the management of each person’s workload and personal deadlines for their sections. They can also be called on to make important decisions for a group in the event a consensus cannot be reached.

Mover: Also known as a “pusher,” this role’s responsibility includes the generation of new ideas and the outlining of the process needed in order to achieve these new goals. The individuals assigned to this role must not only be good at brainstorming creative ideas, but also making sure that they are at least feasible to be used.

Anchor: The anchor role is the counterpoint to the mover role. The individuals for this role must take a look at the ideas generated by the movers and offer counterarguments in a conservative nature, almost acting as devil’s advocates. This is essential for the welfare of the group as the anchors would be able to eliminate any non-feasible ideas generated by the movers and make sure that the project is moving along a course that will succeed.

Soldier: The soldier role represent any individual within the group that is responsible for producing work for the completion of the assignment or project. In most groups for educational purposes, each group member would be assigned the soldier role. The important thing to note about this role is that the individuals must not simply just complete the work that is assigned to them; rather, they should also make sure that their sections flow and are compatible with the work of the other “soldiers” of the group.

Compromiser: Individuals in the compromiser role act as moderators for the group, making sure the group works in harmony and attempting to resolve any conflicts that arise. These individuals are also called upon to work with the movers and anchors to generate an idea that will satisfy all parties.

It is very important to note that one individual in the group is not necessarily assigned only one role, nor is one role assigned only to one individual. For example, a mover or anchor can also be assigned the soldier role for the group, if they are required to work on a section of the project after providing their input for ideas. Similarly, the leader role can be combined with the compromiser so that the one individual can better assure the overall cooperation of the group. Experiment with the assignment of the five group roles to see what works best for each situation!