Human behavior refers to how people react to various stimuli depending on their environment. Over the years, studies have been conducted to help understand why individual conduct varies over time. This research was purposefully conducted to facilitate critical analysis of how a person’s comportment changes depending on their experience. The main objective of this research experiment was to enhance understanding of how experiences influence an individual’s behavior as a task group member. As such, this research was conducted on a youth group that had volunteered to partake in the community’s campaign against littering. The name of this group is Just4youth, and it is constituted of twenty members. As the name suggests, all the members are young and still in undergraduate school; however, they joined the groups to give back to the community. The youngest member is 18 years old, while the oldest is 24, with an equal number of male and female members. The group partnered with the Mississauga City administration to promote the “Don’t be a Litterbug, “campaign.
Group Formation and Structure
Norms are a set of acceptable principles that guide the daily operations of a given group. According to Tuckman’s model of group development norming is the third stage of the group formation process (Tuckman & Jensen, 2019). Norms are essential in dictating how the members of a particular group conduct themselves when executing their roles. Norms vary from one group to the next as they are set depending on the goals and objectives of individual organizations. Norm development is a comprehensive stage of group development that comprises different aspects that facilitate efficiency in executing the group’s operations. Different types of group norms include performance, social arrangement, appearance, and resource allocation norms (Sepúlveda-Pedro, 2020). Performance norms are informal though they are significant in giving group members clues on what is expected of them. These norms enable all members to understand their roles and possible targets, thus enhancing the group’s effectiveness. As the group leader, I was responsible for creating the performance norm, and this was through setting an attainable target for the members. In addition, leading by example was critical to the operation’s success.
Appearance norm is an operational principle that provides a guideline on how members of a given organization are supposed to dress. Usually, an individual’s outward appearance gives a lasting impression to anyone who sees them (Sepúlveda-Pedro, 2020). As such, people must dress appropriately whenever they are doing their work to avoid giving a negative first impression, potentially impacting the organization negatively. Similarly, the city authority provided the group with appropriate gear that would help to prevent infections and contamination. These tools included garbage bags, heavy-duty gloves, overalls, boots, shovels, wheelbarrows, and rakes. Furthermore, we were provided with reflector coats; besides safety, these coats were significant in promoting public campaigns against littering. The groups used a reusable trash bag to signify the importance of recycling and reusing things which would consequently help in mitigating the effects of littering on the environment. This principle impacted one’s perspective about life in general; it was useful in enhancing understanding of the importance of first impressions.
The social arrangement norm provides practical guidelines on how an individual or members of a particular organization ought to conduct themselves while in public. Usually, many, if not all, organizations have a code of conduct that all members have to abide by (Sepúlveda-Pedro, 2020). The appropriate social arrangement is important in creating a positive attitude among public members since it helps attract more people to support the course. Correspondingly, the group had to conduct itself with decorum while in public. This involved collecting litter without inconveniencing the public and talking to them respectfully in the case of littering.
As the group leader, I was responsible for conducting myself as I was expected to lead others by example. At the time, this would be difficult due to public ridicule, but I was not going to let that demoralize my colleagues. Therefore, I would retaliate by collecting more litter, which motivates the members to do their tasks fearlessly. The norm development stage significantly impacted individual behavior since the norms entailed all aspects of life. It influences one’s choice of dressing, mode of speaking, and shifts in one’s perspective regarding their lifestyle.
The growth of the team members is inevitable; thus, as they grow, the team is bound to develop to higher levels. Most groups have to undergo a series of five steps to achieve maximum growth in their endeavors. These stages include forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. According to the social facilitation theory, groups influence the behavior of their members (Miller et al., (2019). The theory proves that an individual is likely to perform tasks better in the presence of other colleagues than when alone. Furthermore, the theory explains that when in a group setting; one can practice a task and observe how other people are doing it, thus helping to achieve perfection while also influencing behavior change.
The first stage of team development is the formation stage. This stage is characterized by questions d and confusion because all the members are unfamiliar with each other. The members try to find an individual who can fill the leadership position; they need a person they can turn to for guidance. The members explore each other for better understanding to avoid offending each other (Gray, 2021). Everybody is looking for a way to be compatible with each other. The same was true for the members of Just4youth; as such, the members began doing introductions to get to know each other better. I volunteered as the group leader as none of the other members was willing to take the position.
The second phase of team development is the storming stage; the members have begun establishing their dominance and claiming different roles in the group. There were more conflicts among members due to their conflicting claims and personalities. Nonetheless, the members try to resolve the disputes and allocate tasks in this stage. They disagree on the team’s goals, and thus they have to develop amicable solutions to ensure unity and cohesiveness among members. Correspondingly, just4youth group had to deal with the disagreement, which almost resulted in the group’s collapse. However, being the leader, I had to be impartial and emphasize the importance of each member. This was because some members felt they were being oppressed in allocating tasks.
Norming is the third stage of team development; in this step, the group must establish principles and codes of conduct that all members must follow while performing group operations. These norms are essential in ensuring efficiency and promoting the group’s effectiveness. Some of these norms include the allocation of resources, appearance, and social arrangement (Gray, 2021). However, this stage was critical since disagreements among members would easily retract the group’s progress to the previous stage. Being the leader, I had to be prepared to settle any conflicting members to prevent the possibility of reversal. The next stage is the performing stage; in this stage, team members were more mature and thus agreed to disagree. This meant that they had accepted that not everybody got to get their wishes and everything action was for the betterment of the group (Mackenzie, 2015). In addition, the team had begun its task of collecting litter while promoting awareness. It was easier to lead the team since they had mastered their roles and they knew what they were expected to do.
Collaboration between Group Members
Group collaboration is one of the critical determinants of the success of a particular team. Team members collaborate when they put their differences aside and work together toward a common goal. According to the collaborative learning theory, each member has a different ability and varying perspectives; as such, they supplement and support each other and thus can attain the organization’s objectives. In addition to the team’s success, group cooperation positively impacts the behavior of the members (Laal & Ghodsi, 2012). Initially, most members were unfamiliar with each other and disagreed with everything; however, through teamwork, most have learned to coexist and work together to achieve their objectives. The partnership among members influences the behavior of each member and makes them understand the importance of sharing and supporting each other.
Collaboration entails three major skills essential to each group’s success. These skills comprise communication skills, emotional intelligence, and respect for diversity. Collaborations have been significant in equipping the members with effective communication skills, enabling them to know how to express their grievances appropriately. Additionally, one acquires listening skills, thus facilitating fluent communication. Furthermore, collaborations enable one to learn emotional intelligence, which is essential when dealing with the public. Through this, one assesses the situation and thus can say the right thing at the right time. Moreover, emotional intelligence enables one to manage emotions, either with anger or happiness, whenever one becomes emotional. Respect for diversity is another form of skill that one acquires from collaborating with colleagues (Loes et al., 2018). This skill is significant since it helps one to understand and appreciate diversity among other members and the general public. Through collaboration, individual behavior has been impacted positively, which has, in turn, enhanced their effectiveness and efficiency in executing their responsibilities.
The research was conducted to analyze the effect of one’s experiences on their behavior. The research focused on how task group experiences impacted the behavior concerning group formation and structure. Norming is a critical step in the development of a group. Norming provides for establishing principles and group norms that guide the operation of the individual members and thus resulting in behavioral modification. Team development comprises different stages essential in influencing individual members’ behavior. As the stages progress and the group develops, it results in changes which in turn facilitate gradual changes in the behavior of the team members. Collaboration among the members of the group has influenced changes in their behavior. The members could learn better people skills through these partnerships, facilitating behavioral shifts. Some key factors that would help promote the group’s performance include better communication among members to minimize conflicts and effective time management to avoid spending unnecessary time in the same place.
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