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Psychological characteristics of a work team as an internal condition for the development of a collective “acme”

First of all, let us dwell on three psychological characteristics of the working team that are relevant to our discussion: the structure, cohesion, and acmeological features of managing it.

The structure of the work team. It is a complex formation, including a number of measurements or parameters, in particular:

1) formal-status measurement - a subordinated system of official positions, forming a system of formal, official relations;

2) the informal dimension - a system of intra-group positions based on the psychological preferences of people and forming a system of informal relations;

3) communicative measurement - a model of information circulation in a group;

4) group norms - a set of behavioral rules;

5) leadership dimension - this refers to the ratio of the main leadership roles, the role of the leader in the system of business relations (in special terminology - the business leader) and the role of the leader in the system of psychological, emotional relations (in special terminology - the emotional leader).

The structure of working teams is distinguished by:

1) the balance of informal (psychological) and formal (official) relations, so that their influences complement (rather than overlap) each other;

2) decentralization of communication flows;

3) the presence of norms orienting team members towards the effective implementation of tasks, the collective nature of actions, the active participation of people in team activities and decision-making;

4) balance and complementarity of the main leadership roles, their integration into the system of effective team management.

All these structural features are ultimately reflected in the growth of the effectiveness of the working team, the development of the collective “acme”.

Cohesion of the working team. Cohesion is a group property characterized by the degree of interconnectedness, unity of people. Its growth is due to a number of factors, for example:

. the similarity of people in values, attitudes, some personality traits;

. mutual sympathy of the group members for each other;

. relevance of the goals of the group to the needs of its members

. satisfaction with group activities;

. the ability of people to participate in collective decision-making;

. favorable psychological atmosphere in the group;

. optimal group size.

High cohesion is important from the point of view of the effective functioning of the team, as it contributes to:

1) maintaining membership in the group;

2) more active participation of individuals in the life of the group;

3) the growth of individual adaptation to the group and a sense of personal security;

4) higher group productivity.

It is clear that high group cohesion is an important condition for the effective functioning of the working team and the development of its “acme”.

At the same time, it should be remembered that an excessively high level of group cohesion has its negative reverse side, since it leads to the development of conformism and is accompanied by the emergence of the phenomenon of grouping thinking (in the original, groupthink). The latter is interpreted as “a quick and easy way to resort to the style of thinking that is inherent in people who are so fully included in a cohesive group that the desire for unanimity is more important than a realistic assessment of possible options. The grouping of thinking is associated with a decrease in mental efficiency, the ability to analyze real events, moral requirements, which is the result of intra-group pressures ”(Janis, 1972, p. 9).

Without going into consideration of the symptomatology of this phenomenon (it is discussed in detail, for example, in Krichevschy and Dubovshshya, 2001), I only note that, according to the fair remark of specialists (Kozeletsky, 1979), such a style of thinking, on the one hand, increases the unity of the group and self-satisfaction its members, and on the other hand, reduces the quality of decisions, leads to the fact that group decisions often turn out to be worse than individual ones.

Acmeological features of the work team management. They find themselves in the style characteristics of the leader’s behavior, which orient team members to a high level of personal achievement and often become a kind of challenge for them. One of these features is the participatory management style (Cree Chevssh, 1998). It is distinguished by:

. regular meetings of the head with subordinates;

. openness in the relationship between the leader and subordinates;

. the involvement of subordinates in the development and adoption of collective decisions;

. delegation of a number of managerial powers by the head of his subordinates;

. giving the employee the opportunity to independently develop these or other problems, formulate new ideas, etc., thereby contributing to the development of innovative processes;

.
support for personal and professional growth of employees.

Another acmeological feature of work team management is the style of transformative, innovative leadership (Bass, 1998).

It includes four specific stylistic components that have a pronounced acmeological character:

. individualized attention - the concentration of the leader on the diagnosis of the needs and abilities of subordinates, the consideration of their individual characteristics, the delegation of authority, counseling and training people, and the promotion of their personal development;

. inspiring motivation - it manifests itself in the fact that the leader instills vivacity, increases the optimism and enthusiasm of subordinates, gives them their vision (picture) of the future, which stimulates the activity of subordinates in the direction of achieving higher levels of completing a work assignment and personal growth;

. intellectual stimulation - it involves inducing subordinates to a new look at old methods and problems, developing their creativity and intuition, encouraging innovative actions;

. charismatic influence - it can be exerted by leaders with a vision of the future, aware of their mission, achieved success, confident and trusted by subordinates, putting team interests above personal interests, ready to support the subordinate at any time.

It can be assumed that the vision of the future emanating from the leader (in the form of a certain declared picture of him), in combination with other components of charismatic influence, performs a peculiar function of group meaning formation, filling the team members with a single meaning. By the way, good managers, according to experts (Peter and Waterman, 1986), "not only make money, but also create a sense of existence for people."

According to research (Bass, 1998), the use of the above-mentioned style components by the leader contributes to a significant increase in the efficiency of work teams and, as one can easily see from their brief characteristics above, is an important condition for the growth of the acmeological component of the team’s functioning.

Along with the three psychological characteristics of the working team that have just been examined, which play a significant role in the formation of a collective “acme”, the goal-setting specifics, which are characteristic, first of all, of the self-forming type of teams mentioned above, deserve attention. These groups, having considerable autonomy in their actions, have the ability to transform fairly general organizational directives into clear goals filled with specific meaning for the members of these groups. Such goals are very specific, measurable from the point of view of the effectiveness of their achievement and set, according to experts (Katzenbach, Smith, 1993b), peculiar guidelines in the actions of the team. In particular, they:

1) allow you to define a set of interrelated working results that the team should strive for;

2) contribute to more specific, substantive communication and constructive conflicts in the team;

3) by virtue of their certainty and reachability, they help teams maintain a focus on achieving high results;

4) they focus not on the status and personal characteristics of individuals, but on their work achievements;

5) act as intermediate steps towards achieving larger goals;

6) are symbols of success, challenge team members, motivate and energize them.

Apparently, there is an undoubted connection between the leader’s vision mentioned above and the specifics of team goals, since, as can be assumed, in both cases we are talking about the factors of creating a single collective meaning-making - the product of the vital activity of the collective subject, which undoubtedly is the working team. In this product, it is reasonable to perceive one of the peculiar manifestations of the collective “acme”.

Summary. It was shown that the work team is a socio-psychological field of “acme” in group professional activities. At the same time, the collective “acme” itself is expressed in the possession of a number of important applied skills by the members of the working team, including functional skills related to decision making and interpersonal skills. The development of collective “acme” is due to a number of external (organizational) and internal (group) conditions. An assumption is made about the possible factors of the formation of collective meaning as one of the manifestations of the collective “acme”.
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Psychological characteristics of a work team as an internal condition for the development of a collective “acme”

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