Each of us has most likely had experience in being part of a group, whether it be a sports team, an organization, club, group project, etc. Within these groups/teams, everyone has their own role. The textbook defines a role as “a set of behaviors expected of a person in a particular social position or setting” (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). For example, if it’s an organization, there might be positions like the president, vice president, secretary, auditor, etc. Work teams may include positions such as manager, assistant manager, supervisor, employee, etc. The individual who is chosen for each position has criteria and requirements that they are asked to follow in order to perform efficiently within their role for the team. Through this, there is role clarity in which the chosen individual has been given a clear definition of exactly what their role on the team is and what they’ll be required and expected to do (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Following that stage is role acceptance in which the individual who is chosen for the position is aware of what they’re required to do and is in agreement to their tasks (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Then comes role performance in which the chosen person takes on the tasks of the position clearly and efficiently (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016).
Within my own life, I’ve been a part of several groups, like a sports team and a dance team. I’ve taken part in clubs as well as group projects. In regards to organizations, at my workplace I take on the role of “employee” and I work under people who are considered my supervisors, bosses, and other administration. Those titles are the roles of those individuals who took on the tasks of those positions in order to create an efficient job environment that runs smoothly. When it comes to the football team I was on, I took on the role of “wide receiver” for some time. At that time, I was just starting to play and this position seemed to be what I was good at, so therefore, that was my role. I was required to run far out on the field and catch the ball when passed to me by the quarterback. However, I realized that running quickly that far wasn’t the best of my skillful abilities. To do so and then catch the ball wasn’t bad but it also didn’t seem to work for me to perform efficiently. There was another individual on the team who was playing the quarterback and they were having a similar situation. They had the ability to run well so our coach tested it out and had us switch roles. This happens during stage four of Tuckman’s notion of development stages (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). We found that I had more skill in throwing the football, especially when it came to throwing far. My other teammate was able to run a lot better than I could, so therefore, revisions were made to the roster so that we could both play in positions that fit us better than the ones we already had.
We all worked as a team to be able to perform efficiently and win games. If we didn’t win (actually even if we did win), we came together, communicated with each other, and figured out how to be better when the next game would come around. The textbook talks about team confidence and how it’s so important for team members, especially in sports to have confidence in each other (Gruman, Schneider, Coutts, 2016). Every player has to believe in themselves and believe in each other. One person can’t do it all on their own. One person alone can’t “carry” the team. Every person plays a key factor in the game, in the role they’ve been placed in. An article by Journal of Sports Sciences indicates that even though a player’s performance is based a lot off of the player’s skills physically as well as the player’s traits/characteristics, sport confidence “is viewed as critical to human functioning and sport performance” (Hays, Thomas, Maynard, Bawden, 2009).
In the case of one of the dance teams I was a part of, we all had our own roles on that team as well. There was a person who was more like the leader of the group and we referred to them as the president, with another person as the vice president alongside them. There was a treasurer to handle all of the funds we obtained to be able to participate in competitions/shows as well as funds to There was a person who held the role of being responsible for creating the choreography, with the help of another individual. There was someone who was responsible for creating the tracks and music instrumental combinations for us all to dance to. With everyone placing importance on their responsibilities within the group, we were able to be in sync and successful in the dance world. Every single role in any group is very important to the entirety of the team/group. Even though one position might be considered “higher” to the outward eye, that doesn’t make any role less vital to the efficiency of the team’s survival and function as a whole. Everyone must work together, take on their own responsibilities and do their own part, as well as communicate, for things to go smoothly and be successful and done well.
Gruman, J. A., Schneider, F. W., & Coutts, L. M. (Eds.). (2016). Applied social psychology : Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Hays, K. (n.d.). The role of confidence in world-class sport performance. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640410903089798