Teamwork is very essential to amalgamate several individuals with varied experiences and knowledge. I believe that the presence of teamwork increases the possibilities of attaining a higher degree of effectiveness or efficiency in work. I also believe that it provides better performance leading to superior outcomes because the weaknesses of a particular individual belonging to the team may be compensated by the strength of another.
The process of teamwork which I experienced starts with goal setting, followed by awareness, development of trust, cooperative activities, group challenges, extended challenges and applications. These processes provide improvements to the group as a whole, not just individually. The first step, goal setting, is the most significant part of the process and gives a possible measure to the program. After our team was established, or before the process is started, a goal or set of goals for our team to attain was created. The goal setting, which our team performed, encompassed the possible things that the team could learn, and it measured whether the team is performing well together. It also dealt on what particular aspects or skills, such as risk taking, listening, communication, trusting and leadership, should be considered or given high priority.
The second stage of the process in teamwork is awareness. This particular step helped us get along with the other team members. It also provided an atmosphere where the team members could fit in, despite our differences. It also made us appreciate one another, resulting to increased respect, trust and openness within the team. With this particular step, the team was able to easily discuss topics and issues related to the goals that we have previously set.
The third step or stage performed was trust activities. These activities provided outcome in two ways. First, it improved my trust to another team member. Second, it improved my trust to the whole team. I know that other trust activities are designed or specifically performed to improve intellectual trust. I believe that trust is the most significant part of a successful teamwork and through trust activities it could be created, developed or further improved. On the other hand, cooperative activities serve like glue that binds the group together. With cooperation activities, the team members, I in particular, felt that we have successfully achieved a particular goal or objective because of team effort, and not because of a particular individual or team member. With cooperation, we kept a “group-minded” thinking when it comes to accomplishing activities.
The group challenge refers to activities that test the group, and oftentimes, these activities are problem solving. The group challenges provided us, as the name suggest, challenges where I or the other group members exerted or showed our experiences, knowledge, and skills. With group challenges, it was necessary for the group to work and solve the problems together. We also needed to work with one another in coming up with solutions to a particular challenge by providing our respective abilities and specializations. The group on the other hand, utilized these skills, together with the group’s ability to interact, to maximize the quality, speed and efficiency of the group. The skills, outcomes or benefits that we have attained from group challenges were improved or developed conflict management, cooperation, trust, communication, leadership and group decision making.
Extended challenges are specifically designed to boost the capabilities of the team members. With extended challenges, I have felt improvements in self-esteem, leadership behavior, value of group support, risk taking abilities and competency. With extended challenges, we have felt that we could do things beyond what we have first speculated. Somehow, the limits of the team members were surpassed after solving the extended challenges. The activities or extra group challenges which we took part in were named balance logs, zip lines, the leap of faith, tension traverse, postman’s walk and pirate’s crossing.
The last step in the process of teamwork was the application. This step was performed in order to follow-up the things we had learned in the previous steps. Application was also needed in order to guarantee that the previous results or successes could be repeated or continuously attained. It served as maintenance for the team where goal review, evaluation and reflection served as methods of analyzing the whole learning process.
Our team was able to overcome the difficulties that were present before the whole teamwork process or program of activities was conducted. However, still, more improvements can be done. The team can still work better if more bonding activities are performed. Time and repetition with variation reinforces the skills, knowledge and experiences attained from the teamwork process. There were times where the team was not able to work properly, particularly in the beginning of the whole program. It can be said that an atmosphere of discomfort was present and everyone was aloof with one another. The team could have worked better if the team members belonging to the group already knew each other, or that the team members have previously worked with one another. With good background or previous acquaintances, the team members would need less time to feel comfortable with one another.
At first, there were speculations that the team members would not work well together. I, on the other hand, kept a positive thinking on the group and I gave my trust to the other group members. As such, my perceived value for the group was met; it was even surpassed.