In order for schools, companies, or businesses to succeed, team work is very important. In most cases, working with a team leads to better results, compared to what may have been gained if an individual has worked alone. There are many benefits and challenges in working in a team, and there are also ways that a team can enhance performance.
Team work can be defined as the joint contribution of a group towards meeting a common goal. It involves prioritizing the efficiency and unity of the group over the interests and opinions of each individual member.
It does not mean that individuals are not important; rather this means that having an effective teamwork goes beyond each member’s accomplishments. Teamwork can be considered effective only when the members strive to achieve their goal by contributing and working together (NDT Resource Center, n.d.).
In order to be effective and successful, the team must establish its clearly defined roles and responsibilities (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, n.
d.). Team members are expected to play their roles well. They have roles and tasks that must be done so that all of them can contribute to the completion of the goal. Roles must be handed out depending on the talents, skills and background of the members (The Pennsylvania State University, n.d.). These roles are leader, thinker, achiever, carer, and doer (McMillan, n.d.).
As team members do their roles for the success of the team as a whole, it will be a beneficial experience for everyone. Working in a team is advantageous because of the many positive things it brings. For one, team members learn and understand the importance of working interdependently towards a goal. Also, members will feel a sense of ownership for their role in the team and their importance in achieving the goals. They also learn how collaboration and use of their talents and experiences may positively lead to the success of the teams’ objectives. In addition, trust, respect, and encouragement become central to the team as each one gets a chance to give their opinions and voice out their questions. Moreover, members contribute to the overall success when they offer their knowledge to the team (NDT Resource Center, n.d.).
Although getting a job done is faster when working in a team, there are challenges that hinder the delivery of great results. There would always be times when personal agendas are being prioritized. This is because in most cases, people get used to doing things by themselves. The team can face the difficulty of encouraging its members to temporarily set aside their individual interests so that their goal is given all the attention. Thus, it is important that members are aware that failure or success depends on them as a whole. Conflict is another challenge faced within a team. There will always be conflict in a team because members have different personalities, opinions, and skills. In some cases, conflict is seen as a stumbling block for the members. The team is faced with the challenge of taking advantage of conflict to result in productivity. The team can also use conflict towards a more positive minor goal such as encouraging creativity and achieving great results (Brodie, 2009). Disengagement is also a challenge in teamwork because team members might not feel connected to the work that they have to do, to the team that they are a part of, and to the people that they work with. Disengagement can affect the productivity, efficiency and morale of the team (Floyd Consulting, Inc., 2007).
Furthermore, silo thinking is a challenge that sometimes roots from having team members that came from different professional disciplines (Brodie, 2009). Silo thinking can have adverse effects for the team as a whole because it “tightens boundaries and restricts teamwork and productivity” (Dixon, 2002). Finally, lack of clarity is a challenge that stems from not setting clearly what the team has to achieve and why it has to be achieved. Team leaders should clearly establish from the start the outcomes that the team is expected to achieve (Brodie, 2009).
Despite these challenges, teams can be successful when members further enhance their performances. One way to enhance performance is for leaders to adopt attitudes and expectations. Through this, members realize that this can contribute to the success of the team. They are also encouraged to set their mind to what is expected from them. Furthermore, training can enhance performance. In some cases, members need to undergo training, especially during the times when performance is waning. Training will serve as a booster to keep them performing in the highest possible level again. In the same way, team building will restore the members’ dedication to what they are trying to accomplish (Soaring eagle Enterprises, n.d.).
Teams do not grow instantly; rather, they grow step by step. There are four stages in team growth. These are the forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Forming is said to be stressful because it happens when new teams come together. This is the stage where members are still adjusting with each other. This is also the stage when cliques are formed. Team managers must clarify what the team has to achieve and must clarify the role that each member will have (Mackintosh, 2009). The next stage, storming, is considered to be the most difficult because it seems that things fall apart at this point. This is where the real issues appear, leading to power struggles. There is no unity, as some members will try to dominate the group while others are confused about what they should do (McMillan, n.d.). Additionally, some may be impatient because there seems to be no progress, at the same time they are still inexperienced with working in a team. The whole team is at an uncertain standing because its members are not focused on the goal (NDT Resource Center, n.d.).
The next stage is norming, which characterizes the stage wherein team members are starting to accept the team and putting aside their personal agenda (NDT Resource Center, n.d.). Also, this is the stage when members get a clear picture of their goals and roles (Mackintosh, 2009). Performing is the fourth stage, which shows that members already accept the strengths and weaknesses of others. They become at ease with each other, leading to sharing of ideas and trusting other members (NDT Resource Center, n.d.). The last stage is adjourning, where members evaluate and review the critical events of the previous stages (The College of St. Scholastica, n.d.).
A successful teamwork depends on the contribution and working together of the members. Once a team works together towards the realization of its goals in a way that is rewarding, it can be beneficial for the team as a whole. However, the challenges mentioned above can be quiet daunting unless the teams act on it to resolve them. There are also ways for team members to enhance their performance to be able to be successful and effective.
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Dixon, D.L. (2002). Enhancing collaboration and healthcare delivery effectiveness. American Medical Directors Association. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from https://www.amda.com/publications/caring/october2002/collaboration.cfm
Floyd Consulting, Inc. (2007). About Floyd. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www.floydconsulting.com/
Mackintosh, A. (2009). The stages of team development. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Stages-Of-Team-Development&id=27770
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (n.d.). The basics of working on teams. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://web.mit.edu/hr/oed/learn/teams/art_basics.html
McMillan, S.J. (n.d.). How to participate, learn, and grow in TEAMS. University of Texas, Knoxville. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://web.utk.edu/~sjmcmill/teamweb.html
NDT Resource Center. (n.d.). Teamwork in the classroom. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www.ndt-ed.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Teamwork.htm
Pennsylvania State University. (n.d.). Team member roles. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www.das.psu.edu/dairy/teams/roles
Soaring Eagle Enterprises. (n.d.). Teamwork and team building programs. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://www.soaringeagleent.com/twprograms.htm
The College of St. Scholastica. (n.d.). Team termination and evaluation. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from http://faculty.css.edu/dswenson/web/6300-OBOD/Teamevalproject.html
Cite this Team Works and Dynamics
Team Works and Dynamics. (2017, Jan 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/team-works-and-dynamics/