Ever wondered how you work in a team but are apart from it? It is no surprise that many companies are organised in teams where members within have few or none connections at all. Yes, you belong to marketing team, for example, but most of people is focused solely on their job and have no clue what the colleague sitting next to them is really working on. Team is often used to describe a number of employees focused on same or similar tasks, with no or few relations and communication needs between them and generally working the same thing, but for different client and/or market. I would rather call this department, unit...
There is a great definition on Business Dictionary saying team is “a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project. Team members operate with a high degree of interdependence, share authority and responsibility for self-management, are accountable for the collective performance, and work toward a common goal and shared rewards. A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.”
With a definition that is straight forward as this one, I could easily finish the article right away. However, I would like to point out few elements of the definition. First of all, complementary skills points to necessity of members to have different but set of skills that complement the others’. If one works as marketing specialist, he needs support of content writer, sales expert and financial analyst who allocates project budget. A group of people where members support each other and move on the tasks to next level with interdependent set of skills is a team working on common goal where all the members participate with knowledge and experience they are specialized for.
Further, in order to achieve full potential of your team, you need to give them certain freedom in making decisions, and opportunity to take responsibility for their actions, whether right or wrong. And why is that? We all make mistakes, the question is if we take responsibility for them and if we learn something out of making one, gaining new experience and even self-confidence. Or as Albert Einstein once said “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Except for belonging to “one group of people”, members also share the authority, whether it is a manager, team leader or project manager. Except for being an authority to whom members trust and have respect for his/her experience and knowledge, not for title, she or he should be a leader, the first among equals.
Team leader should responsible for making things work, qualified to delegate tasks, connect members, create and improve communication channels, supervise operations and track work compliance with common goal(s). If we can compare a team with a spider, team without leader or leadership would be like spider without head, "walking" but the direction is not aligned within legs/members and each leg has its own destination.
Think of the definition above mentioned, and think of if you are really a part of a team, or just doing your job for your client, your market and have little, or no connection and communication with your colleagues you call “team members”. If you believe your office, unit, department may benefit from team work, values and sharing knowledge, talk to your manager on how you can form a team in these circumstances in order to achieve the synergy, or just accept the situation as the way it is, the choice is yours. Or in case you are a manager or team leader, dedicate more time for your people, and think of team-building and team-bonding activities you may take to strengthen team spirit among members!
Stay with EventIn for next article on what are the goals of team-building activities.