“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation – a force for construction and destruction.” Jonathan Haidt (Tredgold). Teamwork matters to a person or a business as it motivates people into forming a united front (Wehbe, Shada). For example, if we go back to the past and look at when the labor force had no real rights or safety measures and even shared the same workplace, it built distrusting and unhappy workers. It took the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire to get people united, they gained more rights and safer conditions to work in.
Individuals all have weaknesses, strengths, and talents, but a team, if put together correctly, can use each individual’s personality and character to the advantages of the group or business (Wehbe, Shada). Now, with new people in a group and various opinions, a person can get new perspectives and feedback from each group or individual to find problems and figure out solutions (Wehbe, Shada).
In a group, there are generally four different players or styles in team: the collaborator, the communicator, the contributor, and the challenger (Teamwork).
The collaborator is the goal-directed player (Teamwork). They are the ones that see the vision of the goal and the goal is number one, but this teammate is flexible to new ideas and opinions (Teamwork). They are willing to jump in and work in a new role as needed, and they do not need the limelight (Teamwork).
The communicator is the process-orientated member (Teamwork). They are effective listeners and promote involvement.
They help the conflict resolve, help with feedback, and aid in building a relaxed environment (Teamwork). The contributor is a teammate that is highly task-oriented and provides the technical data (Teamwork). They do the research and push the other team members to a higher degree of performance and to use the resources given wisely (Teamwork). Finally, the challenger of the group. This member is always questioning the goals and methods of the group, they will even call out the ethics of the team as needed (Teamwork). They are the ones that question anyone of higher authority and promote the risks that are thoroughly planned (Teamwork).
For the more emotional side of a group, you should have a few skills there: openness, trust and self-disclosure, support and respect (Teamwork Skills). The willingness to know your teammates and find out their quirks, new ideas and viewpoints all show that the member of the team is willing to be open about their groups (Teamwork Skills).
“When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it is ready to climb.” Patanjali (Tredgold). The trust and self-disclosure in a group is important as the group should trust each other with their thoughts and feelings about projects and ideas (Teamwork Skills). Being honest and respectful of that trust and making sure that it is not wasted is key to long-lasting business relationships (Teamwork Skills). Supporting the group helps signify loyalty to their team as they accomplish their project or goal (Teamwork Skills). They do not see each other as competition but as collaborators (Teamwork Skills). Respect shows the team that instead of pointing the finger at someone for a failed idea the team will come together and figure out what they need to learn and what needs to be fixed (Teamwork Skills).
To make an ideal team, there must be ideal team members. Whether in school, work, or everyday life, everyone is committed to something. The commitment’s values vary from the amount of hard work and effort being put into the situation. Genuine commitment isn’t the easiest to come across and like most New Year’s resolutions, it falls through. According to the athletic director, William Frierson, “team members need to be genuinely committed to their cause” (college recruiter, 2015) Being committed requires members of the team to be flexible. Flexibility is one of the most important and helpful skills when working with assigned partners. Overlapping schedules are frustrating and rarely ever work in the team’s favor. Members being flexible to any situation thrown their way, and taking on the situation acceptingly, helps keep the flow smooth. All team members need to make it a priority to stay involved in the group by communicating properly and showing up when planned. The members should also make the project or task itself a priority to meet specific deadlines created by the group and/or the assigner of the project. Frierson also stated, “Great team members come to their teammates having prepared their ideas clearly.” Team members that are reliable are a very important part of working together. Someone that is reliable and responsible helps the team trust each other making it easier to work together.
An ideal team would be made up of members that all have different strengths. Using each member’s strengths to work together would help the team drastically. A team made up of members with certain qualities would increase the likelihood of being successful. A team always needs an achiever or a leader. The designated leader is there to keep everyone focused and to make sure the job gets done. The achiever is usually the maximizer of the group and will always go above and beyond, showing in their work, and make sure every requirement is met or above average. Staying focused is an important quality for every member to have. Staying on task and completing tasks on time keeps good time management. A team that has any of these characteristics has very high chances to be successful. These strengths and qualities can be used not just during school but in the real-world workplace as well. Everyone has strengths that can be used for many things, even simple everyday tasks. According to Lara Pole, “If you believe strongly that your team is making a mistake, you can find a way to come back to the issue when the time is right, but being a stubborn stick in the mud is not a quality of a good team player.” Working in teams can help individuals to learn necessary team-building skills to help make their everyday life more enjoyable. When working in groups, teaches patience, trust, and responsibility to all the members of the team.
There could be several different problems that pop up along the way of completing a group project. Communication between each team is extremely important when it comes to every team member being on the same page of knowing which individual task needs to be done (Five). If the communication is poor, not only could it offset the times of when each task should be done, but it could also be a leading result of a team member being “fired.” Another problem that could easily come upon a team is not having every team member just simply doing their part. Role clarity in a group is need so that each member is in charge of what was assigned to them and no one can get away with not pulling their own weight (Five). This could easily cause tension between the group and it would make things a lot more difficult when it comes to getting work done. Other forms of conflict are that members have different schedules, cultural differences, personalities and priorities in the workplace and out of it (Learning). Taking the time to listen to the team. Recognizing when you or a teammate is wrong and helping to fix it. The main thing would be to accept we are different but assist each one to get the job done.
There are a lot of techniques and methods people can use to reduce social loafing in teams. First of all, what is social loafing? Social loafing refers to a tendency in which some members of the group give less effort than others. (Black Enterprise) Some of the consequences are that other members of the group think the same, so the team output would be less productive. When people are in high school or college they do not like to work in groups because they think they can do it better alone than working with a group. However, it is important to know and learn how to work in a team because no matter what major these people will pursue in the future, they will have to work with people in a direct or indirect way.
There are a lot of factors in which people should take care of, instead to reduce social loafing; these factors are time, communication, order, deadlines, discipline, responsibility, and so on. (Lepsinger Rick) One of the most important ideas to achieve the goal in this course was to assign a manager or a group leader. Although sometimes it does not work; statistically when a group has a leader the objective is easier to achieve. For this course, one of the most important things is to know the people who you are working with. Communication is also important because the team should set dates to know how everybody is working and make sure everybody is working hard on the task they were given. (Black Enterprise) Technology is a tool to which everybody is able to have access, so the team should use it wisely. (Swaak Paul) Whenever the team has a leader and they know each other they can assign separate and distinct contributions for every team member. If a team divides the work, they will develop rules of engagement. It is essential to think about the importance of deadlines, coordinate schedules, and arrange meetings so that everything runs smoothly.
One of the ways you can motivate your group is to make them think about the rewards this project could bring to them if they work hard on the project. (Swaak Paul) Although there are members from the team who do not like the idea to work in a group, you can motivate this person by telling how important is the goal value and the goal achievability. When you have to work with a group, you have the opportunity to select the team members, choose your team wisely. When you get with the group it is important to make sure what the priorities are and what are the objectives that they have to achieve. In the end, what matters is to do your best and support the team as much as you can.