Is there more than one type of team?

As we all know, teams can operate and function in a number of different ways. Researchers have suggested that it’s the amount of time teams allocate to the planning and implementation phases of a task determines the type of team they are. We see this played out clearly in, (amongst others), our Krypton Maze activity where teams are presented with short team tasks and have around 20minutes to complete. This ensures that they will revert to type rather than attempt to mask their behaviour.

So what types of teams are there?

The first type are described as Fragmented Teams. In this type, we tend to see autocratic leadership and/or small pockets of individuals who often dictate the group decision making process.

Secondly, there are Divergent Teams. Members in this team tend to be overly cautious and will consider a number of possible options. This caution can lead to a slow decision making process and it will sometimes be resolved with a voting process. This may lead to little commitment to the plan however.

A third type is labeled Cohesive Teams. They tend to have a democratic and cooperative atmosphere where everyone is involved. They work through any conflict rather than ignore it and get satisfaction from completing the task.

Is that it?

Not really, if we now look at how multiple teams function, we will see another three descriptions.

The Competitive Team – this type is more concerned with it’s own success than the overall success of the organisation. There tends to be a lack of focus on planning and more of a focus on winning! This results in little assessment of other teams requirements in terms of working together.

The Non-interactive Team – again, there is an inner focus. However, there is a degree of planning, but without due consideration for the organisations ‘bigger picture‘ or needs of other teams. The outcome of this may be that the planning is minimally effective.

The Cooperative Team – this team shares a common goal of completing projects together with other teams. During the planning phase in this team, a large amount of time is spent on how the different teams will work together in order to accomplish goals effectively and efficiently.

What type of team do you see yourselves in?

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What does teamwork mean to me?

This week, we have Maisie with us from Bournemouth University. She is studying Event Management and is looking at getting an insight into the teambuilding sector.

Her first assignment has been to put together some thoughts on what teamwork means to her! Please see below for some great comments!

“For me, teamwork is the concept of people working together cooperatively, supporting each other in order to strive towards a common goal. Teamwork allows a group of people with different skills, interests and opinions to work together as a unit to reach this goal effectively. However this does not mean that the individual is not important, it does mean that efficient and effective team work goes beyond individual accomplishments. 

In my opinion the power of teamwork can develop peoples abilities and I think that there are several characteristics of effective teamwork, these include: 

  • Common goal – Goals provide the overall direction for the team and a shared mission can often create enthusiasm. A common goal leads to the team being able to resolve problems and disagreements by determining what is best for the team and the end goal. 

Communication – Each team member must be able to communicate with the rest of the group, whether this be to ask question, share ideas or general input. A team that allows open communication allows everyone to share their ideas and opinions in confidence. 

Collaboration – Each person must figure out how their skills and talents fit in with the rest of the team. Teamwork requires effective collaboration and everyone must understand what their role is in order to contribute to the teams success. Each member of the team should appreciate that everyone in the team is equal. 

However, sadly no matter how committed businesses or individuals are to developing teamwork, it can sometimes fail. For example, there may be weak communication between the team, a goal may not be effectively communicated or there may be a conflict between personalities. In addition, responsibilities of the team may be poorly defined and this will lead to ambiguity as well as a lack of commitment. 

 Fortunately there are several ways that team work can be improved: 

  • Team Building Activities – Teamwork is enhanced when workers know each other and are comfortable around each other, it is possible to build this trust and friendship through team activities.  Whether it be indoor or outdoor activities, fun exercises and games will  provide the opportunity for extra social time in an atmosphere that encourages open communication.  This will lead to employees working together to build the rapport the company may be looking for. 

Clear Goal – It is very important to make sure the goal is completely understood and accepted by each member.

Implement Recognition Programs – Encourage quality teamwork by rewarding groups for good performance. It may be an idea to create incentives to work well by giving praise. 

This leads to the importance of teamwork- I believe that teamwork should be encouraged as it strengthens a bond between a group of people, targets can be met at a faster pace, workload is shared and individuals feel better motivated to perform better than team members. 

 I will finish with a proverb by Henry Ford which can very well highlight the importance of working together in teams…

 “ Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”- Henry Ford. “

 

Leadership Workshops

Leadership Workshops are designed to establish trust and responsibility within teams. Our teambuilding events are designed to bring out the best in teams and direct them to work together in harmony whilt highlighting the importance of role models and leadership.

We can achieve this by a one or two day Management Leadership Workshop using a behavioural analysis tool (one that fits in with the company’s current usage) to identify the managers own preferred style. This will then be used in conjunction with a Leadership Style questionnaire to narrow down behaviour still further.

For more information on Leadership Workshops visit our website at www.teambuildingsolutions.co.uk