Teamwork can be defined as a collection of actions. These actions are mostly performed or done by individuals who are brought together for a common goal or objective. In this case, a given individual will likely subordinate his needs to the needs of the entire group. As far as teamwork is concerned, every individual is expected to put aside his/her needs in favor of the entire group objective (Blanchard 2005, p. 8). This is expected to be done through collective responsibility from individual members. From a broad perspective, the results from their interaction will be called teamwork.
This is because members of a team are expected to yield positive results in the course of their interaction and cooperation. Teamwork does not mean that every individual and member will be expected to work together (Wheel and 2010, p. 12). It only means that they have to achieve what was initially planned as a group. This should be done by helping each other to suit the groups’ objectives and goals. As a matter of fact, teamwork is a spirit that should be founded on the principle of caring for others (Blanchard 2005, p. 14). Members of a group are expected to operate within their frameworks and guidelines.
In a normal society, each individual has his/her own capabilities that can not be matched with the other. Whenever a member of a group has a shortcoming, they are supposed to support him, help him, and ensure that they win together as a team. This will help in renewing their energy and morale in undertaking their duties and responsibilities (Barbee 2009, p. 21). In the process, they will be obligated to ensure that the group achieves good outcomes.
Teamwork can also be said to be fuel. This is because it allows common people and individuals to work together with an uncommon aim of achieving unexpected results (Blanchard 2005, p. 9). Such common people will be bonded together with the team’s overall goals and objectives.
Because teamwork is a joint activity, each individual should contribute by offering his opinion and skills. This will ultimately enhance efficiency in the group and also make them more united. A united group can easily achieve positive results without any problem. This is because teamwork is a coordinated effort that is expected to achieve anticipated goals. A group can only achieve anticipated goals by coming up with a good framework that will guide their activities and relationship (Barbee 2009, p. 17). Teamwork can also be comprised of associates. These associates are expected to do a well-defined portion of work.
Comparison of two teams
I have worked with two teams before as far as teamwork is concerned. These teams were set in different environments. In the first team (Team A), we were carrying out an assignment as far as classwork is concerned. In the second team (Team B), we were implementing a community youth business project. Therefore, there were various similarities and differences in the performance of the two teams. Team culture defines how the team operates. This is in relation to the attitudes, norms, and beliefs of the team (Levin 2005, p. 13).
After being involved with the two teams, I discovered that they both believed in motivation and support as a way of achieving results. This is because groups had different members with distinct talents and capabilities. Motivation and support ensured that we were within the group’s goals and objectives. In this case, weak members were assisted in catching up with the rest and ensure that we move as a group. Wholesomely, both teams encouraged members to be open and speak out their minds. This was founded on the principle that no member should suffer silently (Levin 2005, p. 17).
Whenever a member had a problem, he was expected to speak it out and share it with the group. This, therefore, ensured that all members were comfortable and satisfied to work with the group. As much as this was widely practiced by members of team A, some members of team B were not ready to admit their problems. This means that they did not have the courage to say if they were happy or not (Blanchard 2005, p. 19). Such members could, therefore, not participate well in group activities.
There was something similar to both teams as far as individuals’ opinions are concerned. In this case, each person’s opinions’ were respected and listened to. This enabled both teams to come up with good ideas on how to undertake responsibilities. Team A had a lot of collective responsibility and cooperation than Team B. This means that there was effective and democratic decision making. Because Team B lacked collective responsibility and cooperation, there were a lot of conflicts in relation to the groups’ decisions.
This is because some decisions were made in the absence of other members who were not committed to the groups’ objectives and goals. In this case, they felt that they had been left behind or ignored, yet they were members of the group. Another difference was seen in the atmosphere of conversations. In team B, members were not allowed to speak without being interrupted. This is the direct opposite of Team A, where individuals could be attentively listened to. Team B had this problem because members lacked collective responsibility and saw others as a burden (Legge 2004, p. 9).
Both teams promoted the use of expertise and skills. This is because they appreciated the spirit of teamwork, where each individual or member has his/her own capabilities and talent (Legge 2004, p. 15). In this case, both teams ensured that each member’s potential was effectively and efficiently developed. This is a culture that had been developed in the teams to ensure that they always appreciate each other.
Team organization defines how a group will be coordinated and how each member will be absorbed in the group. This is because a well-coordinated group will achieve positive and good results without any problem (Levin 2005, p. 21). Team organization in both teams was effectively done and coordinated. For instance, there was a coordinator to ensure that the group’s operations are effectively carried out as expected. The coordinator ensured that members of the group were actively participating in the groups’ activities. Although Team B had problems with members’ commitment, the coordinator was effective by involving dissent members.
Both teams had secretaries to ensure that records are properly kept and recorded. Proper record-keeping ensured that all information was kept and availed to members when needed. Members of the groups were given enough time to know each other, thereby enhancing their relationship. This was done before any meeting to ensure that everybody is comfortable as far as the groups’ activities are concerned. Such meetings were used to iron out any problems that might have been experienced before, thereby creating a good working environment.
As much as both teams had effective and robust procedures, Team B did not have good measures in place to promote feedback and regular communication. This explains why there were occasional conflicts because members could not understand each other well as far as collective responsibility is concerned (Pfeffer 1994, p. 22). Team A and Team B had good procedures to recognize and resolve conflicts, and that is why they continued with their operations and activities. This is because a normal group is expected to have conflicts that are supposed to be dealt with for sustainability.
Both teams had good frameworks of supporting members whenever they had problems. In this case, members were effectively supported to realize their potential as far as their talent and capabilities are concerned. Task-related activities were effectively crafted in both teams to ensure that every member is actively involved in the teams’ activities. This is the essence of teamwork, where every member is expected to work together (Pfeffer 1994, p. 34). Team A and Team B had good action plans where the aims, objectives, and goals of the team were properly discussed.
From a broad perspective, both teams had clearly identified their priorities. The only difference was seen in the identification of priorities, as they could not be clearly agreed upon. This was prevalently witnessed in Team B because it had a large number of members or individuals. Both teams had a clear agreement on the delegation and identification of tasks. This ensured that members were individually responsible for executing their duties and responsibilities. Tasks were allocated depending on an individual’s talent and capabilities. This ensured that they were comfortable in their positions.
Team A did not have many difficulties, like Team B. Both teams had problems and difficulties in time management, where members could not keep time as expected of them. This was varying depending on the time of the day. To solve this problem, coordinators had to come up with better ways of ensuring that members keep time. For instance, meetings (for Team A) were only called after all members had been contacted to see if they are available.
This ensured that everybody was comfortable as far as meetings are concerned. For Team B, members were allowed to give their suggestions on time. This made them be committed to the time that they had agreed on as a group.
Team B had difficulties in collective responsibility and commitment from members. This is the direct opposite of Team A, where members were fully committed to ensuring that they win as a group. Team B did not have collective responsibility because of problems in decision making. To overcome this problem, the coordinator was forced to come up with brainstorming sessions to ensure that members’ concerns are addressed. In addition, Team B had difficulties in availing of the necessary financial resources. This is because members were not fully committed to giving in their contributions. This problem was overcome through fines. In this case, members who had not paid on time were heavily fined.
Quality of outcome
In the long run, both teams had a positive outcome. The only problem was seen in the quality of outcomes where Team A had a more positive outcome than Team B. Team A had a positive outcome because members were very committed to ensuring that they win as a team. Team B experienced difficulties in producing a positive outcome because of laxity from members.
Experiences from teamwork
I have gained a lot of experience after being involved in teamwork. As a matter of fact, I will use these experiences to improve my future performance in any teamwork that I will be involved in. I have noted that for teamwork to be successful, there should be trust and respect among individuals and members. This can be enhanced by ensuring that members talk to each other every now and then (Levin 2005, p. 27). To enhance my future performance in teamwork, I will always ensure that I spend some time with members to know what we have in common.
This will ensure that we understand each other and appreciate ourselves well. To enhance trust, members can provide each other with their phone numbers and email address to facilitate communication. I have also noted that for one to benefit from teamwork, he/she is supposed to ensure that there is enough time to discuss and evaluate different activities and solutions (Legge 2004, p. 18). In the future, I will always ensure that tasks are properly investigated to avoid any blame games as far as my responsibilities are concerned.
From my experience, I have discovered that some teams do not achieve their desired outcomes because members don’t understand the teams’ aims and objectives. This means that as a team, we are supposed to understand the problems that we are expected to solve. After this, we are also supposed to identify various tasks that will be performed to achieve our desired outcome as a team (Barbee 2009, p. 37). Therefore, it is important to understand the process that will be used to come up with a good criterion for achieving a team’s goals and objectives.
In the future, I will always ensure that we effectively plan our processes. This is because planning ensures that all the teams’ activities are properly undertaken as expected. From my experience, I have discovered that planning is done by setting out a good timetable. This timetable can always be reviewed in meetings to ensure that it fits within a group’s goals and objectives. For effective teamwork, I also noted that we are supposed to monitor and review our work as a team for success. This is because monitoring and reviewing affect the outcome of a team’s activities (Blanchard 2005, p. 14).
For successful teamwork, members are expected to review the teams’ process to ensure that the outcome is matching with the original problem or task (Legge 2004, p. 28). This can be evaluated by ensuring that deadlines are met. As a team, we are not supposed to overlook anything while carrying out our activities. This ensures that unexpected problems are effectively met and dealt with before they affect the teams’ overall performance and morale.
From my experiences, there is a very big relationship between individuals and the team. This is because every individual or member has a role and responsibility to play in the project (Barbee 2009, p. 39). In addition, members are supposed to collaborate with each other in addressing the tasks and problems at hand. To enhance my participation in teamwork, I will always ensure that I play my part as expected. I will do this by recognizing other members’ contributions and providing the necessary support and help where needed.
As a team, we are supposed to meet deadlines and contribute fully in meetings to avoid any conflicts and controversies that might end up affecting the teams’ morale and productivity. From a broad perspective, there are various problems that can be experienced while working as a team. This means that they are supposed to be clearly addressed for sustainability in the teams’ activities. In addition, problems should be clearly identified as they arise (Legge 2004, p. 29).
This will ensure that such problems do not end up affecting the teams’ morale and performance. As a matter of fact, there are two types of problems. In this case, a problem can arise from the task, or it can also arise from members and the management.
Barbee, D., 2009. 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know Collective Wisdom from the Experts. Beijing: O’Reilly.
Blanchard, K., 2005. Go, Team! Take your team to the Next Level—San-Francisco, CA: Beret-Koestler publishing Inc.
Legge, K., 2004. Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Levin, P., 2005. Successful teamwork: Student Friendly Guides. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Pfeffer, J., 1994. Competitive advantage through people. Harvard: Harvard Business School Press.
Wheel an, S., 2010. Creating Effective Teams: a Guide for Members and Leaders. Los Angles: SAGE.