Understanding Team - What is a Team?

Let us first go through a simple real life situation.

John was working as a key accounts head with a leading advertising firm. He had four members reporting to him. Unfortunately he always under estimated his team members and fought with them constantly.

He could never trust them and always thought they were incapable of doing good work. One fine day, he got some major assignment from one of his clients which was to be submitted within two working days.

He decided to do it all alone as he thought nobody else could do it apart from him. John could never submit his assignment on the required day and received good criticism from his superiors. His organization also lost one of their major and prestigious clients.

Why do you think John failed? Why could he not complete his assignment on time?

Here comes the importance of a team. Had John taken the help of his team members, he would have finished his assignment on time and everyone would have appreciated him.

An individual cannot perform all tasks on his own. He needs the support as well as guidance of others to be excellent in whatever he does. Complex goals can easily be accomplished if individuals work together as a team.

What is a team?

A team is a group of individuals, all working together for a common purpose. The individuals comprising a team ideally should have common goals, common objectives and more or less think on the same lines. Individuals who are not compatible with each other can never form a team. They should have similar if not the same interests, thought processes, attitude, perception and likings.

Difference between Group and Team

A group is not necessarily a team. A group can have individuals with varied interests, attitude as well as thought processes. It is not necessary that the group members would have a common objective or a common goal to achieve.

What happens in a political rally? The political leader appeals to the individuals to cast the votes in his favour only. Do you think all of them would cast the votes in favour of the leader? There would always be some individuals who would support his opponent. This is example of a group. All individuals gathered on a common platform but had dissimilar interests and likings. Some were in favour of the leader while some against.

A team must have individuals with a common objective to achieve. They should all work together and strive towards the achievement of a common goal.

What happens in a cricket team?

All the players have a common focus and a common objective. Everyone, the captain, the wicketkeeper, the bowlers, the fielders all work together to achieve a common target i.e. win the game. No one ever thinks of losing the game.

It is not only the individuals who form a team; even animals can constitute a team. Go to any hill station and one can spot many horses all working for a common goal i.e. Carry people to the hill top and bring them back.

Team members

The team members must complement each other. All team members should help each other and work in unison. Personal interests must take a back seat and all of them must deliver their level best to achieve the team objective. Team members must not argue among themselves or underestimate the other member.

Organizations have a sales team, administration team, human resources team operation team and so on. All the members of the sales team would work together to achieve the sales target and generate revenues for the organization.

Team Size

The team size depends on the complexity of the task to be accomplished. Ideally a team should consist of 7-10 members. Too many members also lead to confusions and misunderstandings.

It is not always that we require a team. Teams should be formed when the task is a little complicated. A single brain can sometimes not take all critical decisions alone, thus a team is formed where the team members contribute equally making the task easy. A team can actually create wonders if all the team members work in unison.

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Team Building