Teams. Everyone is part of multiple teams, at work, at home and in hobbies and community work. We have all had been part of teams that have felt good and worked well, and we have all been in situations that have been completely different. Why? What causes some teams to function well, and leads others to struggle. And what are some of the unusual stories you have about working on teams?
John Donne wrote that “man is not an island”, and no matter whether we prefer to work by ourselves or with others, we will find ourselves in different teams. This section focuses on the way in which your particular team works-what are the customs, profiles, styles and ways of communicating that exist within your team. Equally importantly, why do you exist as a team, and if you weren’t there who would miss you? Teams, just like individuals, need a purpose.
Everybody has a different role to play on a team — great teams are made up of people with different strengths and weaknesses. But how do you determine what your role is? And how do you know when to change your role for the good of a team. How do you develop the skills not just of leadership, but of followership, and how do you helps others get the best out of you.
Teams do not exist in a vacuum; they have many and varied stakeholders, whether that be in business, home life or community life, and understanding how to interact with people outside of the team is a critical part of being a successful team. How do you keep the balance right between being loyal to team members and being seen as a clique? What is your team brand?
Each team has different ways of working together and no team will be exactly the same. But most successful teams will have established an approach and a clarity to the way they work that will bring out the best n each other and will ensure that everyone is clear about who is accountable for what, and what the end result should be. But what happens if this isn’t there, and how do you handle the inevitable conflict that will come about?
Teams make decisions all the time; as individuals and as teams. Yet why is it that teams made up of bright, talented people can make bad decisions? What gets in the way of making great decisions, and what are some of the warning signs that teams are in danger of being misled by groupthink or biases. And for you personally, where are your weaknesses in decision making, and how can your team recognise these and support you.