What is teamwork, and how does it differ from human interaction?
The term “team” first began to be used in the lexicon of athletes, being an integral part of their time-management construction. Currently, the concept of a team has significantly expanded its scope and is relevant to many areas.
And so, a team – a term that refers to small groups (from 3 to 12 people) with a pronounced focus and intensive interaction between group members. On this basis, teamwork is the effective and productive practical activity of the team. Or it is some joint purposeful work of specialists who work according to predetermined rules and conflict management styles.
The essence of teamwork can be better understood by highlighting its main features:
- teamwork: a team is not the sum of its parts, but an integrated whole – a kind of structured group of people, each member of which is complementary to the other;
- thoughtful positioning of each of its members. That is, each member of this group knows the full extent of the situation and is aware of the strategic objectives, has several tasks assigned to him, and is responsible for the implementation of each of them;
- communication: each member of the team is open and honest with others, ready to solve conflicts at the stage of their emergence;
- autonomy: each team is an autonomous particle in the structure of any organization. It has some thoughtful ways of interacting with the governing bodies and other teams, but they do not influence the processes that take place in this particular group;
- synergy: the effect of collaborative teamwork is qualitatively superior to the impact of the work of individuals. That is, the joint work of specialists can provide much more in total than the results of their work alone.
Thus, teamwork is not a simple relationship between people working in the same organization or on the same project. Instead, it is a collaboration between individual workers that extends to different areas and tasks. Teamwork is a group of people focused on a specific task. A team is a separate “unit” in the workings of an organization.
Researchers of the concept of “teamwork” distinguish its main principles:
- common and meaningful goals of each of the participants;
- complementary skills;
- precise requirements for productivity;
- mutual responsibility;
- a small number of people.
Why teamwork is more effective than collaboration
A team has a broader range of tools compared to a single person. Alas, the individual employee is limited by their authority. A team of versatile and multilevel specialists has more chances to come up with non-standard ideas and use different tools for their realization;
As we discussed earlier, the synergy effect is achievable only in a team. It is difficult to ignore because the fact remains that the joint work of even three people brings more results than the work of an individual employee;
The team is not as subject to influence from outside. Often there are specialists in different positions in one team. It becomes more difficult for external instances to influence such a “mix”, as there is incomparably less leverage than on individual employees;
Every worthy idea is thoroughly discussed in the team and its individual details. This greatly reduces the chances of mistakes and reduces the requirements for conflict resolution skills;
In teamwork, all mistakes and errors become visible. When one person works on one task for a long time, his eye gets “washed out. It becomes difficult for him to grasp individual details and quickly identify mistakes. When he works in a team, there is no room for error. A colleague’s perspective can identify all of the shortcomings;