- A team is a small group of individuals working together to achieve the team objective.
- The teammates actively interact with each other. Each teammate is open and honest with the other teammates, and is willing to manage conflicts even at their initial stage and to respond freely.
- The team includes three to twelve teammates.
- Outlined teammate roles. The team objective consists of tasks. The whole team is responsible for the team's objective fulfillment. Yet each teammate is responsible for their own task. It is important to underline that all participants are aware of the present conditions and the team strategic objectives. For example, Mary knows that the team's objective fulfillment depends on how she accomplishes her task.
- The team has its own internal specific rules. And such rules may probably not work in another team due to fact that all people differ from each other.
Let's discuss the team objective in more detail because it is vital for the team's operation. The team itself should formulate its objective. For example, there is an external bid. Most likely, it refers both to the client and the management staff. Yet we can't define this bid as the team objective. It is only a preliminary condition for team building. The team examines the bid and formulates an objective. And this is the first significant stage of team building: the meeting and problem analysis, etc. are started. The teammates start to link their personal goals with the planned team objective. Letting the team formulate a goal on their own will minimize the team's vices, which we'll talk about later. It will help maximize the engagement and give the feeling of personal responsibility to each teammate.
It is important to underline that the formulated objective will be unique for each team. We are therefore creating a group of enthusiasts that strive for personal development. It will be difficult for them to devote themselves to a typical, down-to-earth objective given from the directing stuff.
We have discussed the team features. Now let's examine what benefits these features can yield.
- Greater opportunities. Let's discuss it on Mary's case. She is limited by her role and experience. She percepts the things and makes decisions based on her personal subjective experience. And as a teammate, she begins to share this experience. Plus, she has a better chance of generating unusual ideas. And the error probability is lower. Mary's team therefore puts under analysis each idea and brings constructive criticism in order to reach the state of perfection.
- Synergy. Even the joint work of three people brings more results than the work of a single employee. The benefits of working together are qualitatively superior to individual work. Mary alone can be a great professional. But when Bob and Nicolas join her, their joint efficiency will increase greatly.
- Greater independence. The team is not so strongly affected by the external factors. Mary's team involves various professionals. Accountant, sales manager, designer, head of the marketing department. It gets more difficult for external forces to affect such a mixed structure. Outside the team, its teammates may have different superiors and they do not affect other people's subordinates. A team can create something that would be impossible due to pressure on a single team member.
- Minimum error. When Mary was working on one task for a long time, she got tired and became inaccurate. It became difficult for her to notice the details and quickly identify errors. When she began to work in a team, there was no room for error. The critical analysis of other teammates can help to reveal all the disadvantages.
- Going beyond job instructions. Employees have job responsibilities. And the scope of working activities is defined by these job responsibilities. Teamwork can expand that range further. For instance, while working on one project, Mary has to solve tasks that were non-standard for her. At the same time, those skills that she might not know about are involved. Or she has to use well-known skills but she can think that these skills are not important for the company.
- Team spirit. Naturally, it is important to bear in mind team spirit and comradery. In addition to professional growth, another team feature is ensuring the inner growth of each person. While working in the team, Mary becomes more tolerant, learns to respect colleagues and their frames of reference, learns to listen to others and hear them