Last week, I went to the cinemas to watch the Akshay Kumar-starrer – GOLD. A fantastic retelling of India’s first Olympic Gold medal after gaining independence by defeating Britain in the finals. Patriotism and nostalgia galore, the movie certainly is an inspiring watch. However, one strong aspect that stood out for me was the display of teamwork. Apart from the talent and the hard work put by the players, the one reason for their success was teamwork. This brings me to today’s topic – Are you working in a group or a team?
Have you tried Akshay Kumar’s #GoldBinChallenge yet?
No matter what the sport, it takes teamwork to accomplish even the smallest victory. I know because team #Gold had a hard but fun time doing this. Can you unite your team and take up the #GoldBinChallenge?@excelmovies @kapoorkkunal @TheAmitSadh @ItsVineetSingh @SunnyK0 pic.twitter.com/Y3EQXyLGEc
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) August 3, 2018
Hold on. Aren’t a group and team similar?
Yes and No. By definition, a group and team is a set of people. But, that is where the similarity ends.
A team is a set of people who work together to achieve a common goal. While a group is a set of people who are located, gathered or classed together. In a group, people may/may not work towards a goal, but a team is one who always has a goal that the members are trying to achieve.
In simple words, if a group of people has a goal that they decide to achieve by working in harmony with each other, then it is called a team.
Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
– Vince Lombardi, American Football Player, and Coach
How do I know if I am working in a group or a team?
There are three simple questions that you can ask yourself to determine whether you are working in a group or a team:
Q1. Does the set of people that you are working with have any goals which require all the team members to work together?
If there are no such common goals, then you are working in a group. The idea of a team is to have people with skills that complement each other and can be used to accomplish difficult tasks.
Q2. Is it a closely knit unit? Does everyone know and approve of all team members?
Communication plays a huge role in establishing a team. All team members should feel that they belong in the team and that they can voice their opinions.
Q3. Think about the last few rewards/recognitions received by you. Are they primarily for accomplishing individual goals? Or, have you been recognized for shared goals too?
The answers to these questions will give you a fair idea about whether you are working in a group or a team.
How does my success depend on whether I am working in a group or a team?
Individual career success depends a lot on being a good team player. I am sure most of us mention either on our resumes or during job interviews that we are good team players. But are we? Understanding if your unit/department is working as a group or a team is the first step towards becoming a team player.
Here is how you and your organization benefits from having teams rather than groups:
- A team brainstorms and comes up with better problem-solving ideas as opposed to a group who are more focused on individual goals. This improves your collaboration and problem-solving skills.
- Teams, usually, come up with more creative ideas since many brains work together.
- If you know that your team members are there to support you if you need them, then your efficiency increases. It has been observed that people who work in silos, usually perform below par. Also, in teams, employees stop worrying if their co-workers or boss is taking advantage of them at work.
- Companies always prefer employees who display a sense of community and teamwork. It is also good for the morale of each team member since they work towards something much bigger than themselves.
However, if you find that employees in your department are working as a group rather than a team, then you must take initiatives to instill the importance of teamwork in each of them.
Also read: How to be a powerful Leader
At Change Ur Story, we know the difference between working in a group or a team and the importance of teamwork. Through our Corporate Coaching Program, we stay in regular touch with your organization and your team providing a valuable outsider’s insight into every employee’s career. Through experiential learning modules, we ensure that the group of people working in your department starts functioning as a team. Drop us a line and let’s start asking each of your team members – Are you working in a group or a team?
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