Do you work in a team?

A Team Checklist? Do you work in a team?

(An 8  minute English read on teams, teambuilding and leadership)

It’s Rosenmontag in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. A time for celebrations and a parade just walking past our house. With multiple projects taking place and fantastic project teams operating around me, I sometimes decide to ask an uncomfortable question (Yes, in fact that’s what teachers do) Now the uncomfortable question is: Do you actually work in a team?
As strange as it seems the answer is not always clear. Let’s take a short look wheather we actually are working in a team or with a group of people because not only in my oppinion there is a certain difference. Let’s look at the three key aspects that makeup a every good team.

1. The Structure

What is structure?

The structure starts with the division of roles, tasks and responsibilities. Not all the team members are leaders and definitely not all of them are doing the same tasks. The structure allows a clear way for delegating, tracking, monitoring and completing tasks. It also provides an overview of strengths and weaknesses of people working together. To put it in simple words structure is the division of tasks and responsibilities among all the team members within a team, but also the scheduling of milestones, meetings deadlines etc.. In this particular case structure can also be a verb 😉

Why do we need a structure?

Clear tasks and clear responsibilities allow us to maintain a strong focus on the projet goals. Furthermore the monitoring aspect provides us with an overview of the strengths that the team members possess. Apart from that it also clearly indicates who needs support and who is able to provide the support to other team members.

2. Team members

Who are the team members?

First and foremost team members are professionals working together to complete a given project. Please note that a team consists of at least two people. Team members are different individuals that posess different strengths, weaknesses, skills and competences. Their job is not only to complete individual tasks but also to support, train and mentor each other in order to successfully complete a milestone, a project or their daily tasks.

Why do we need team members?

Although many people think it is quite possible to do everything alone, unfortunatelly they are wrong. Working in a team is much more efficient and allows us a mouch more productive workflow and work quality. Whatever people think it is essential to respect, support and praise other team members in order to maintain high morale and integrity. The competetive aspect also plays a vital role but one should not forget that work is not a sports competition. It might sound funny you can be the best player on the team, just make sure you’re not the only player on the team.

3. The Leader

Who is a Leader?

A team leader is the person who takes the coordinating position within the structure. It is his or her task to create and maintain the structure, integrity and effectivness of the employees.  In order to do it the team leader needs remain close to his teammates in order to provide an example for work standards that are to be followed. It is the job of the team leader to support, train and mentor his colleagues at the beginning and during the project and dailywork.

Why do we need a Leader?

In a dynamic corporate environment working under time pressure may be a challenge to many employees. It is the role of the leader to make sure that the teammates are in balance. The balance between work and life, success and effort, goals and achievements provides the maximum efficiency at work. The balance between work and fun during work should be maintained through conversations, appraisal, positive feedback and training and mentoring sessions held on a regular basis.

Conclusion

As you can see in our 10 minute read we managed to cover the 3 absolutelly basic and essential aspects that make up a section, department, division or maybe even a company. Although many people might say that 10minute read presents just basic information, I highly encourage even the most successfull and experienced employees and managers to read and take some time to think about their colleagues and leaders.
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