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Are Teams Really That Much Better?

Teamwork. We’re all taught that teamwork can bring about greater results, more creativity, and an all-around better end product. Yet, despite having to work in teams from the time we’re in school through the vast majority of our lives, I have often thought to myself are teams really that much better? Yes, I believe that Teamwork can help you achieve superior results, but it’s not an innate outcome.

Teamwork is a Learned Skill

We assume because humans are inherently social beings that we should be able to work effectively as a team, this isn’t true. Having a successful team is a taught skill. I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before: you’re broken up into teams and all of a sudden you start to wonder about the following:

  • Who will end of doing the majority of the work?
  •  Who will free-ride?
  • Will the pace of work be too slow?
  • Will I be viewed as a strong contributor?

However, the more we collaborate and work in teams the more we either learn how to cope with these issues. But I believe the real key lies with the team leader. A leader can unite a team to push together to achieve a project success. For a team to really be strong there has to be a consensus that everyone is pulling in the same direction to reach the end goal, there has to be understanding – team members have to know how their work fits into the larger project and how success at their level will help overall project success and  . I believe a good team leader can achieve this. A strong leader can unite teams and help the group gain perspective, they can communicate project direction and the reasoning behind why team member tasks are important and they can also help motivate to get the most possible out of their teams. Having a strong leader can make the difference between project success and failure.

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