Successful teamwork in the workplace is a must for accomplishing goals efficiently. Working in teams allows individuals to pool their strengths and work as a more powerful unit overall. Not only does teamwork entail close collaboration between people, it also requires a recognition and implementation of various key group roles.
A team leader is the heart of the team. She guides the way for the rest of the group. From making sure all members are aware of their various responsibilities and duties to making key decisions regarding approaches to projects and plans, leaders have a lot on their plates. It's crucial for leaders to govern the work approach of the rest of the team, but also for them to eagerly pay attention to others' ideas and input. If another team member introduces a concept that she thinks will improve the operations of the team, it's up to the leader to consider it. Leaders help keep teams organized and on track.
All strong teams need individuals who are highly focused on knowledge -- both acquiring and sharing it. If a team at work is collaborating to come up with an exciting advertising campaign for a brand new cellphone app, then they need someone who has a wealth of understanding in the realm of technology, whether it pertains to innovations or competing products. If that team player can't readily provide the necessary information a team needs to go forward, it's up to him to figure out how to go about promptly acquiring it.
While enthusiasm and soaring imaginations are indeed important qualities for teams to possess, it's also imperative for groups to be grounded in reality. If a team is working diligently on a project only for things to start becoming overly complicated and impractical, it's the job of the team realist to bring the rest of the players back down to earth. If a team realist identifies that the rest of his team is no longer focusing on the core of the objective, then it's up to him to get everyone centered and in the zone again. Team realists also assist teams in not wasting time -- a critical component of strong teamwork.
Team communicators, like the leaders, are vital to teamwork. When situations get a little stressful or tense, communicators serve as bridges between the various members. Many different factors can trigger potential conflicts on teams, from differences of opinions to misunderstandings. The job of a team communicator is to know how to effectively interact with all of the different strong personality types that make up teams. If a misunderstanding is going on, a team communicator can take charge in resolving it -- and getting everyone back on the path to achievement, rather than confusion and irritation.
While working in teams can be enriching, it also can sometimes get taxing, especially when deadlines and high expectations are involved. It's easy for team members to start feeling nervous and agitated in these types of situations. This is why it's so crucial for teams to have passionate individuals who can keep vibes upbeat and brains concentrating on the important tasks at hand. The team supporter can maintain team morale and prevent people from feeling discouraged. If a team encounters a tough obstacle, it's the job of the most passionate person to see the bright side of it -- and then figure out how to use it.
- CBS News: Key Team Personality Types
- Rutgers University School of Communication and Information: Roles Played By Team Members
- Rethinking Work and Learning; Peter Willis, Stephen McKenzie and Roger Harris
- Inc.: 5 Personality Types Your Company Needs
- Leadership Team Coaching; Peter Hawkins
- Penn State University Teaching and Learning With Technology: Defining Your Roles
- U.S. Office of Personnel Management: The Employee's Role in a Team
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