Everything you need to know about teamwork

There are just teams, and there are teams destined for success. Remember the success story of any creative project, and you will most likely find that there is a great team behind it - a group of enthusiastic people who helped each other. Specific achievements are usually attributed to individual employees, but projects can be brought to the next level only through well-coordinated teamwork.

How to create such a team? Very simple. The nine facts listed below will help you optimize the choice of participants for a successful team and build teamwork to get the most out of it.

1. The presence of other people increases work efficiency

One of the earliest discoveries in the field of social psychology was the effect of "social assistance" - the mere presence of other people doing the same work as you can serve as an additional incentive. At the beginning of the last century, that a group of people performing work separately at a common table, achieved much better results, even if they did not help or try to get ahead of each other. Thus, the energy of other people can create the impression of working in a team, even if people work independently of each other (which is why many creatives prefer to work in the same hard-working strangers in local cafes).

2. Playing at home gives great advantages.

Everyone knows that sports teams enjoy the psychological advantage when they play in their field - after all, everyone around them is familiar. But few people know that familiar faces around you are exactly the same advantage. Harvard studies have shown that the effectiveness of cardiac surgeons improved over time if they worked in their hospital surrounded by their regular team. But when they had to replace doctors in other hospitals, where the team was unfamiliar to them, their effectiveness dropped. Despite the fact that the surgeons were well versed in their field, the local team could not understand them at once.

Working constantly with the same people, you will learn their strengths and weaknesses, you have a general experience that you can rely on, you develop elusive habits and rules that help your mutual understanding. A good example: pull some star performer out of his show-ballet, and you may find that his performance without a team is no longer so impressive.

3. Virtual teams can be more effective than real ones.

Research results covering several thousand remote workers showed that 69% of them believe that work efficiency was higher when they were working remotely. 83% said that their cooperation with other team members was not affected or even benefited from being in different places. Another study, evaluating the performance of 80 software companies around the world, found that virtual teams often outperformed real ones in terms of performance.

Experts believe that the most important factor in the success of a virtual team is to make sure that every member invests in the project at 100%, including adequate support and communication. Another good practice involves allocating time to form the spirit of a virtual team, including communication in an informal context.

4. The important role played by the balance of extroverts and introverts in the team

When hundreds of students, as an experiment, were divided into teams of five people to perform group tasks for 10 weeks, it turned out that at first nobody appreciated introverts. Their classmates believed that they would not be able to greatly influence the result of the work, and did not expect the same return from them as from more brave team members. However, by the end of the semester, students understood how many introverts could offer them, and began to value them more, while trust in extroverts fell.

While extroverts are trying to seize your attention and demonstrate their abilities, you need to dig deeper and find quiet but talented geniuses. However, do not get too carried away with such searches - extroverts should not be ignored either, since often the most effective combination in a team is the balance of personalities.

5. A good team must have at least one analyst.

Team members who are able to build the big picture in their minds are great for brainstorming and solving creative problems, but when it comes to translating an idea into reality, it’s good to have at least one person in the team with an analytical mindset - that is, someone who can concentrate on the details of the project.

During one of the recent experiments, it turned out that teams with analytics usually succeed in project implementation, since they pay more attention to the details of the task execution process - for example, setting intermediate tasks and identifying the necessary resources. However, the analytical advantage should be balanced, as ideological and analytical thinkers may not come to a consensus on the main issues, and this will negatively affect the efficiency of the whole team.

To avoid such disagreements, the whole team needs to focus on the project implementation process and clearly set strategic priorities. If you manage to find a person with a mixed style of thinking (ideological and analytical), this can also contribute to improving relations between team members with different styles of thinking.

6. A good team should be from both sexes.

Analysis of almost 2,400 international companies showed that if there is at least one woman on the board of directors, then such a company has higher efficiency indicators. The advantage of having both genders in the team was especially noticeable in stressful working conditions, where a balance of both thinking styles and leadership skills was needed.

What is the optimal balance of men and women in a team? Students of the Faculty of Economics, divided into teams with a composition of 50 to 50, showed the best results. Researchers believe that this is the reason for success, because men and women are more likely to control each other to make sure that they all worked out 100%.

7. There is a danger of the team breaking up into subgroups.

Attachment and friendship inevitably arise between team members. Studies of space crews and Arctic expeditions have shown that such “microcultures” can be especially strong if they are based on forms of social identification (for example, nationality or gender) that formed before the formation of the team. In "mixed" teams, such subgroups can also be formed based on professional preferences.

This problem has been investigated using the example of the UK healthcare system. The results showed that the differences between the team members were a plus - such groups showed higher work efficiency than homogeneous teams, but only on condition that they managed to prevent internal splits. To do this, it was necessary to make sure that the team has a common goal, all members feel listened to, the team analyzes its own activities, and all participants communicate intensively with each other.

8. The effectiveness of the team depends on its "ability to experience"

Studies have shown that the “collective thinking” of a team (judging by its ability to overcome a number of problems) depends not on the average IQ of its individual members, but on their ability to conduct dialogue and the predominance of women in the team.

Experts believe that teams should be tested for "ability to experience" in the same way as individuals. If the team fails such a check, then it is better to change its composition or train it in more effective communication.

9. The best teams communicate informally.

Informal communication is considered the most important factor in the success of a team. Studies have shown that the energy and degree of involvement in such informal communication affects the team's performance.

It is very easy to contribute to such valuable meetings - schedule tea breaks so that all team members can chat with each other, or organize a social event. By the way, the most effective creative teams are those who have found the perfect balance between "intelligence" and "adaptation" - that is, teams that are able to find new ideas from outside and adapt them for the rest.

Watch the video: Microsoft 365 teamwork Everything you need to know in 8-minutes (February 2020).


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