Teamwork Slovenian Style

Teamwork Slovenian Style related articles

Teamwork Slovenian Style

26.02.2008 ob 14:10

Teamwork is a form of an activity performed by a group of people where the basis of the cooperation is not an individual’s position within a formal hierarchy but a direct and equal distribution of tasks. Teamwork is beneficial when cooperation of several expert profiles or an interdisciplinary approach is required for the successful realisation of a complex project. A group of experts becoming a group of equal experts is the precondition required for successful teamwork where the entire potential of each and every expert is fully utilised. Teamwork is much more than expert technical cooperation because it yields synergetic effects, much better results within a shorter period of time and fewer stressful situations. All this is reflected both in the company’s profits as well as in employees’ motivation. The overall result is therefore significantly greater and offers greater psychological satisfaction of individuals than in the “classic case” of individual work.

How does teamwork proceed?
Teamwork always undergoes several development phases: team formation, assigning responsibilities and functions, personal skills coordination, concurrent result evaluation, team homogeneity and a team functioning based on synergy. The last phase is also the target phase.

Advantages of teamwork
Team members understand their interdependency. They realise that their personal and their team goals can be achieved more effectively only through mutual support and cooperation. Being bound by the goals they have created themselves, they feel stronger professional and peer affiliation. With their competence and knowledge they contribute to their common success. Feelings of trust develop and unhindered expression of ideas, opinions, feelings, questions and dilemmas is encouraged within the team. The members establish an open and honest communication and try to understand other members’ views and arguments. While developing various skills and approaches, they encourage each other and receive mutual support. They consider conflicts as only one aspect of human interaction and take advantage of conflicts as opportunities to test new ideas, their own flexibility and tolerance. They resolve difficulties in a quick and constructive manner and participate in decision making. Teamwork contributes to their personal and professional growth, mainly through the climate, the working conditions and the requirements set forth by the common task.

The traps of teamwork
Teamwork also includes traps that can sometimes prove detrimental for the project’s realisation. One of the main traps is the "bossing around" or team management. A good team leader is also a good human resources coordinator who is familiar with and knows how to apply all team members’ personal and professional skills. Not every team leader has the communication skills or personal characteristics required for motivating and successfully coordinating team members’ activities. Namely, successful teamwork is a consequence of effective intertwinement of all team members’ competences. The second trap lies in recognising the weakest link. Teamwork reveals the team’s weakest links relatively quickly. It is the team leader’s task to exclude the weakest link and replace him or her with a new one. Weak social intelligence is also a bad quality in a team leader or team members that affects teamwork. In order for teamwork to be successful it has to be based on an effective assignment of functions, mutual trust and respect, and a high level of team members’ awareness (self-control). Team leaders have to recognise the homogenisation process and the path towards team synergy, therefore the wish or the necessity of handling everything alone does not constitute a part of teamwork.

Teamwork in practice
In practice, the definition of a group of employees as a “team” and of a task implementation as “teamwork” is often incorrectly interpreted. This area within an organisation is still being falsely perceived, simplified or underestimated! The people managing working teams frequently concentrate only on the technical execution of work or a project, while neglecting the people (and their needs). It is this very neglect of the people’s needs that leads to conflicts and stressful situations, thus definitely paralysing successful work. The result is poorly and negligently performed work.

Urška Č.

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