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Teamwork 101

By Tracy L. Chenoweth

How would you define teamwork?

Type your answer in here!


What Exactly is Teamwork?

Teamwork is defined in Webster's New World Dictionary as "a joint action by a group of people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group." This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.


Characteristics of Effective Teams

The following are eight characteristics of effective teams the were identified by Larson and LaFasto in their book titled Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong (Sage Publications 1989).


The team must have a clear goal.
Avoid fuzzy, motherhood statements. Team goals should call for a specific performance objective, expressed so concisely that everyone knows when the objective has been met.


The team must have a results-driven structure.
The team should be allowed to operate in a manner that produces results. It is often best to allow the team to develop the structure.


The team must have competent team members.
This can be take to mean that the problem given to the team should be one that the members can tackle given their level of knowledge.


The team must have unified commitment.
This doesn't mean that team members must agree on everything. It means that all individuals must be directing their efforts towards the goal. If an individual's efforts is going purely towards personal goals, then the team will confront this and resolve the problem.


The team must have a collaborative climate.
It is a climate of trust produced by honest, open, consistent and respectful behavior. With this climate teams perform well...without it, they


The team must have high standards that are understood by all.
Team members must know what is expected of them individually and collectively. Vague statements such as "positive attitude" and "demonstrated effort" are not good enough.



The team must receive external support and encouragement.
Encouragement and praise works just as well in motivating teams as it does with individuals.



The team must have principled leadership.
Teams usually need someone to lead the effort. Team members must know that the team leader has the position because they have good leadership skills and are working for the good of the team. The team members will be less supportive if they feel that the team leader is putting him/herself above the team, achieving personal recognition or otherwise benefiting from the position.
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Question to Ponder
Is there a difference between working as a group and working as a team?





Members work independently and they often are not working towards the same goal.

Members work interdependently and work towards both personal and team goals, and they understand these goals are accomplished best by mutual support. Members feel a sense of ownership towards their role in the group because they committed themselves to goals they helped create. Members collaborate together and use their talent and experience to contribute to the success of the team's objectives. Members base their success on trust and encourage all members to express their opinions, varying views, and questions.

Members focus mostly on themselves because they are not involved in the planning of their group's objectives and goals. Members are given their tasks or told what their duty/job is, and suggestions are rarely welcomed. Members are very cautious about what they say and are afraid to ask questions. They may not fully understand what is taking place in their group. Members do not trust each other's motives because the do not fully understand the role each member plays in their group. Members may have a lot to contribute but are held back because of a closed relationship with each member. Members are bothered by differing opinions or disagreements because they consider it a threat. There is not group support to help resolve problems. Members may or may not participate in group decisionmaking, and conformity is

Members make a conscious effort to be honest, respectful, and listen to every person's point of view.

Members are encouraged to offer their skills and knowledge, and in turn each member is able contribute to the group's success. Members see conflict as a part of human nature and they react to it by treating it as an opportunity to hear about new ideas and opinions. Everybody wants to resolve problems constructively.

Members participate equally in decision-making, but each member understands that the leader might need



Did you know that Teams Actually, Grow?

What do I mean by this term, Grow? How many stages of growth would you predict? Can you name a few?



Stages of Team Growth.

It is important for the team members to know that teams don't just form and immediately start working together to accomplish great things. There are actually stages of team growth and teams must be given time to work through the stages and become effective. Team growth can be separated into four stages.
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Stage #1- Forming

When a team is forming, members cautiously explore the boundaries of acceptable group behavior. They search for their position within the group and test the leader's guidance. It is normal for little team progress to occur during this stage.



Stage #2- Storming

Storming is probably the most difficult stage for the group. Members often become impatient about the lack of progress, but are still inexperienced with working as a team. Members may argue about the actions they should take because they faced with ideas that are unfamiliar to them and put them outside their comfort zones. Much of their energy is focused on each other instead of achieving the goal.
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Stage #3- Norming

During this stage team members accept the team and begin to reconcile differences. Emotional conflict is reduced as relationships become more cooperative. The team is able to concentrate more on their work and start to make significant progress.
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Stage #4- Performing

By this stage the team members have discovered and accepted each other's strengths and weaknesses, and learned what their roles are. Members are open and trusting and many good ideas are produced because they are not afraid to offer ideas and suggestions. They are comfortable using decision making tools to evaluate the ideas, prioritize tasks and solve problems. Much is accomplished and team satisfaction and loyalty is high.
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Do We Need Stage #5
What about when a group dissolves or transforms into another team or group dynamic? We could call that Dissolving or Transforming.



Lets Watch this Clip



Lets Play Ball

Divide the participants up into small groups of about 58 people. Each group is in competition with the other groups in the room. The group who can complete the most "circuits" in a given time will be the winner. A completed circuit occurs when every person in the group has touched the tennis ball. Only one person in the group can touch the tennis ball at one time (therefore the ball must be tossed rather than passed.) If the ball ever touches the floor, then production must stop for 30 seconds.



We will need
Consensus on how the balls will be tossed (direction, etc.) Who is going to note the 30 second rule Who is going to count the circuits



Situations that will occur

Someone is on vacation Someone is sick/injured but working Someone is late Someone is mad/angry/upset/emotional Production has been increased/busy Someone is a semi-non-participant



What did you learn?

What did What did What did What did you see? you hear? you expect? you learn?



Okay, Now What?

We have defined what teamwork is We have listed the characteristics of effective teams We know the difference between groups and team We know that teams and teamwork forms over time So now what?
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NOW, lets get personal!!

On a scale of 1 5 (one being the least) rate yourself on the following skill sets. 1. Listening 6. Sharing 2. Questioning 7. Participating 3. Persuading 4. Respecting Be as honest 5. Helping as you can!
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Listening is a skill. Listening and hearing are not the same You are not born with listening skills Listening incorporates more than your ears


It includes your body language Your eyes Your brain Your facial expressions

Listening Example
One of you is going to talk to me about something and I am going to show you what really is going on. Lets have some fun
Talk Talk Talk Talk and and and and what is going on in my head doing too much on the phone upset or emotional

What others have you noticed?

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Top 10 List
Most people spend roughly 70% of their waking hours in some form of verbal communication. Yet, how many of us have ever had any formal training in the art of listening? Here are ten things you can do to improve your listening skills.
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1. Approach the listening experience from a state of calmness. No agendas, no predispositions, no expected outcomes, no guessing what is next 2. Never rule out any topic of discussion as uninteresting. 3. Accept the speaker's message 4. Listen for the whole message. 5. Don't get hung up on the speaker's delivery. 6. Avoid structured listening.
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7. Tune out distractions. 8. Be alert to your own prejudices. 9. Resist the temptation to rebut. 10. Take notes sparingly.



Also Important
Eye contact Always direct your visual attention to the person with whom you are conversing or listening. Body language Always keep your body in attention. If your body is slouched, your attention span may slack and your listening skills may weaken. Responses When asked, answer questions in complete sentences. Repetition Repeat specific comments said by the person with whom you are conversing or listening. Gentility Be kind. People appear to be good listeners when they want to listen to others. If you look like you're listening "just because," then your listening skills will appear less than perfect.
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Communication is Key
Pencil and Paper Challenge
In groups of two Need a pencil or pen Need two pieces of paper



What did you learn?

What did What did What did What did you see? you hear? you expect? you learn?



Review of Key Points

On a scale of 1 5 (one being the least) rate yourself on the following skill sets. 1. Listening 6. Sharing 2. Questioning 7. Participating 3. Persuading 4. Respecting Be as honest 5. Helping as you can!
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Find out what it means to me?



Respect and Behavioral Styles

Behavioral research suggests that about three quarters of the people you work with have a significantly different approach to interpersonal interactions.



Do you ever wonder why...

You get the reaction or response from others that you do? You have friction with someone though you're both working for the same goals? Some people get bogged down in detail and can't see the big picture!? Some people can only see the big picture and have no patience for detail!? Some people can't keep up with the pace of change? Others seem to thrive on creating change?
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Did you know?

Successful personal relationships often depend on "getting off on the right foot". Being able to quickly recognize a person's behavioral style and interact appropriately are critical to this process.



The Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates first recognized behavior styles in 400 BC. He identified four basic types of temperaments and linked them with liquids in the body. Today, we know that there is no link with bodily fluids, but Hypocrites original concept of four styles or temperaments has remained. He called them Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic.
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Choleric, Directive, Assertive, Dominant, Controller

Directive people have high expectations of themselves and others. They make quick decisions, are self-reliant, are usually comfortable taking risks, and are results oriented. However, these individuals can also be competitive, determined, have lower active listening skills and can crave power. Choleric people are often seen as demanding and driven. This is the person that rushes in with a big idea that he/she thinks should be implemented right away. Getting along with these folks requires that you: ask specific questions; be as direct as you can; use goals and ends to get them on board; dont interrupt; and always deal with the fact, not the person.
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Melancholy, Analytic, Logical, Compliant

Analytical people are those that examine the data and prefer process and order. They are accurate, conscientious, precise and deliberate. They may want additional time to make decisions, are considered to have their emotions under control, and may be hesitant to take risks. Logical people are often seen as being obsessed with data, unable to make a decision, and slow moving. This is the person who has to have the chart just so before it is published, or that corrects all your spelling and grammar mistakes. They would probably have a map of where they are going before leaving home for a new destination. Getting along with these folks requires that you: be prepared and know your facts; use specific data in an analytical form; use examples; and allow time for processing and decision making.
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Sanguine, Creative, Persuader, Expressive, Influential

The creative person is that motivating, energizing, outgoing person who inspires us all. Other characteristics include generous, influential, and socially confident. This individual may be seen as dramatic, emotional, and impulsive. Sanguine people are often seen as being eccentric and overly dramatic. These folks consider the environment around them and how things feel. Often, this is the person who suggests that everyone wear a funny hat to work for April Fools day. Getting along with these folks requires that you: spend time on the relationship, use ideas that elicit an emotional response, use incentives, and request their opinion.



Phlegmatic, Empathetic, Stabilizer, Amiable, Steady

Empathetic people care about including everyone, they are patient, supportive and considerate. These folks are easy going and dependable and would just like everyone to get along. They are often seen as deliberate, questioning, and too concerned with others feelings. Phlegmatic people are often seen as the softies of the office; caring about others and considering how others might feel. These folks care for the team and will ask for input from everyone. They are often accused of caring too much and being too touchyfeely. Getting along with these folks requires that you: show concern; create a supportive environment; request input and suggestions; and ask a lot of questions



We each have a combination of styles, some stronger in one area than others. The key to effective communication is being aware of your own style and accommodating others styles. This accommodation can be uncomfortable and take a lot of energy, but it is worth it when improved communication is the result.



Which One are You?

Choleric, Directive, Assertive, Dominant, Controller Melancholy, Analytic, Logical, Compliant Sanguine, Creative, Persuader, Expressive, Influential Phlegmatic, Empathetic, Stabilizer, Amiable, Steady



Do you see yourself being a combination of these 4 at times? Can you be any one of these at any given time? Do situations/circumstances make a difference? Can you explain?



Question to Ponder
Do you or have you worked with any of these people? Dont call out any names to keep from embarrassing others

Office People



What did you learn?

What did What did What did What did you see? you hear? you expect? you learn?



Review of Key Points

On a scale of 1 5 (one being the least) rate yourself on the following skill sets. 1. Listening 6. Sharing 2. Questioning 7. Participating 3. Persuading 4. Respecting Be as honest 5. Helping as you can!
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It is not on the list, but

It is still very important Be careful, your Attitude is showing!!



Work has become more demanding on employees. Employee-Employer Relationships have become less hierarchical and more transactional. Employees are moving away from long-term relationships. Employees have less confidence in long-term rewards and have greater short-term expectations. Immediate supervisors are now the most important people in the workplace. Supervising employees requires more time and skill on the part of managers.
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Has work become more demanding on employees? Have employee-employer relationships have become less hierarchical and more transactional? Are employees are moving away from long-term relationships? Do employees have less confidence in long-term rewards and have greater short-term expectations? Have immediate supervisors become the most important people in the workplace? Why is supervising employees requiring more time and skill on the part of managers?
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We cant change Progress

But we can take steps to ensure that we have healthy attitudes toward work and our personal lives.



Top 10 List
1. Think like you want to be It's tough to be happy, joyful, successful, etc. if you don't think that you are a happy, joyful, and successful person. Think it first, then do it! 2. Smile There's no arguing with this one -- research has shown the smiling has both psychological and physiological effects. So, put a smile on your face and you'll be on your way to a change in attitude! 3. Immerse yourself Read books, articles, magazines that help you understand and adopt the new attitude. Watch films or listen to music that inspires you and encourages you to change. 4. Change your actions It's hard to change your attitude if you keep doing the same old stuff the same old way. Do things differently to start thinking differently.
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5. Change your environment- Make your environment reflect the attitude you wish to have. Create the physical space that makes you eager to change. 6. Follow the leader -Find someone who already has the attitude you wish to have. Follow their lead, learn from their example. 7. Help others (and help yourself)- One of the fastest ways to change your attitude is to take the focus off yourself and to help others in need. 8. Get a little help from your friends Let everyone know what you're doing and enlist their support to help you change and give you ideas. The more you feel like you're part of a group effort, the more likely you are to be successful.
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9. Get a pro- If the change you desire to make is a big one or is extremely radical, consider getting the help of a mentor, counselor, or coach. These professionals can reduce the time & frustration involved as well as provide you with many new ideas to help you grow.
10. Be patient- Recognize that most changes occur slowly, over an extended period of time. If you don't get immediate results, don't be surprised and DON'T QUIT! Keep working, it'll come.
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Keep these things in mind

Everyone has a bad day Everyone has a full plate Everyone has problems, heartache, happiness and great days You are responsible to take good care of yourself You can make a difference, even if ever so slight
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When in despair
When you are full of despair over a particular situation in life on at work ask yourself this question. Would this problem be important enough for the aliens to stop and take a look at. (haha).



Thank You
Question and Answer session