The issue of team building

Finding me lately often writing about teamwork and the differences of introversion and extroversion and how to pay attention to these people in companies, I would now like to deepen that topic because such character traits like introversion come not from nowhere. It seems very important to me to know what is behind the typical behavior we just can observe on others and try to understand better why they are doing things like they just do.

For simplicity, today I will stick to the issue of team building with the example of introversion and will try to extend it next time.

What we did so far and the issue behind – an analysis

When forming teams either sport teams or teams at university, we normally do not really think about it. We just stick to the people we are always hanging out with and try to avoid the people who always seem to offend the other or the ones who seem to never say anything. After finding our group, we assign the different task to people who are most talented and interested in a certain field. For example one is creative and good in drawing and the other is good in writing texts etc. – everyone found his assignment; his mission. But this may applies to teams formed in schools, but now we are grown up. In business it needs more than that. If we use the constellation I mentioned before, we do not move forward in our project and may stay far behind the other teams.

The author of wanton flux claims that what most people want and what also is expected at school, university and work place is that people adapt to “the” model or benchmark of the creative, intelligent, target-oriented and extroverted human being. But did we ever think about that this could be difficult for some people? Are they less important because they do not appeal to that model?

Introversion itself is not the problem.  And it really sucks that people (…) treat it as such and constantly try to “fix” it.

Couldn’t they are very talented and skilled, but we do not see them and don’t let them to be? Did we ever think about that they act the way they act, because of neurobiological reasons that accounts for human complexity?

What we do is to look on the outer appearance and how people seem to behave in general. Mostly people who are always very participant and brining in their opinion are welcomed to join a team, but people who do not or are even seen as a “warrior”, because they always give contra are kicked out.

What we do not see is the inner strength and complexity of the others that could bring along great potentials into the team, simply because we stick to prejudices.

Where we want to be – the goal

When forming teams, the goal is it to bring the best input by everyone to generate the best possible output. In sport it is about to win and in business it is about to successful finish the project.

What could be done – Countermeasures

As WCW partners point out there are several stages developing a team. I would like to emphasis the stage “storming” where different opinions, experiences and knowledge collide. According to the author it needs a leader who “takes all the diversity (…) into an assertive group and channels that energy toward finding wildly creative solutions.“

Thus, this blog post is addressed to team leaders and managers. But what can each individual do? WealthArtisan has the opinion of helping others even if they do not help you. WaelthArtisan abuts this statement on blogging and social networks (which is very topical to us), but is also can be expanded on teamwork in real life through feedback.

And then there is another opinion (very current):

Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.

On Big Think group learning is presented as an unproductive way of working and learning. It promotes the opposite of the fashionable open-plan offices and turns to solitude, which would increase productivity and creativity.

Outlook

You see teamwork can be discussed very controversial. But what all three concepts have in common is “individuality”. Nobody should be expected to fit in any role model. Individuality is important to be creative and to bring a team further in solving issues. Merging different personalities, opinions, and knowledge into one team should be the key concept for generating the best possible output. And behind this stands the understanding of each other. Also, that should include the understanding of human behavior. Therefore I plan to show you next time, the difference of introverts and extroverts based on neurobiological reason.

Recommended

Worth reading: http://www.likeateam.com/2011/09/29/abcs-of-healthy-team-structure/ In this context pay attention to points B, E, T, and U!

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5 Comments

  1. Hey Julia,
    having already read another post of yours about introversity, I found it really interesting how you developed in the treatment and perspective towards the topic.
    I really like your critical analysis and the different perspectives you offer and I agree to you that people should not be forced into roles and that, in order to work efficient, one has to have the possibility to be true to oneself.
    I have to admit that your post made me overthink my behaviour when looking for team mates for group work and I appreciate how you provoke self-reflection.
    Also, your quotes are very attractive and the pictures were well chosen.
    You proofed that you can apply the Toyota a3 model very well, you might have been a little more creative in the choice of your heads though, as yours are overtaken from the concept.

    Reply
  2. Hey Julia,
    I aggree to Viola in the sense that you have created an excellent post about team work. Collaboration is still becoming more and more important since an individual is not able to cope with all kinds of issues and problems. In our globalized world one needs the other to successfully reach goals and just to have a more in perspective and diversified thinking. The world is too complex and the human brain has not the capacity to cope with all kinds of issues.
    Instead of creating new subheads for your blog post, as Viola has suggested, I would rather keep the subheads from the concept in the first place and write underneath the question in bolt type and with questionmark. That would give your post a more professional appearance. 🙂

    Reply
  3. LL

     /  2012/02/11

    Hey folks,
    In my opinion is teamwork linked to this
    “A chain is as strong as its weakest link”. Therefore in many cases where teamwork is implemented I see this happening. Talented people get slowed down by less talented guys. So successful teams can just be build with good human resources.
    If you have a high skilled team it might be more successful working together pushing each other to his limits but if you just let random guys work together with a huge variety of talent the team won’t be successful because overachievers get slowed down by the rest of the team and in the long term they will lose their motivation.

    Reply
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