A successful team is a group of many hands and one mind. ~ Bill Bethel
Many organisations are trying to do more with less by relying on the efficiency of teams.
That means that teamwork is more important than ever, and it’s critical that teams work well together.
Failures in teamwork have caused serious workplace accidents. They’ve also caused planes to crash and businesses to fail.
The problem is that many teams are really a collection of individuals. A group of people is not a team just because they’re called ‘a team’.
For a group of people to become a fully functioning team, a whole range of psychological processes need to be nurtured.
While all teams are different, psychologists have discovered there are some things that all teams need. Here’s the low down.
1. Social Skills
A study conducted by Wooley Et Al in 2010 found that group intelligence is:
“. . .not strongly correlated with the average or maximum individual intelligence of group members but is correlated with the average social sensitivity of group members. . . ”
And it’s not an isolated finding, this evidence emerges in research again and again.
So strong communication and social skills are critical to great team wok.
2. Clear Goals and Roles
It might seem obvious, but clear goals and roles make a huge difference in teams.
A recent survey of 7,200 U.S. adults found that only 12% of employees set priorities with their managers. But that 12% were much happier than the employees who scored their managers’ goal setting towards the bottom of the scale.
Organisation goals and clearly defined team roles prevent confusion and increase stability in so many ways. In fact, clearly defined roles decreases absenteeism and lateness (KammeyerMueller and Wanberg, 2003).
Role clarity is particularly important during times of change. Teams with clear roles can adapt easily, but when individuals don’t know who’s responsible for what, chaos reigns.
Whilst trust might seem obvious when it comes to team function, it’s more complex than that.
Research conducted by Naquin and Kurtzberg in 2009 found that people will base their assessments of team trust on the least trustworthy individual in a team.
So each member of the team must be trustworthy, and be perceived as trustworthy in order for people to trust the group. If not, the whole team suffers.
As crazy as it might sound, Professor William Hampes has found that people with a strong sense of humour are perceived as more trustworthy.
Equally, teams with strong group dynamics will joke around together. Humour is a signal that groups are getting along well and has the added benefit of reducing stress, increasing team cohesion and increasing creativity (Romero and Pescosolido, 2008).
Don’t Do It Alone
Building and leading a team effectively is complex and challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone.
If you want to build a great team by cultivating your leadership skills further, join us for a professional development day just for Early Childhood Educators.
On the day you’ll:
- Learn how to think deeper about your practice
- Be inspired to turn your ideas into action
- Discover how to harness the power of your team
- Meet other Early Childhood Educators like you for potential collaboration and shared learning
- Have fun with people who love educating children
The Day With The Best 2016 brought together Australia’s leading experts and is set to become Australia’s foremost Professional Development Event for Early Childhood Educators.
Here’s what some people had to say about the 2016 event:
I’m so glad I was lucky enough to come. I can’t wait to implement it at work – A. Barnes Kool Kids Nerang
Thanks for an inspiring, thought provoking day. I enjoyed every moment.” – T Eichmann TCS
The only dissapointing aspect was I could not attend all workshops! – L. Bateman g8 Education
Reserve your interest in the Day With The Best 2017 by leaving a comment below.
Sam has experience in public and private sector organisations across Australia and has been with Kool Kids Training College since 2014.
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