Before we come to the secret of great teamwork we should have a closer look at the term `team´ itself. What defines and composes a team?
According to the `businessdictionary.com´ a team is: `A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.´ The definition of `humanresources.about.com´ even goes a little bit further than that. They describe a team as a`…group of people organized to work together interdependently and cooperatively…´ Thereby they are not only looking at the skills of the team members and their common goal but also at the interactions within a team.
So far so good but the question is: What really entails good teamwork?
In his blogpost `The hard science of teamwork´, Prof. Alex Sandy Pentland (director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory) claims that `how we communicate turns out to be the most important predictor of team success.´ This is stated in a similar way by the leadership development speaker Mark Sanborn, who said: `In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.´
Thus a great lively communication really seems to be the key to effective teamwork.
What to do when the communication went wrong? Plus: How to break remaining silence?
We might find an answer in sports. Let us take football as an example. Here the players necessarily have to play together to achieve success, as they just going to shoot the ball in the goal of the opponent team if they are good in passing it on to another team member. By doing this they need to have great communication skills. Therefore football players not only need to be great players but even more important excellent TEAM-players.
This is actually essential for any kind of team sports. Just as Casey Stengel (a famous baseball player) enunciated: ` It’s easy to get good players. Getting them to play together, that’s the hard part.´
This can be carried over one to one to the situation at the workforce. Hence employees will just achieve great work if they are working together and not only for themselves.
If communication is equally important for team sports than for group work at the office – the question is: How could sportive activities sustain the bond between employees?
Due to Robert H. Moorman (from the Creighton University) outdoor team activities can `improve team process- and effectiveness.´ It is even seen as a better training technique than the traditional team building training with the use of `classroom lectures and case studies.´ Thus it is important that team members play an active role by themselves and due to outdoor activities they are not only active but even interactive. This strengthens the structures of a team and supports them to achieve `problem-solving and team decision-making skills.´
Managers recognized the great impact outdoor activities and sportive challenges can have on their staff. Therefore they are willing to send their employees to such kind of events to let them bring back the skills they have been thought to the office.
Thus a great market of so called `teambuilding events´ has been created.
If you would you like to take a closer look at some aspects – here you go…
– To the article `The hard science of teamwork´:
– To the study of Robert H. Moorman on how outdoor activities can improve the performance of employees:
– To the negative aspects of `teambuilding events´: