Does Being Part Of A Team Actually Improve Performance And If So What Is It That Makes A Group A Team?

3305 words - 13 pages

Does being part of a team actually improve performance and if so what is it that makes a group a team?Professionally the first time I truly felt part of a team in the world of work was when I was a Newly Qualified Teacher. But even then something was not quite right. I had been given the job of teaching Citizenship (which was the focus of my Post Graduate Certificate of Education) and languages (as I am also a linguist). As a result I was put in to two different departments at my first school and both departments had a different atmosphere and as a result people worked in very different ways together. The Humanities Department was lacking something intangible and this set it apart from the more cohesive Language department. I have always tried to be reflective and I was aware that in the language department I felt like I was part of a team while at the same time in the Humanities department I did not have this impression. In this essay I am going to reflect on my personal experience in these two groups and consequently unpick the differences between a group and a team, suggest why being a team is more effective than being just a group and suggest some strategies for helping a group develop in to a team based on my reading of what various academics have written.While I was in full time higher education I remember feeling that although I was one person among many students, I was actually just a solitary unit and my success or failure depended on the work that I put in individually. As a group we happened to be very cohesive and the atmosphere was very amicable. Within the whole group there were sub-groups of students who would offer each other some kind of social and academic support networks. These groups tended to be mutually exclusive friendship groups with some people not quite fitting in to or choosing to belong to any of these sub-groups.There were lecturers lecturing and students studying - but ultimately it was very solitary - lots of individual units within sub-groups forming the group as a whole who all had a similar common goal, but one that did not depend on anybody else. The shared goal (achieving the best degree class possible) was once again broken down in to belonging students on an individual basis within the group. The lives of the lecturers were not affected by our results. Our lives were equally not affected by their research - or indeed how well or less well our counterparts did in their final examinations.I remember analysing how I fitted in to these groups and sub-groups and how I felt about my place in these social structures as I graduated and I also recall after four years of studying that I clearly yearned to be part of something more cohesive and more team-like. (However, I also remember being slightly apprehensive about the responsibility for other people that goes hand in hand with being a team player.Is being part of a team more effective than just being part of a group?Trethowan defines the word team as "a small...

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