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Everyone is always saying that teamwork is great, but that is not always the case. Teamwork can be positive as much as negative for the work the team has to do. A recent study shows some interesting facts about teamwork and what makes a team successful.
1. Ideal team size
The ideal team size is between 4 and 9. The problem cannot be solved just by adding more people to the group, which usually decreases the likelihood of success. A team of this size can move quickly, make decisions rapidly, and get stuff done with remarkable productivity. Bigger teams produce more communication hurdles. Smaller teams enjoy more fluid and spontaneous communication.
Sheila Margolis, an expert in defining organizational culture, managing organizational change, and increasing employee engagement says: The best team size is 4.6.
2. Good chemistry = less effective
Diversity is a key point in a good team. It makes the team less predictable. Also, diversity means more ways of thinking.
Scott Williams, executive director of the Center for Innovative Management at Wright State University, defines the concept this way:
Team chemistry is the composition of a team and the relationships among team members.
3. Bonding releases oxytocin
Oxytocin is a brain chemical that is being released during a sexual orgasm. All in all, people tend to work more, be happier, etc. when they are in a team that they love. Team building is a great idea to bond people.
4. No leaders means better team
The most effective teams don’t have a leader. Having a leader means that equality does not exist. Leaders are usually assigned for many things such as communication, organization, team confidence, respect, fairness, integrity and so on.
As long as they are all working toward a common goal, the team will rock. Therefore keep simple teams!
5. Team needs a manager
While diverse teams are better, more creative and get more done, they still need someone who is going to help them communicate better and work together. That is why every team should have a manager in it.
Here is a definition of a team manager: Team manager typically involves setting team priorities and performance objectives, reviewing performance and methods employed and spearheading the team’s decision-making process.
6. Small teams are better than one brilliant mind
What is better than one brilliant mind? A brilliant mind in a brilliant team. Brilliant people are better workers when they are surrounded by others that are equally brilliant.
More people means more communication, more bureaucracy, more chaos, and more of pretty much everything that slows things down, hence why large organizations are oftentimes pegged as being so inefficient.
7. Conflicts are essential
While every person has a different opinion and a different approach, sometimes conflicts can happen. Everyone must agree that conflicts won’t become out of control situation. Even when there is a conflict, we must behave acceptably. Even better, use that conflict as an opportunity.
In every conflict, there is a potential for a teaching or a learning opportunity. And always, you can always be the guy that turns the other cheek and forgive, making you a stronger and a better person/co-worker.
8. Men are insecure when they are the minority
The study shows that men are less committed to a project when the woman dominates the group. Women, on the other hand, are not affected by this ratio. The researchers found that all the teams that were predominantly male or female both started off with leadership concentrated in one person.
Over time, however, teams with mostly women became more egalitarian; those with mostly men continued taking direction from one person.
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9. Mixed-age teams are better than youth-only teams
Even though younger teams are full of energy, when it comes to teamwork, mixed-age teams outperform them. Mixed-aged teams have more creative abrasion and require more active management.
Age diversity is becoming increasingly important in the workplace thanks to demographic change. Mixed-age teams, also known as intergenerational teams, deliberately employ the particular strengths of young and old employees. Complex tasks, in particular, make the advantages of such teams evident.
10. Virtual teams are overrated
Close physical proximity is a must. Even with all the technology that we use today, teams work better when they are together. Cristina Escallon, a faculty member in Managing Global Virtual Teams program, teaches that leaders of virtual teams need to concentrate on creating a highly defined process where team members deliver specific results in a repeated sequence.
Reliability, aka trust, is thus firmly established after two or three cycles. Because of that, face-to-face meetings can be limited to once a year or so.