Daniel Kehoe: Are you in a work group or a team?

MANY work groups that call themselves teams don’t actually function as real teams. A work group is a collection of individuals who, by and large, look after their own individual interests, needs and wants without much (IF any) consideration for the collective interests, needs and wants. If you would like your work group to function more effectively as a team, consider the checklist below and answer the two questions: What needs to happen? What could we do better? Cooperation and collaboration • You explore the need for and discuss the benefits of improving co-operation/collaboration. • You know how individual roles impact on others within the team. • You identify and discuss how what you each do contributes to the workflow process for others in the team. • You ask other team members what you need to do to help them do their job to the required standard. • You explain to other team members what they need to do to help you do your jobs to the required standard. • New, different and better ways to help us achieve others’ requirements of you are explored and implemented. • You identify where and when better co-operation/collaboration is needed between individuals or areas. • You have effective discussions about how you can work better together and implement the suggestions. • You have effective discussions about how you are working well together so as to maintain these actions and behaviours. • Each of you has a genuine concern for each other and you willingly help your fellow team members in performing their individual and team tasks. • Feedback is provided when cooperation/ collaboration is poor or breaking down. • People in other areas are informed about any changes/ issues that will directly or indirectly affect them. • You acknowledge and thank team members who work to improve co-operation/ collaboration. • The impact and consequences of poor co-operation/collaboration between individuals is explored and resolved. • You provide feedback to the team on how you have helped others to see if they too could benefit. • You analyse what you do that might be counter-productive to cooperation/ collaboration. • You ask others what you do that is counter-productive to other team members. • The best ways to change the way you do things to improve co-operation/collaboration are explored and implemented. • You check that the new changes now become a standard practice for the way you work as a team. • You discuss with senior management the support required to implement changes to improve co-operation/collaboration. If you would like information on a system and tools designed to achieve this and much more, see and click on 3. Team Performance.

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