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3 Building a team

Climbers helping each other to reach the summit of a mountain
Figure 3 Teams get to know and trust each other

The size of the team needed is an important consideration when forming a team. The larger the team, the greater the potential variety of skills and knowledge, but as the size of the team increases each individual will have fewer opportunities to participate and influence proceedings. The size of a team is therefore a trade-off, or balance, between variety and individual contribution.

A team of between five and seven people is considered best for the effective participation of all members. However, to achieve the range of expertise and skills required, the group may need to be larger. This brings with it the challenges of how to manage and supervise a large team.

Homogeneous groups, that is, those where members share similar values and beliefs, may be more satisfying to work in and may experience less conflict, but they tend to be less creative and produce greater pressures for conformity. In contrast, heterogeneous groups, whose members have a wider range of values and beliefs, are likely to experience greater conflict, but they also have the potential for greater creativity and innovation.