1 Working in groups and teams
This section provides a general introduction to groups and teams used in workplaces, when they are needed, and how the task influences the size and constitution of a group or team. In many organisations groups are referred to as teams, but there are differences, which you should be able to identify as you read.
Activity 1 Group/team work: A reflection
This activity is designed to help you to consider the range of issues that managers need to be aware of in order to understand and successfully manage group and team work. This will help to prepare you for the unit, which takes a holistic approach to the team-work process.
First, consider a team or group in which you have participated. You can choose a work group or team, or a group or team from another area of your life, for example, a voluntary action group or team.
Now respond to the questions below. Note any other thoughts not prompted by the questions. Your responses may help you in Activity 2.
Group/team work: A reflection
What was the purpose of the group or team?
How well did it achieve its goals and aims?
Who was involved in it?
How were members selected?
Did they have different skills and experiences?
If so, were they complementary?
What processes and activities worked well and what did not work so well?
What are the positive features you can remember?
What are the negative features you can remember?
This activity was probably not too difficult if the group or team you chose was, for example, a work-based project team. In these cases, it is sometimes difficult to know when to call a group a team. In long-serving groups and teams, goals and objectives can also change over time. In voluntary groups, members may select themselves. Sometimes it is hard to judge the extent of difference between the skills or experiences that members have if the group or team is short-lived, or if members are required to carry out a very similar task without very much interaction. Thus, you may have found some questions were not as easy to answer as they seemed at first.