Working in diverse teams
Working in diverse teams

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Working in diverse teams

Week 1: Why employers value teamwork


Welcome to Week 1 of this badged course on how to work in diverse teams.

To begin, watch the following video in which Lynne Johnson introduces Week 1. Lynne works for the Careers Service at The Open University and has worked in adult career guidance for over 20 years.

Download this video clip.Video player: wdt_1_week_1_lynne.mp4
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If you've had recent experience of looking for work, then you're likely to be fairly familiar with the expectation from employers that you can evidence your ability to work in a team. You may have even been asked a competency question, beginning with the dreaded can you tell me about a time when you have? Whilst most employers ask for this skill in their job adverts, or person specifications, have you ever taken the time to think about what this means for you?
In this first week, you'll be looking at the difference between a group and a team, and why employers want their employees to be able to work well in the team. You'll consider your own reactions to this requirement, and start to evaluate what you perceive to be the advantages and disadvantages of this way of working. And you'll start to consider some of the team experiences you've had so far, how you could evidence these, and whether you need to gain more team working experience to progress.


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As suggested in the Introduction and guidance [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , it is recommended that you record your responses to the activities throughout the course. As part of the course, you have been provided with an interactive toolkit in which you can keep your notes together. You will be directed to different parts of the toolkit at specific points throughout the course. However, if you’d prefer to use a notebook that is, of course, also fine.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • explain the difference between a group and a team
  • understand different types of team
  • start to identify some of the teams you have been part of
  • identify some of the advantages and difficulties of working in a team
  • consider how you can increase your experience of working in teams.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.


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