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From group to Teamwork

Groups and teams are not the same, but every organization starts off as a group but to truly growing and prospering together, they ultimately end up as a team. A group is when several individuals who come together or are connected to one another by a unifying and/or social relationships. A team is a group of people with a high degree of interdependence coming together to collaborate in order to reach a common goal or task. Already we see that even in definition, although similar, there's an even greater difference between groups and teams. This is how we organize ourselves in our everyday lives no matter if it's done formally or informally. We often use these two words together in our daily lives thinking that they extremely similar when the truth is that when u break it down they are not. There are different ways to manage and organize how they are going to work.

The tendency we have as human beings to form groups is only a part of organizational life. They can be either formal or informal, and its members can be either similar or dissimilar. Working in a group is a process that composed of five stages, which are the forming, storming norming performing and the Adjourning Stage. The first stage, the forming stage, is characterized by much uncertainty with-in a group. The storming stage in group development is characterized by intra-group conflict. Then comes the third stage in group development process which is characterized by the close relationships and cohesiveness with-in groups, known as the norming stage. Performing Stage The performing stage or the fourth stage, is when the group is fully functional. Last but not least is the Adjourning Stage. This final stage in group development occurs in temporary groups when the concern of the group is wrapping up activities rather than performance in them.

There are many types of group with different purposes. For example Formal groups, which organize and dispense work, develope plans, coordinate activities, increase commitment, negotiate, mediate and conduct inquests. Allowing individual to work in groups allows their knowledge, skills, and ideas to come together and helps cover up each individual's weaknesses. Accrording to It has been estimated that most managers spend 50 per cent of their working day in one sort of group or another, and for top management of large organizations this can rise to 80 per cent. Thus formal groups are clearly an integral part of the functioning of an organization

Just because they're usually structured, it doesn't mean that informal group are not important. Majorly formed around social needs of the people, rather than around the performance in a work place, informal groups typically serve to satisfy the needs on more personal bases. When an informal get together, for example, they act as an opportunity for exploring self-concept and gain support in doing so. However, informal groups could have a vital effect on formal work tasks. For example by exerting slight pressures on group members to obey the rules to a particular work rate, or as ‘places' where news, gossip, etc., is exchanged.

When a group gets together, it's to decides what they want to do or acomplish. After each meeting, each member of the groups goes back do what they were assigned and report what they acomplished at the next meeting. As time goes on, it becomes clear witch members of a group are reliable or can be trusted. In groups, unreliable member are worked around by not asking them to do too much, or assigning them with small amounts of work. This leaves a notably smaller group with-in the group to do most of the work while the larger portion of all the members to pretend to help and occasionally do help.

A group of people with a high degree of interdependence coming together to collaborate in order to reach a common goal or task is called a team. Teams can constantly keep improving their efficiency by improving their execution in five major areas. The better teams execute key areas such as, setting goals, accepting roles, following procedures carefully, and establishing good relationships and leadership, teams will be able to improve their efficiency. These five components go hand and hand. First a team must have goals, what they're trying to accomplish, in order to have a direction which they are going. Then each member must know the part they will play, also known as a role, in accomplishing that team goals. Now here comes the most important of the five keys which are Procedures, relationships and leadership. In order for the procedures to go smoothly, all member of the group must get a long. This includes the leaders as well. As long as a team can constantly keep improving and developing their knowledge, skills, and abilities and can bring the best of these cualitie out in one another to bring, a team will be unstoppable.

A teams is virtually the same as a group, but every member of the unit has to work together in order to reach that or those goals that the team is trying to achieve. There are also two different types of teams, formal and imformal teams. Formal teams created for a specific purpose. This type of team involves a manager in order to give the workers to have their specific or group of tasks planed out for them. Usually, formal teams set rules and experctations for the roles that each member plays with-in the team. Informal teams are similar to a formal team, but they don't have a leader to cordinate the task of the member. In this type of team, members are equal and handle every task given to them as a team.

When on a team, the most important element is having a goal and a time frame to meet that or those goals. When working on a team, you cannot postpone or put a side the things that must be done just because a team member is missing. When one individual of a team doesn't do their job, or starts acting as suck, an individual, then the entire team suffers. Even is a team has a star play or member, the job can only get done with the help of the team. Team members are extremely dedicated to each other's success and personal development. That type of dedication usually carries on to the team. A team and its members dont only work together in all the aspects of their jobs and goals, but they share the responsiblities that would be taken up by management. This includes functions such as planning, organizing, setting performance goals, assessing the team's performance etc. A team is led by all its member in the both good and bad times. No matter what the outcome of a decision is, the team will never point fingers at one another. If the result was a positive one, the team moves on to biger and better things, but if it was a negative result, I will be viewed as a lesson learned. Because of the synergy that a team carries, it's able outperforms a group and all the expectations given to those members.

There are some differences between working in teams and working in groups based on their definition a work team is a group whose individual efforts provide positive results through collaboration and planning. Teams are mainly people who get together in order to achieve a particular goal. A group can be defined as “a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed to a leader's goal and approach and are willing to be held accountable by the leader.(Mackin,D) Groups are larger sets of individuals who get together because they share a number of traits or interests. When working in groups the members work independently and most of the time they are not working towards the same goal. People who work in groups are given their particular job assignments without any questions or input on the matter. The members do not ask questions because they might not feel comfortable with the group and do not know how to interact and contribute to the group. (Teamwork in the Classroom)

In group work there tends to be a lack of trust this can be mostly attributed to the fact that not everyone knows the responsibility or skills each one brings to the table. From the lack of trust, individuals might not feel as comfortable sharing their ideas out in the open leaving somewhat of a closed relationship between the members. During group projects it is very likely that people will bump heads and disagree whether it is because of the lack of understanding between one another or because they feel threatened by the others opinion or initiative. Rather than concentrating on the result of the project or task group work is evaluated based on fitting in not standing out too much within the group thus there is not much initiative or leadership. (Teamwork in the Classroom)

In group work the tasks the members take on are determined and specified by the manager who decides which person will handle a particular task and what tasks are going to be addressed. In order to work in groups there isn't any particular training needed, the interdependence is minimal and the objectives can be completed affectively without extensive knowledge of human interactions and behavior. In most group work cases the job descriptions are similar due to the fact that they are all performing the same tasks. The members of a group are not graded on their performance and rarely receive any feedback in relation to their contribution. (Teamwork in the Classroom)

Working as a team and assembling one that can work effectively can be a bit tedious. Every member should have certain skills that apply to the particular tasks they will be performing. Most of the time the work is divided based on which tasks are better suited for each individual and who can complete it best. As a team they are the ones who decide who will be doing what job and the manager or leader is there to assist and serve as somewhat of a coach whenever there are any inconveniences. The members themselves identify the necessary tasks that need to be addressed to complete the objective. (Feltham, S.)

Whenever there is a project or task that people decide to work in teams they work independently and make every effort to achieve their personal and team goals. There also is the knowledge that a collective effort is much more effective and productive than an individual one. In team work the members are more involved in the project and feel much more committed to the project and are proud of the goals they have already completed and those other they will achieve through this team partnership. In order to successfully complete the objectives the members cooperate with each other using their talents and experience. In team projects and task it is important to have different views and opinions, this will make the team's results that much more viable and effective. (Feltham, S.)

As important as it is so have different views and opinions, teams try to be respectful and open to the various points of view making people more comfortable and encouraged to share and speak out. From everyone having the opportunity to input their ideas and skills they contribute to the success of the project creating a senesce of job satisfaction and pride. People who use the team work approach tend to have a greater understanding of individual and human relations therefore they understand that conflict is bound to happen at one point or another. Whenever any type of conflict arises it is taken as an opportunity to hear new ideas and try to solve the issue in a productive manner. In teams there is very high participation from the member in the decision making process, but ultimately it is up to the leader to make the final choice if it happens that the team cannot collectively agree.

The major difference between working in groups and working in teams is that the group work focuses more on the individual efforts and outcomes of the individual. The work in team places its focus on the collective effort of completing an objective and the benefits that the entire team can receive. One other way in which they vary is the way that leadership is approached in each one of them in teams the leadership roles are shared between the members making it a collective consensus when making final decisions and project direction. On the other hand the leadership role in groups is usually held by one individual strongly set on his ways and the direction the project should take. One of the last and most important is the accountability where in teams the team as well as each individual is held accountable for any negative or positive results. In groups it is the individual who is held accountable for providing accurate and valid work. (Feltham, S.)

Feltham, S. (n.d.). The Critical Difference between Groups and Teams. Excellerate. Retrieved (2010, February 6) from

Mackin, D. (n.d.). The Difference Between A Team And A Group. Side road. Retrieved (2010, February 6) from

Teamwork in the Classroom. Ndt resource center. Retrieved (2010, February 6) from

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