Working in a Team


Workingin a Team

Ateam refers to a group of people or employees working together for acommon purpose. Many companies recognize the importance of working inteams especially where individuals cannot meet the needs effectively.An effective team must have clear goals, combined efforts, mutualsupport, and open communication. On the other hand, lack of clearvision, conflicting interests, and communication breakdown may leadto team work failure (Maxwell,2008).

Typically,communication breakdown is a major source conflict in a group. Lackof respect, misunderstandings, and differing views are some of themajor sources of communication breakdown. Often, a group with suchissues may fail to achieve its desired goals. As such, it isessential for team leaders and members to prevent communicationbreakdown and try to solve them as soon as possible when it occurs.

Thefollowing is a list of possible ways of preventing communicationbreakdown:

  • Keep information lines open- One of the main reasons for communication breakdown is withholding of information. As such, it is essential for all members to give out all the information they have to prevent a future communication breakdown.

  • Focus on goals and not positions- Sometimes people dwell too much on positions rather than ideas. People may disagree with someone’s ideas simply because they disagree with them on personal levels. To avoid communication breakdown, people should disagree with ideas and not people or their positions.

  • Team members should always be focused on their goals. Whenever someone strays from the purpose, it is the responsibility of others to put him/her back on track.

  • Active listening- Group members should listen actively to all ideas and try to understand them. Each person’s ideas should not be ignored.

Whenevercommunication breaks down, it is necessary to fix it as soon aspossible to enhance the effectiveness of a team. This can be achievedby encouraging questions and practicing active listening. This allowsproper understanding of the problems as well as solidifying a group.The team leader should also ensure that he/she comes up withregulations that insist on people respecting each other.

Anexample of communication breakdown is when a team leader gives a taskand some people fail to understand what is expected of them. This iscaused by lack of adequate interaction between the member and theboss. Such a problem can be avoided by active listening and askingquestions where need be. If a member does not understand anything,he/she should be ready to ask questions without feeling shy. Opencommunication and interaction is something that should not beunderestimated in team works.

Theother aspect of working is working alone, which opposes working inteams. In this case, workers are assigned individual assignments thatthey are supposed to complete on their own. Just like team work,working alone has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Prosand cons of working alone

Theadvantages of working alone include:

  • A person gets credit for his/her achievements. As long as a person does all the assigned tasks, he/she gets credit rather than when working with a team where credit goes to a group even for those who never did anything.

  • It is easier to focus and concentrate when working alone as opposed to working in a team. Sometimes team works are less productive because some lazy people sail along with others.

  • While working alone, a person makes decisions on his/her own. This is much easier and faster than in a group where people have to make decisions as a team.

  • A person decides what to do and when as long as he/she achieves the set goals.

Disadvantagesof working alone

  • Working alone can be tedious and takes long time to complete a task.

  • There is minimal interaction hence, no sharing of ideas.

Prosand cons of working in a team

Prosof working in a team

  • Team work provides a cooperative and enjoyable friendly environment. It is an essential factor for responding to worker’s problem, thus increasing work efficiency.

  • The members of a group can share ideas that can help in increasing work efficiency. Sharing of ideas also leads to creativity and thus, increased productivity.

  • Team work provides a platform for improving work relations among workers.

  • People have different skills and experiences thus, working in a group makes work easier as each person does what he/she is best suited for.

Consof working in a team

  • Working as a team may sometimes lead to work inefficiency when team members have conflicting issues.

  • Decision making in team work is quite slow especially when people have major differing views.

  • There is a case of unequal participation in team work. Some people sit back and wait for others to perform because credit is given to the whole team and not individuals.

Evidently,working alone and working as a team have their benefits andlimitations. Some tasks are better completed by a team, while othersare better done by individuals. Therefore, it is the duty oforganizations to consider the task to be completed before decidingwhether to assign to teams or individuals.


Maxwell, J. C. (2008).Teamwork 101: Whatevery leader needs to know.Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Phillips, J., &amp Gully, S.M. (2012). Organizationalbehavior: Tools for success.Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Williams, C., Hall, I., &ampChampion, T. (2011). MGMT.Toronto: Nelson Education.