The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.
You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world,
but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.
Babe Ruth (George Herman Ruth, American baseball player)
One may think it is not an easy task to define teamwork. This notion is associated with numerous kinds of activities – sports, work, active leisure, and the effective goal-reaching. I bet each person images a different thing when he or she tries to visualize teamwork. The only thing they probably have in common is – the reason: what teamwork is for – the effectiveness. Why is teamwork associated with effectiveness, although it is not always true?
The most common definition states teamwork is the cooperative effort of a team of people for a common end [Wikipedia, 2007]. Such a definition is quite neutral – it may describe any case involving teamwork, still there is one important thing mentioned – it is the effectiveness, the synergy that appears when several people unite their forces for the sake of some goal.
Understanding the essence
For me, teamwork implies unification of a group of specialist in different areas of knowledge or skills, and the combination of their forces for better performance, higher quality and greater result. That is what the “common end” is. Cooperative efforts of a team of people imply integration of physical or intellectual power into the project. This is basically why the “work” (of one person) becomes “teamwork”. And where the essence of the effectiveness is – there are numbers of things the members of the team bring for the quicker and easier achievement of the goal.
- Various things may be the goal of the teamwork – a project, a discovery, a victory. The most important thing is that every member in the group feels a sense of their role, their value as a part of a community.
- The second important role of teamwork is socializing. The exchange of opinions, ideas, thoughts, emotions and experience – is of great importance for the personal development of each member of the team.
- In football, basketball or any other team sport, the importance of teamwork is obvious – without it there would be no victory possible, because the efforts of one person have less potential than the efforts of a team.
- In business, project management has been gaining popularity though the second part of the XX century – working in teams stimulates great ideas and provides more ways for solving problems and stressful situations.
- In science, there has been obvious benefit of teamwork – when the scientific knowledge is combined – the results are impressive – new methods of treatment, old secrets of nature uncovered, innovative medicines and great discoveries on health and life. Teamwork enabled great development of almost all spheres – business, sports, medicine, science, space exploration – the list is endless. The combination of human knowledge and efforts in achieving a common goal has provided a new level of life for the humankind.
The essence of teamwork is all about combination of efforts for reaching a common goal. The result is the effectiveness of the process, owing to the knowledge, skills and talents of the team members. Understanding the roles of the members and using them in the most efficient way is the core of the successful teamwork and a better result.
«Teamwork.» Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 22 Feb 2008. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 4 Mar 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Teamwork&oldid=193167991>.
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