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Teamwork Articles Index

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Word Count: 250

Provocative Thoughts About Teamwork

A Getting - Acquainted Exercise


Use the following set of quotations on teamwork to make a deck of 3x5 cards.  Hand a card randomly to each participant, and ask them to study it, looking at the quotation in terms of its personal meaning.  Have each participant make a self introduction, including reading the quotation aloud and briefly discussing its personal meaning.


s         Team:  a group on the same side…

s          ...

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Word Count: 247

Why Teams?

"My research suggests that in capital-intensive, process-production business, like the chemical business, there are many advantages to having high levels of employee involvement. In these situations, traditional quality circles and problem-solving teams tend to be less effective than self-managing work teams." They allow employees to control quality directly, and these teams tend to reduce management transparency because they are partially self-managing."

"Once employees begin to operate effectively…

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Word Count: 126


If you are a manager, consider the following: Old-line hierarchical companies follow a football model of organization. Everyone lines up in a specific place under the direction of the quarterback. The quarterback is the only person responsible for...

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Word Count: 266




What do the terms "synergism" and "teamwork" have in common? How about this: One definition describes both. The dictionary says when two or more substances combine, producing an effect they couldn't produce alone, that's synergism. That's also teamwork. Together, members of a team produce an effect that no single member could. Creating the synergistic team is not easy. Once people are designated to work together, there is no scientific formula to guarantee that synergism will result. When human beings are involved, personalities and feelings may stand in the way. To be a more effective team member:

1. LEAVE YOUR EGO BEHIND. The team project...

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Word Count: 158

"Three key roles in team leadership"


Leadership roles involve many skills, from being a good compromiser, to functioning as the group conscience by keeping discussion moving toward the common goal. At your next meeting, try one or more of these techniques:

1. Be a catalyst. Jolt the group's creativity by asking probing questions. Prod reserved participants and get them involved in the issues.

2. Be a gatekeeper. Get the ball rolling and...

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Word Count: 265

Are teams really effective?

One of the most common examples of team effectiveness can be seen on a cool day in the fall.  As you look up into the sky, you can see a flock of geese embarking on their southern sojourn.  The "V" formation that they fly in as a group actually benefits each individual bird.  As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an updraft for the bird immediately behind it.  By flying in a "V" formation, the entire flock can fly 71% farther than...

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Word Count: 218

Improving Team Performance

Your team can’t improve until you know exactly what needs improving. Identify current problems and create a bank of ideas to solve them by asking team members to complete statements such as:
• "This work is difficult. It could be made easier by...."
• "I have to keep my eye on...."

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Word Count: 338

Employee Development In Flat Organizations

In team-based organizations, opportunities for promotion come rarely, so how do you provide opportunities for team members to grow and develop? Follow these suggestions:

Enrich the job. Increase the variety of team members’ tasks, and give them more control over their work. Suggestion: Look both horizontally – team members can learn to operate more pieces of equipment – and vertically – they can take on more "management" tasks, such as ...

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Word Count: 249

Project Recap Spells Motivation


f the people on your team don’t feel like they’re getting results, they’ll lose their motivation. So when your team accomplishes a task or a goal, let people know about it. Suggestion: Project recaps provide the vital finishing touch to any team effort. A project recap should answer the following questions:

1.       What was the original project goal? To pave six miles of cracked interstate highway.

2.       What made it difficult and/or important? Unseasonably hot...

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Word Count: 103

Paradigm Shift For High Performing Teams

Comparing the traditional management controlled module to the team powered high performing teams.

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Word Count: 230


Avoid nagging, get cooperation

To spur co-workers to cooperate without nagging them:

Be direct. If you want something done, ask. Co-workers can resist hints and innuendoes.

Ban blaming. Finding fault can prevent both sides from seeking another way to solve a problem. If you’re blamed, let it slide and say "Let’s look at the facts." Last resort: Get an outside party to help.

Stay focused. Don’t generalize by saying...

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Word Count: 147

Identifying Potential Team Leaders

As a team leader, you are the most important source for identifying potential team leaders in your company. This list shows some of the things you should remember as you evaluate your team members:

  • Observe each members behaviors, skills, attitudes, values, and personalities.

  • Have clear goals and objectives outlined for each members. (Or review what they have outlined)

  • Make sure each team member has an...

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Word Count: 445

How To Be A Better Team Contributor

More and more often, employees are expected to contribute to the performance and success of their work teams. While it sounds great on paper, it isn't all that easy to work in a team, since often team members are different in style, attitude, commitment and work ethic. If you are a work team member, supervise, manage or lead a team, take a good look at these tips and hints which will make it easier for team members to contribute more productively to their teams, and decrease friction among team members.

Stop The Blaming Cycle

Often teams get bogged down in...

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Word Count: 154

Foster customer service teamwork

Although telephone work is a one-on-one technique, customer service should be a team effort. Follow these tips to make it work:

1. Switch reps when chemistry doesn't work. Some customers seem to give particular reps an especially stressful time. Relieve this tension by offering to handle calls from those particular customers. You may fare better. By the same token, reps should be willing to hand off these...

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Word Count: 620

Different Talents Create Powerful Teamwork

  • You have teams at work – but do you have teams that WORK?

  • Often the full potential of teamwork is blocked due to misunderstandings of different behavioral styles and motivators.

  • Enable the success of teams in your organization by recognizing and leveraging the full spectrum of their different talents.

Our workplace has become a perpetually changing environment fueled by flexible teamwork.  People are called upon to participate in teams to repeatedly rethink, restructure, reinvent, and redeploy business resources.  The changing times in which we live require talented individuals skilled at working in teams.

Teams are enriched with individuals who offer a wide spectrum of talents in areas such as behaviors and motivators – that is a given.  Or is it?  After closer observation of teamwork in your organization, you may find a number of team members who are merely tolerating their counterparts due to...

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L158 / TM116 / SP123

Word Count: 1184

Developing A High-Performance Culture?

In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy stated that he wanted to send a man to the moon and bring him back safely by the end of the decade; a pretty lofty goal.  Senator George Smathers from Florida agreed with the “lofty goal” part.  So, before voting to secure funds for the initiative, he wanted to make sure he made the right decision.  He visited Cape Canaveral to do a bit of detective work on his own.  After much time, observation, questioning and exploration he still had not made a decision. 

At the end of the day he saw a worker cleaning up and asked what her job was.  Her reply was simple, “I’m part of a team that’s going to send a man to the moon and bring him back safely by the end of the decade.”  Decision made! 

This is an example of strategic alignment at its best.  Everyone knows the organization’s charge, and all of the stars are in alignment (strategic intention: systems, processes, leadership, management, expectations, authority, responsibility, individual empowerment and supportive behavior).  But what happens when the stars are misaligned; when the systems and departments are out of sync?  What happens when a department exists for the good of itself and individuals behave selfishly rather than for the greater customer and organizational good?

The simple fact is that the more an organization’s systems and processes are aligned with its strategic intention—and all of the employees support this alignment behaviorally—the greater the opportunity for success.

In fact, if the plan is sound, it’s almost impossible to fail no matter how ambitious the organization or that plan is—even if that includes sending a man to the moon.

Organizations are complex entities.  Effective leadership calls for ...

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Word Count: 775

Teambuilding Events Don’t Work

Have you ever attended a teambuilding event only to return to work and encounter the same team issues that existed prior to the event?  So, why didn’t the experience and bonding from the event stick? Why did it have an impact while you were there but little or no residual effect? 

Were the participants not committed? Were the event activities lackluster? Was it just "too little, too late" for your team?   The answer to all of these could be ‘yes.’ More likely, though, it's because teambuilding events don't work.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think teambuilding events are great and can be a powerful step towards greater team effectiveness. They are not, however, a silver bullet or magic solution. Building a team is a process not an event

Are you looking for a one-day silver bullet or are you willing to look deeper at long-term solutions for the challenges your team is facing? If the latter is true, then keep reading.

When I get requests to facilitate a teambuilding event, I begin the process by asking questions. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to begin the process of teambuilding.

·         What do the words "teambuilding" and "teamwork" mean to you and in your organization? Teamwork is one of those innocuous terms that mean very different things to different people. Sometimes performance management issues are confused with a general lack of teamwork and teambuilding will not usually help you solve individual performance management issues.

·         What are the ...

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Word Count: 247

Which is the Bigger Asset? People or Teams

Why You Should Re-Consider the Importance of Teams

Many will agree that people are the most important asset of an organization. More importantly, however, is how well those people work together to accomplish the common goal.  Whether a company has thousands of people working in various locations worldwide or just a handful working in one small office, teamwork is vital to success.  So, how can you ensure that your teams are performing at their fullest potential?  How do people contribute to the team differently?  Have you built effective teams?

To begin answering these questions, you must learn how to really understand each member of the team to identify their work style and how it compares to others in the group.   You also need to look at the inherent strengths that each person brings to the table.  Not their expertise or their background, but those things they seem to be good at just because that is who they are.

Once you understand the team members, you can ...

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H177 & TM119

Word Count: 568

Hiring a Team of High Achievers is No Easy Feat

Companies are constantly vying for “top talent,” those candidates who possess the ability and skills needed to make them more productive and more profitable.  What companies often fail to consider, though, is that talent is just half of the equation.

Yes, that’s right—talent is not enough.  In fact, according to author and leadership guru John Maxwell, talent is never enough.  (That, incidentally, is the title of his book on the subject.)

The other half of the equation is the person’s desire, or whether or not they have the drive to be a high achiever.  If they don’t have that desire or that drive, talent is only going to take them—and the company—so far.  They’re not going to reach their full potential as an employee.

As a result, striving to hire “top talent” is a bit of a misnomer.  At the very least, there should be a disclaimer attached to that statement.  Rather, companies should search for “high-achieving top talent,” since those are the types of employees who are more likely to reach their potential and push the company to new heights of achievement.

So . . . how do you find these employees?  It’s often ...

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Word Count: 256

Creating Winning Teams

Creating a winning team begins with creating a culture in which people are encouraged to challenge, to question, to try, and to innovate. Surround yourself with and create teams of the best people the organization has to offer. Don’t limit yourself by focusing only on people with seniority or rank. Bring people into a team as they are needed based upon their expertise or abilities.

The ideal team will include the four types of thinkers so you get a blend of perspectives. For example, some team members will naturally focus on short-term efficiency issues (doing things right) while others will focus on short-term effectiveness (doing the right things). Additional team members should be selected for their natural inclination to focus on long-term efficiency, while others should be selected for their natural focus on long-term effectiveness. This will go

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T121 / B215

Word Count: 607


Using Team Building to Boost Morale and Build Trust

When it comes to building trust and boosting morale, companies have been turning to team building as an immediate solution.

The team building concept has served as an umbrella term that covers an extensive assortment of exercises designed to boost productivity and morale simultaneously, often by concentrating on the people who don't particularly feel enthusiastic with their job, which in turn has an effect on their performance. Effective team building focuses on goals and outcomes more than on individuals that tend to be slacking in their jobs.

Profiling Team-Building Exercises in a Positive Light

Despite the allegations of critics with regards to the constrained and coerced nature of team building in terms of forming bonds and linking employees together, it still has a lot going for it. Events centered on team building are considered as ...

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TM122 / SP134

Word Count: 677

Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates Customized Marketing Service,

Are You And Your Company Prepared To Handle A Crisis?

If you are in a management position or are the CEO of a company then you know that you have to be prepared for any event that may happen. Crisis management is one of the duties that go along with your corporate job. Are you good under pressure? Are you ready to manage a crisis? How strong is your bench? This article will discuss ways to control the risks involved with crisis management and strengthening your bench.

If you want to be sure that your company is able to withstand a crisis then you must see if your bench is strong enough. Amazingly there is a lack of executive talent out there and there is even less being seen for the future.  Many CEO’s are worried that their corporation does not have the talent to see them into the next twenty plus years. Many baby boomers are reaching the retirement age and the new hires just do not seem to be up for the challenge. In fact, 11,500 people will turn 65 each day starting January 2011. How are you handling the lost of experience?

If a company is to succeed in this global world where crisis seems to be the norm rather than the exception, all factions must work together instead of independently. There needs to be a team for executive education and performance management.

When a company is ...

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Word Count: 639

Understanding the Cost of a C Team

To comprehend the cost of a C team, it is important to understand what a C team is. C team members are unhappy in their position within an organization, are unfulfilled and, more often than not, disengaged. A team member exhibiting these characteristics has a negative effect on team morale and motivation, resulting in poor work performance.

Integrating Existing Team Members into A Teams

To make improvements to employee morale, increase job performance, and ultimately to net an increased profit, begin by restructuring the members of the organization. An employee assessment is a crucial part of this strategy. The purpose of the assessment is to select areas and roles best suited to individual employees.

Characteristics Included in the Assessment Process

- Experience

- Intelligence

- Skills

- Behaviors

- Attitudes / Values

An employee’s experience for a managerial position may look good on paper, but having the ...

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TM123-073012-Motivate Your Team

Word Count: 194

Motivate Your Team


Since human resource is an essential element to your organization's success, start setting goals for your employees for greater motivation and productivity.


Employee goal setting will allow you to be strategic in your means of operating programs or initiatives with the goal of directly contributing to the long-range objectives of your organization. The first and foremost goal for the human resource division is to increase employee productivity, which will directly contribute to increased corporate revenues.


Employee goal setting is just part of the entire objectives of the company. Others are ...

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TM124-091913-Executive Team Building A Recipe for Success

Word Count: 531


Executive Team Building: A Recipe for Success


We have all heard about the benefits of team building. We have also heard executives talk about their successful team building results:

Improved morale

Improved efficiencies

Improved commitment

Improved communication

Improved collaboration

Improved leadership skills

Improved motivation

Improved bottom line


If team building is so successful to the overall growth of a company and its employees, why are not all companies engaged in team building?

Some reasons companies do not invest in team building are:

They tried it before and it did not work

Did not have buy in from the team

No clear goals or objectives

Lack of commitment from the top

Too many games and not enough focus

Failure to communicate

Used only as an entertainment activity and not a sensible purpose


In order for team building to be successful, companies ...

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TM125-082615-Developing Teams and Individuals

Word Count: 533

Developing Teams and Individuals


Being a manager is much more than overseeing day to day tasks. In order for your business to be successful, developing the individuals and turning them into a team is a main priority. You can only grow as much as your staff will allow. Weak team members can bring down the production in your company.


Develop Individuals Through a Variety of Means


Before you can build a team, you have to work toward developing each staff person’s abilities. Take the time necessary to make certain they have proper training to do their job. There are a few ways you can do this:


      Pay For Training- Find a training event that the staff person can attend. Be sure to help them understand that this training is important to their continued employment at your company. All too often, employees will blow off training events and look at the day as a free day. They might be tempted to attend only a portion of the day. It should be clearly understood that they are expected to attend all parts of the training session and provide you with a report of what they learned.

Let Them Be a Shadow- Allow a less experienced individual to shadow more experienced people within the company.


They can ...

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TM126-011216-How To Increase Team Productivity

Word Count: 307


How To Increase Team Productivity


Employee goal setting increases employee productivity and profits because it builds a strong foundation of employees for business success. It gives an external focus that enhances performance culture and coordinated efforts among all employees.


Ultimately, it helps to provide a competitive advantage!


Employee goal setting tips:


- Set goals that will tie employees into the success of the organization. Financial incentives and bonuses can be the basis to encourage hard work and teamwork among your employees. This will also show that you value your employees' contribution to the company's growth.


- Set a ...

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TM127-12916-How to Build a Dream Team Sorrell Associates Customized Newsletter Service

Word Count: 409

How to Build a Dream Team


In sports, we constantly hear the term “dream team” especially when there are several top performing athletes all on the same team at the peak of their career.  The coach was able to build a dynamic team that is destined for success. 


In the business world, we use that term too.  Is that just a pie in the sky dream or is it really attainable?  Your dream team can be built if you’ll take the following steps to pull it off.  

Ways to Build a Dream Team Include:


Define Your Goal

If you want an amazing team, you need to have a defined goal for them to work toward.  You can’t just throw spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks, as the saying goes.  Be sure to clearly outline the goals for your team so they can thrive rather than flounder.


Know the Top Talent

Be familiar with your industry’s “best.”  In other words ...

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