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Unit: Communication and teams

Section: Working in teams

MSAPMSUP102A: Communicate in the workplace
MSAPMSUP106A: Work in a team

Competencies covered

MSAPMSUP102A: Communicate in the workplace
MSAPMSUP106A: Work in a team

Features of a good team

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People who are part of a good work team know what Aristotle was getting at when he said:

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

It's another way of saying that the output of a productive team is more than just everyone's individual efforts added together.

When it's working at its optimum, a team can produce better results than anyone could achieve on their own, because the individual members are able to support each other, pool their talents, utilise each other's strengths and make up for other's weaknesses.

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Teams that work well are:

  • efficient - getting the job done in the allocated time and according to the plan

  • focussed - with individual members having a shared vision of what the team is aiming to achieve

  • cooperative - enabling the team to solve problems along the way and cope with hold-ups or unexpected events

  • competent - with each member being skilled at what they do, and understanding where they fit in to the overall process.
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Team leaders

If you're part of a small on-site installation team, you might work side-by-side with your boss and be under their direct supervision throughout the day.

On the other hand, if you work as part of a sales team, you might have a fair degree of independence and simply report back to your boss at particular times.

So the management style of a successful team leader can vary greatly, depending on who the members are and what sort of work they carry out.

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Good leaders are able to tailor their management style to suit the personalities and skills of each person and bring out their best characteristics.

Again, it's all about utilising people's strengths and finding ways to make up for their weaknesses.

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Learning activity

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Think of a good team that you've worked in. It might be the one you're with right now, or it could be a team you were part of in a previous job.

What made it a good team? Write down the characteristics that were most important.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • good communication between team members

  • everyone knew what their job was in the team

  • people got along well and enjoyed each others' company

  • team leader was decisive and knew what he or she was doing.
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