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Teamwork and Team Building

A team is a group of people formed to achieve a goal. Teams can be temporary, or indefinite. With individuals sharing responsibility, the group as a whole can take advantage of all of the collective talent, knowledge, and experience of each team member. Team building is an organized effort to improve team effectiveness.

The First Stage of Team Development is Forming
What makes up a good team? Well, that question is open to interpretation, but lets start with the first step in the team building process which is forming.

When a new team forms, it concerns itself with becoming oriented. It does this through testing. It tests to discover the boundaries of interpersonal and task behavior. At the same time, the members are establishing dependency relationships with leaders, fellow team members, or any standards that existed when the group formed. The behaviors of orientation, testing, and dependence become the process called Forming. Members behave independently when the team forms. While there may be good will towards fellow members, unconditional trust is not yet possible.

Strong leadership skills are essential in the Forming stage. The leader must:
• Provide an environment for introductions
• Create a climate where participants can begin to build rapport
• Present a solid first agenda so that the goals for the team are clear.

Because the members of a new team may experience uncertainty and apprehension, it’s important to help members feel comfortable and that they are a part of the group. In addition, helping team members enhance their listening skills will allow them to focus more clearly on the objectives, thereby helping to maintain interest and enthusiasm for the work of the team.