Stern and Kay | Team Building? Or Team Work?
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Team Building? Or Team Work?

26 Apr Team Building? Or Team Work?

It is easy to confuse the terms “team building” and “teamwork,” but they are two distinct concepts. Team building focuses on the formation of groups, while teamwork concentrates on the function of groups; however, both are vital for success. Understanding the basics of team building and teamwork can increase ones effectiveness as either a leader or a valued member of a group.
Team building can be viewed from two different perspectives;
First, it can refer to the act of putting together a team by recruiting, interviewing and selecting members from the public or strategically selecting members from within an already-defined group.
Second, it can refer to engaging in activities designed to strengthen professional and personal relationships within a team. Team-building activities can increase team members’ cohesiveness, productivity and efficiency when working together. Small businesses rely on both aspects of team building to succeed. Small-business entrepreneurs must take extra care to build a high-performance team and should proactively engage team members in team-building exercises to increase teamwork.
On the other hand, teamwork is the result of a team effectively working together. It relies on a range of vital factors for success, including good communication skills, mutual respect, complementary skill sets covering all required competencies, defined leadership and defined decision-making procedures. At their best, work teams function like well-oiled machines, with each member knowing exactly what she is responsible for and how her contributions fit into the larger picture of the group’s productivity.
“We all may have had a time when we were part of a team that achieved things that, when we look back on them, were huge. I know I have been in that situation a few times. As a leader, you probably understand that teamwork is important. But the big question is, do you really value teamwork? (LinkedIn 2016)
So the big question is what is the difference between Team Building and Team work? Do we have to build teams so that they can work together? Is team building as important as team work or do they work hand in hand?
Here are the similarities between team building and team work:
Team building skills are critical for effectiveness as a manager or an entrepreneur. And even if one is not in a management or leadership role yet, better understanding of team work can make you a more effective employee and give you an extra edge in your corporate office.
Team building success is when your team can accomplish something much bigger and work more effectively than a group of the same individuals working on their own. You have a strong synergy of individual contributions. But on the other hand the critical element of team work is that all the team efforts are directed towards the same clear goals, the team goals. This relies heavily on good communication in the team and the harmony in member relationships.
In real life, team work success rarely happens by itself, without focused team building efforts and activities. There is simply too much space for problems. For example, different personalities, instead of complementing and balancing each other, may build up conflicts. Or even worse, some people with similar personalities may start fighting for authority and dominance in certain areas of expertise. Even if the team goals are clear and accepted by everyone, there may be no team commitment to the group goals or no consensus on the means of achieving those goals: individuals in the team just follow their personal opinions and move in conflicting directions. There may be a lack of trust and openness that blocks the critical communication and leads to loss of coordination in the individual efforts. This is why every team needs a good leader who is able to deal with all such team work issues.
It is pertinent to note that team building and team work go hand in hand in any organisation for effective results and efficiency.