Team work vs. group work.

By Marta Sigarán

Country Manager, CCK El Salvador

"Every head is a world" is a popular expression that we usually hear to define how difficult it is to understand those around us on a daily basis.

As human beings we have different elements that characterize us: personality, the environment in which we grew up, our family, habits, and natural and learned skills, among others. These characteristics describe us and make us who we are.

We live in a society that, by definition, is a group of people who relate to each other, hence the importance of knowing the power of relationships and how vital it is for each of us to live together despite our different characteristics.

Teamwork is something that is encouraged from a very early age; however, it is usually something imposed in which not necessarily all members have the necessary skills to form the team, making this type of practice difficult in some cases from an early age. These barriers built at the beginning of life are transferred in adulthood, complicating coexistence in work environments.

The question arises, are these jobs real teamwork or rather group work? How can we differentiate between them?

A group work is basically a group of people doing a job. On the other hand, a team work is a group of people with the same objective and who contribute the best of each one to achieve it.

These are some key elements that will allow us to have a real teamwork:

  1. Clear definition of objectives: it is vital for teamwork to clearly define where the project is expected to go, to be clear about what is being sought and what results are expected to be obtained.
  1. Optimization of skills: one of the greatest opportunities in teamwork is to identify the main skills of each member and optimize them by assigning tasks that facilitate them and make them give their best.
  1. Strategy and assignment of tasks: this requires identifying aspects such as leadership and responsibility in the members, tasks are assigned according to their skills, so it is important to identify the team leader, who is not necessarily the head of the organization, but the one who keeps the rest motivated, assigns the tasks and follows up. It is equally important the commitment of each member in the fulfillment of these tasks.
  1. Attitude: Positive attitude is an element that should not be missing, keeping the team motivated, confident of its potential and the contribution that each one of us can make is vital to achieve the goal.

These elements are easily reflected in the sports environment. A soccer team with the clear objective of winning the cup, with a clear strategy that allows them to assign tasks to each player, taking into account the skills and personal characteristics and adding a winning attitude, is more likely to succeed.

Bringing this dynamic to the workplace is a major challenge in organizations, considering that there are barriers, such as the issue generationalIf all members are aware of the importance of each one of them as a fundamental part of the team, taking up the phrase "Each head is a world" leads us to contemplate it as a real advantage, each one of those worlds contributing their particular skills to our project and seeking a common goal towards success.