What Is Teamwork

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What is Teamwork?
Teamwork is defined in Webster's New World Dictionary as "a joint action by a group of people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group." This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.
Why Should Teachers be Interested in Teamwork?
Teamwork has become an important part of the working culture and many businesses now look at teamwork skills when evaluating a person for employment. Most companies
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| * Members participate equally in decision-making, but each member understands that the leader might need to make the final decision if the team can not come to a consensus agreement. |
Characteristics of Effective Teams.
The following are eight characteristics of effective teams the were identified by Larson and LaFasto in their book titled Teamwork: What Must Go Right/What Can Go Wrong (Sage Publications 1989). 1. The team must have a clear goal. Avoid fuzzy, motherhood statements. Team goals should call for a specific performance objective, expressed so concisely that everyone knows when the objective has been met. 2. The team must have a results-driven structure. The team should be allowed to operate in a manner that produces results. It is often best to allow the team to develop the structure. 3. The team must have competent team members. In the education setting this can be take to mean that the problem given to the team should be one that the members can tackle given their level of knowledge. 4. The team must have unified commitment. This doesn't mean that team members must agree on everything. It means that all individuals must be directing their efforts towards the goal. If an individual's efforts is going purely towards personal goals, then the team will confront this and resolve the problem. 5. The team must have a collaborative climate. It is a climate of trust produced by honest, open, consistent
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