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By John Mlinarcik, PhD & Kathy Foltner, Aud.D

Some people believe individual accomplishments are the pinnacle of human achievement.  However, few actually accomplish anything alone – everything we do well depends upon cooperation and collaboration with others.  Problems in fostering a team approach can arise due to individual concerns, differing styles, work habits and personal needs.

People have gravitated toward groups – early colonial settlers found that cooperative efforts worked exceedingly well.  As those daring pioneers ventured westward, they travelled in groups to share time, talents, and resources.  The collaborative approach empowers individuals to offer their unique expertise and experience, and this can have a great impact on any business – including auto sales.  Group efforts create a special synergism that impacts change at a geometric rate.

What is a team?

A team is a community of individuals focused on a common goal and who work well together. As a result, they maximize their collective resources for the good of their company, community or enterprise.

Ideally, teams have members whose skills and knowledge complement each other, whose personalities mesh and whose levels of motivation and enthusiasm are always equal.  In the real world, team members frequently have varying degrees of information, motivation and enthusiasm.  Additionally, teams can be sabotaged by diverse communication styles, work habits, personal needs and differing agendas.  People frequently believe they have to give up something when working on a team, resulting in a lack of personal investment by each member.

Effective team players

Developing teams, rather than capitalizing on individual efforts, provides a diversity of perspectives and a tapestry of experiences.  Research has shown that effectiveness in any venture is increased through proactive collaboration. Organizations gain strength in shared values: if employees know what their company values and standards, they are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company.

Possessing a common purpose provides a team with a clear direction.  Frequently in fragmented business environments, there is duplication of effort and crucial details left undone due to ineffectual communication.  Communication skills are essential for every member of an organization, including its leadership.

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Be sure to join us for part two of this examination of team dynamics – to receive regular updates, please follow us via Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. See you next time!

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