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Today we're going to talk about groups versus teams. Everyone knows that teamwork is important and enhances productivity extends reach and boost morale, amongst many things. But what's the difference between a team and a group? Why does it matter? Groups of collection of people performing as individuals, they might share some norms, some goals, and usually a management structure. But otherwise, they can get their jobs done by themselves. A good example of this would be something like a call center. A team is a collection of people with a common commitment operating as one. They also share the same norms and goals. But they usually can't achieve those goals without relying on each other. A good example of that would be a U.S. Army helicopter team. For those of you that follow us here at cavnessHR, you probably know that a lot of us come from military backgrounds. I'm also married to the coolest helicopter pilot in the Army. I did some work for aviation intelligence as well. So you might see a trend in some of my examples. Let's talk about the differences in these two definitions, and what they mean for you as a leader and steps that you can take to bond some of your looser groups into more fully functioning teams.
So my sister trains travel agents at large timeshares. She gives them a six week course that is supposedly about learning how to do their jobs, answering phones and booking trips. However, what she does as a leader, and what most good leaders do, is spend a significant amount of time teaching them how to function more effectively as a team. When you have a group of individuals, it's not enough to just group them together. Give them a few values on the wall, slap up some motivation and expect them to go forth and conquer. Members of groups often don't understand how teamwork or a combined mission helps them achieve their goals. They often find themselves in competition with one another rather than working together. My husband, on the other hand, flies this helicopter. It's bigger than it looks, it takes five people to operate it successfully. When the pilot on the left is operating the controls with both hands, the pilot on the right is making all of the radio calls. Often when they're flying in combat, there's even a third pilot in the jump seat who's directing the flight. Then there's the crew. On each door, there's a person who point of view beyond the 90 degrees that the pilot can't see with his helmet on. Also, their title is door gunner, which is pretty self explanatory. They're the guys sitting on the guns.
Finally, there's a crew chief in the back, who's there to manage passengers, heavy equipment, and make sure the helicopter is balanced and flying properly. He's also the mechanic, and he's the one able to make sure that no one can sneak up on you from behind. Interesting things happens on this helicopter. They're a real team, the things that they do as a team bonds them. Even though there's a very real rank structure, a defined leader, a chain of command, everyone is aware of what's at stake. As a result, on these special kinds of teams, you'll usually find a much, much more relaxed rank structure, and a lot of respect for each person for the other person on the team. Why? No one wants to find out that someone thinks they're a toxic leader 12,000 feet above the ground.
There's an inherent team building that happens when you all need each other. You all share in the rewards or consequences of working together. So what does this mean for you and your business? Do you know whether you have a group or a team? If what you have is a group? How can you as the leader create more of a shared mission and outcomes that can only be achieved when folks work together? How can you break down the silos and encourage collaboration to make sure every member of your team has a unique and defined role. If people don't know that they are necessary, crucial for the success of your mission. They're not going to be devoted to it. Three, think of what kinds of missions goal setting and celebrations that you and your team can participate in. That will keep the sense of team alive, getting stronger day by day. Never forget, culture is one of the strongest emotional resources that you have at your disposal. Much like your human, technological or financial resources. Of course, you shouldn't ignore it. Learn to harness it and go forth and be great every day.