Blog 1: Characteristics of Teams

What? 

There is often quite a bit of discussion concerning groups and teams and the similarities and differences between them. This article does a great job of explaining the difference between them. The two terms are very often times confused or even used synonymously, however they are incredibly different. “Groups range in size from two to thousands, whereas teams have a narrower range of sizes,” (Levi, 30). In my opinion, there can be groups without teams, but not teams without groups.

So What?

Teams typically work within groups and for the general good of the groups. This article shows some key things teams can do to benefit the group or organization they are part of; for example, promoting creativity and motivation. Teams act as sub-groups that can take care of the finer details that a groups cannot manage as effectively. For example, a group of 500 office employees could not create one single brochure for the company that everyone agrees upon; however a team of 5-7 people could do so in a much shorter amount of time. Here is another article that does a great job of explaining why we need both groups and teams, not just one or the other.

Now What?

I am currently an Outreach Leader for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at Virginia Tech. The BCM is a group of about 250 students with the common focus of growing as Christians. Within the BCM, there are three different teams of leaders: Discipleship Leaders, Outreach Leaders, and Vision/Task Leaders. Each team of leaders has goals for their roles as leaders. Discipleship Leaders’ goal is to lead successful bible studies and help guide students in their faith, Outreach Leaders’ goal is to reach out to the campus and surrounding areas to bring new members in, and Vision/Task Leaders’ goal is to help put events together and complete tasks for the BCM. Sometimes there are issues with the teams not communicating with each other, and while having multiple teams within a group is great, not communicating with each other can be detrimental to the success of the BCM as a whole. My goal after gaining and understanding of how teams work and can benefit groups is to help guide communication between Discipleship Leaders, Outreach Leaders, and Vision/Task Leaders. Building a strong sense of communication between the three teams of leaders will give new students a sense of community and togetherness, which is important to many members of the BCM.


References:

  1. Levi, D. (2017). Group Dynamics for Teams (4th ed.). Sage Publishing.
  2. Advantages & Disadvantages of Teams in Organizations. (n.d.). Retrieved February 01, 2018, from https://bizfluent.com/info-12095371-advantages-disadvantages-teams-organizations.html
  3. Irving, /. J. (2016, January 03). Groups vs. Teams: What’s the Difference? Retrieved February 01, 2018, from https://purposeinleadership.com/2014/09/05/groups-vs-teams/
  4. Fritz, R. (n.d.). Differences Between Group Work & Team Work. Retrieved February 01, 2018, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/differences-between-group-work-team-work-11004.html
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