What Is a Team?

In the dictionary, one of the definitions of team is “group of people organized for a particular service”. In this simple definition perhaps the key word is “organized”, which means “Sorted, arranged with method”. However, what method is this that could provide an ordered environment for a particular service to be performed?

Operating in teams is essential for achieving a competitive edge in the market and to maintain a high organizational performance. A team must cooperate and not compete; must be a team and not a group: many people work as if they were on a production line, where the work is individual and each one is concerned to accomplish its own task.

However, a work team needs time so that its members can set their individual differences of perception and way of working; but time is a scarce commodity in business today. So what may be done to facilitate the establishment of an actual staff in cramped time available for such? An enabling environment for teamwork would be the answer. This environment should have some characteristics that favored the building and maintenance of integrated work teams such as:

• Conflict prevention;
• Motivating policies;
• Fair rewards;
• Well-targeted training;
• Incentive to innovation and creativity;
• Appropriate management style;
• Clear objectives;
• Horizontal organization structure.

The team leader incentives for that each one of its members know a little more about himself also contribute to the adjustment of the differences between their constituents. According to Maria Inês Felippe, psychologist, master in Potential of Creative Development by Education University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, self-knowledge results in better adjustment and achievement of maturity and emotional control, which brings:

• The ability to understand others and make ourselves understood by others;
• The possibility of judging ourselves and judge others as objectively as possible;
• The satisfaction of accepting ourselves and accept others, admitting that no one is flawless, and that we will also find qualities in ourselves and in any other human being, if we want to really find them;
• The knowledge of your skills and flaws, how and what to improve.

On the other hand, the daily routine of a real team basically requires three conditions: optimization of communication between people, coordination of actions of its members, and establishing operational procedures for conducting meetings in the daily work space.

The conclusion is that a team is the result of an environment ready to flourish in the way it organizes the interrelation of its members. To quote Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success.”


FELIPPE, Maria Inês. 4 C´s para Competir com Criatividade e Inovação. Rio de Janeiro: Qualitymark, 2007.

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