Deciding to Connect with Groups or Teams

Posted: November 20, 2014 in Effective Networking

I believe groups can get a bad reputation if people don’t understand the difference between a group and a team. A group of individuals are people who come together occasionally to pass information. In order to be a team there needs to be more collaboration between members, equal distribution of work, instructor supervision with an opportunity for feedback, and member accountability. I used to have a negative view of groups but now I realize the reason I didn’t like groups was because I was expecting the group to operate as a team.

In some instances where there’s uncomplicated task that requires the effort of more than one person, a group could be beneficial. Since having consensus isn’t required in a group, the need to build a rapport isn’t necessary to be successful in completing the task. A team on the other hand has a greater level of commitment and responsibility to the other team members. With face to face contact on a consistent basis you can build the cohesiveness to operate as a team instead of a group of individuals.

There are also instances where teams don’t function well because they are operating as a group. If a team doesn’t have the time to develop cohesiveness, then when trying to perform as team they fall apart. We see this happen on sports teams on a regular basis, when team members are performing as individuals and not putting the interest of the team first. Also when the team is constantly changing members they can’t develop clear communication, unity, trust and consensus. When trying to achieve your goals, you need to determine if the task needs a group or team to get everything accomplished, realizing the commitment level required to create each one.


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