Myths of Teams

Stages of Team Development
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Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States

Myths of Teams

Here is one of my favorite topics for discussion.
Since my first real job in 1969 I have worked in various types of teams. Some of them were excellent, most often the ad hoc teams formed for a specific project. I recall when the push for teams exploded in the 70s and 80s. Teams were to be the magic fix for every corporate problem. Whole libraries were written.
That effort never delivered the promised results, due to the reasons given above. Along the way I developed a workshop exercise I called, "Myths About Teams." I list these 8 myths below.
Some of them may be a little dated, but this should be a good exercise anyway. I invite you to respond, telling us whether you agree or disagree with each myth.
I will post my own comments in a few days.
1. Teams can become totally self-directed so that they don't need leaders.
2. Team members should all be friends.
3. Team members should all be equally good at all jobs.
4. All team members can rise to the top.
5. The team functions as a safety net for the individual and the supervisor.
6. The key attitude for a team is forgiveness.
7. There is no "I" in team.
8. All members of a team have an equal role.

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #1: Self-directed Teams

I am surprised that no one has reacted yet to the myths of teams that I posted. Well, I promised to post my own answers...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #2: Members Should be Friends

2. Team members should all be friends. Not true. The best teams are made up of people who have excellent professional r...

  Nasir Sajjad
Consultant, Pakistan
 

True Group Dynamics Would Hinder Sometime

You are thinking correctly these kind of friendship group dynamics are sometimes not supportive to many/all. Therefore t...

  Hong Sun
Management Consultant, Canada
 

Team Members can be Friends

It's an interesting point, although it's a little harsh to say that team members cannot be "friends". I guess it's a mat...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #3: Members Should All be Equally Good at All Jobs

3. Team members should all be equally good at all jobs. Not true. Good teams are a collection of individuals, each of w...

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands
 

Team Members Should be Good at Different Things

So far I agree with all 3 your statements, Frederic. Belbin seems to be based on the whole idea that people have differ...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Belbin Team Roles

@Jaap de Jonge: Thanks, I wasn't familiar with Belbin, but after a cursory look I want to take a closer look in the next...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #4: All Members can Rise to the Top

4. All team members can rise to the top. Not true. In teams, just as in society at large, each person's talents, abilit...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #5: a Team is a Safety Net

5. The team functions as a safety net for the individual and the supervisor. True. Following along with items 3 and 4, ...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #6: the Key Attitude is Forgiveness

6. The key attitude for a team is forgiveness. True. Take the example of a soccer team. The scoring percentage of shots...

  Joanne Robinson
Manager, United Kingdom
 

Applauding for a Mistake

@Frederic A Parker: Agree with #6. Sometimes you can even see a soccer player - or football player as we call them - app...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #7: no 'I' in Team

7. There is no "I" in team. Partially true. It is important for individuals within a team to have accountability for th...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #8: All Have an Equal Role

8. All members of a team have an equal role. Not true. See also items 3 and 7. Every team member has an equally importa...

  Omondi
Manager, Kenya
 

Myths of Teams #8: All Have an Equal Role

@Frederic A Parker: I fully agree with #8. Team members are like the natural formation of the fingers of your hand. For ...

  Frederic A Parker
Consultant, United States
 

Myths of Teams #8 All Have an Equal Role

@Omondi: Thank you. I really like your analogy of the hand and fingers working as a team....

 

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