Is it teamwork or individual effort that matters the most?
I’m training for a tough physical challenge in September, which means I’m pushing myself more physically and mentally than I ever have before.
My programme means that I train either on my own or as part of a team, and it got me thinking about how you achieve your personal best. It also made me question whether it’s better to work as part of a team or work independently.
What are the benefits of both?
The team at Kiln is made up of individuals who can easily work on their own, but our strength really comes in when we work as a team. We overcome challenges set by our clients through our ability to work well together with great communication and tenacity.
Working with a good team has a whole host of positive aspects – I really enjoy working with a team, but the characteristics and personalities of the group of people I work with are really important.
When you struggle, working with a team that give help and support can offer alternate avenues that you perhaps wouldn’t have gone down before. So when you are up against it and there are obstacles in your way, your team members can help provide solutions, and sometimes share the load.
Getting a team that works really well together is half the battle already – the next step is to get the work done, and being able to rely on one another takes off a little pressure.
So when thinking about the pros and cons of team vs individual work, it made me consider my own work ethic.
Understanding how you work best can make the challenge of a project seem easier to tackle.
So what benefits you and what doesn’t?
Lets take a look at the pros of both approaches to work, and identify when individual or teamwork is best practice.
Working on your own
- Can make it easier to concentrate and focus. When I work on my own I tend to get ‘in the zone’ and power through what needs to be done.
- You are able to work in your time. Not in your own time, but in your time. So if you feel the creative urge at 2am then get up and start!
- You get the credit for your own achievements. You can’t end up in a situation where others do less, but get praised.
- You’re in charge of your goals and decide what to do and when. Your responsibilities might be allocated by someone else, but you are the one who decides who to deliver and carry out your tasks, and when that needs to be done.
- You get to make your own decisions. When you work and how you approach the work is totally up to you (within reason of course).
- You are responsible for the work. Some may not see this as a positive, but if you are consistently producing good work, you can only reap the benefits. Whether this is through praise, a pay rise or even a promotion, when you work individually and prove yourself as a valuable employee/supplier you will see the rewards.
Working in a team
- People who are able to work with a group of others in a team tend to have good communication skills.
- Teamwork provides workers a cooperative, enjoyable and friendly work environment. The team can also be helpful in responding to worker’s problems and questions, therefore it can increase the work efficiency.
- One of the main benefits of a team environment is the ability to share ideas with the group.
- Two heads are better than one: one person’s knowledge and abilities are limited, it could be hard for us to deal with difficult problems without others’ help. On the other side, every individual is different and has unique qualities. When members apply different skills they are often able to come up with a more effective solution than one person working on the same problem.
- Teamwork also plays a key role in improving relations among colleagues.
What can we conclude from this?
A team can lift and elevate the performance of an individual to heights never before achieved, through idea sharing, system sharing and delegation, a team can often bring out the best in someone. However it’s important to know when teamwork is needed, and when it isn’t necessary to complete a certain task. If a team of people are working on something that could be easily completed by one person, that creates an issue where less work is being produced, but by too many people.
Sometimes it’s a case of finding a middle ground: it’s okay to ask your colleagues to have a brainstorm with you, even if you’re the one who will be producing the work in the end. If you have supportive colleagues, they will want to see you succeed as much as you want to see them succeed.
That’s what I’m finding with my physical challenge training, we all help each other out, push each other and encourage each other every step of the way. We want everyone to succeed, and that’s probably why we will.
– Louise Cox
If you’re interested in seeing how Kiln work, (and even see us working as a team!) then join us for the first ever Kiln Workshop: Designing Responsive E-learning within gomo.
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Louise Cox is a Project Manager and Learning Designer with over twenty years’ experience. She has worked on award winning learning projects. If you want to speak to Louise personally about an e-learning project then call her on 07973 638014 or email email@example.com.