Essays Of Teamwork

Modest controversy is often healthy in choosing among alternative directions as well as in promoting trust among team members.

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Teams with members of the same discipline can be effective when they have complementary skills, but you should consider team members from nearby or even distant disciplines, who can bring fresh problems, research methods or analytic tools.A further advantage of team research is the opportunity for all members to learn from each other.Diverse experiences and skills are clearly a benefit, but team members may also productively complement each other by balancing breadth versus depth, basic versus applied research directions and quantitative versus qualitative approaches.Successful collaborations call for establishing common ground -- a shared vocabulary and compatible working styles -- and building trust.In fact, when companies or existing teams ask me to work with them, I like to start with some small collaboration before committing to a longer-term one.Communication also includes respectful dialogue, so replacing “your idea just won’t work” with “I don’t understand why you want to do it that way” changes the atmosphere in the room, raising the willingness of team members to contribute and inviting productive differences of opinion.When team members rehearse talks within the team, they not only promote team cohesion but probably produce better presentations to outsiders.Many team members report satisfaction and fun with team processes, but there is a dark side to teamwork.While mild respectful disagreements can be productive, forceful personality differences that lead to disruptive conflicts can undermine team performance.Team research is the source of some of the great breakthroughs of all time, such as the 1947 invention of the transistor, which took the complementary skills of applied researcher Walter Brattain, quantum theory researcher John Bardeen and solid-state physicist William Shockley.And today, despite the expediency of individual work, researchers are moving strongly and clearly in favor of teamwork because of its often strong advantages.


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