The Three Types of Teams and Which is Most Successful
There are many factors that go into successful teamwork. When conflicts arise or performances decline, it’s not always simple to find the root of the problem.
Experiential learning can help. What at first glance may seem to be an indecipherable problem might become very clear in the context of a simulation. Putting everyday habits into a simulation highlights the ways we act as a team. It creates a safe environment where skills can be measured in action without jeopardizing an important team project.
Experiential Learning in Practice
“Jungle Escape” is a game that builds and revitalizes teams. It’s an eye-opening diagnostic tool that takes teamwork back to fundamentals. Something as simple as measuring planning time against implementation time can shed light on all aspects of a team’s dynamic – and “Jungle Escape” does exactly that.
The scenario gives teams the unfamiliar task of constructing an escape helicopter. After carrying out the simulated task, teams are presented with their planning to implementation ratio, and introduced to three types of teams:
- Fragmented. A fragmented team is characterized by autocratic leadership or groups that press the group into making quick decisions. This results in insufficient time to considering alternative strategies for accomplishing the project. Very fragmented groups don’t spend enough time planning and may not complete the project in the allotted time. There’s lack of involvement and conflict is suppressed or ignored.
- Divergent. A divergent group is characterized by passive leadership. Group members are overly cautious in problem solving and decision making. There are too many alternatives considered during the planning phase which creates little time left for implementation. Divergent teams are often unable to reach a consensus and they try to resolve their issues through voting procedures, which may not work.
- Cohesive. A cohesive team balances planning and implementation to achieve its goals. A cooperative atmosphere develops and everyone on the team is involved in structuring the work. Usually, assembly time only requires half of the planning time because many of the potential problems are avoided in advance. Consequently, the total time is usually less than that required by the fragmented or divergent groups.
After learning which type of team behavior they’ve exhibited, the Nine Elements of Effective Teamwork give participants specific reflecting points to guide improvement. They help identify problem areas so that solutions and improvements are possible. They are:
- Goal Setting
- Problem Solving
- Decision Making
- Conflict Management
- Task Satisfaction
While “Jungle Escape” is about team dynamics, it also provides a look at individual behaviors and how each individual can take action to improve the function of their group. Participants will be able to put their knowledge to work in any team situation or group interaction. It will instill in them a heightened awareness of what it means to be part of a team, and how each member of a team can be a leader – regardless of their title or rank.