By Lila Ojha Dhakal and Sepeedeh Hashemian
Teamwork is a method of learning that builds an individual’s professional knowledge and skills but also allows them to grow personally. The size of the team doesn’t matter; it’s the process of working together that matters most. However, a group creates a complicated dynamic because in order to learn from one another, members of the team need to trust and respect each others ideas to move forward. With a good vision and a collaborative effort the members of a team benefit more than they would if they were working alone.
A few weeks ago we discussed whether or not teamwork was necessary to achieve a goal.
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
This quote questions whether it is better to work individually to reach a goal or as a team. An individual can work alone and work ahead but the end result is only the product of one person’s efforts. Whereas if an individual decides to work as a group, they have to collaborate, slowing down their creative process but their result will be a quality product of many people.
Wilbur and Orville Wright were the individuals to design the first plane. These two brothers are a good example of teamwork. The Wright brothers’ teamwork allowed them to advance their knowledge and understanding exponentially and operate almost entirely without limitations. Their partnership would not work without mutual trust and respect for one another’s ideas.
Teamwork has its benefits and drawbacks. In order for a team to be successful teams must evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their members. By understanding everyone’s strengths the group can delegate tasks so that everything is done to the highest quality. In a team individual’s can learn from their fellow team members how to overcome their weaknesses.
In our experience, working as a team has always taught us more. For example, in Lila’s office setting she was always the boss however, her staff has always worked as a team. If there was ever an instance where she needed help, there was always a colleague who was willing to take on the work and responsibility.
In Sepeedeh’s PR Lab experience at Cronkite she works in a team where they serve as the PR consultants for a client. In this class working as a team is the only logical way a PR campaign can be constructed and implemented within a semester time frame. In this group all members of the group have to hold each other accountable for the work that they have agreed they will complete so that the formal written proposal and presentation are both ready for client presentations at the end of the semester.
When people work together in teams they help motivate one another and motivation increases productivity. When we are working in a team we have people to give feedback on the work we are producing, making teamwork a constant learning process. Together as a team we can achieve higher quality work.