It’s hard to believe it, but we’re already on our way into February of 2023! We hope January was as awesome for everyone as it was for us, and that you were able to practice your goal setting and achieving skills. Before we set sail into the new month, just remember the bottom line when it comes to goals: goals we set are goals we get!
This month, we will be shifting our focus towards a very important part of life: teamwork! This week, we will be exploring what it means to work as part of a team, and how to use cooperation to work with others. For our families and kids, teamwork is a skill we want to develop and practice, because it is something that will help them out throughout life. Whether it comes to playing games with friends, being part of a group project in school, or helping a team of coworkers, we want to help our students practice collaboration in fun and exciting ways!
As you read on, we will be discussing the basics of teamwork, and provide some helpful tips for our kids to remember. Here’s what we will be going over:
- What it means to be part of a Team
- How to cooperate effectively
- Why collaboration is important
Let’s dive right in!
What is a Team?
Teams can be found in just about any and every aspect of life. Most commonly, “teams” are associated with sports, like Football or Baseball. However, teams are not just formed to play games. A team can be created for a vast range of different reasons, like making decisions, creating systems, or completing a task. So, what exactly does it mean to be a team?
To put it simply, a team is a group of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal. To bring it back to sports, a Basketball team is a group of athletes who work together to win the game by scoring as many points as possible. A team for a group school project collaborates to complete the assignment. A team of coworkers assist each other in order to make sure the organization functions successfully. Whatever the end goal is, it is necessary for the team to put their heads together in order to get there.
Like we mentioned before, teams are present in just about every part of life. That is because, outside of personal development and growth, it is very difficult to accomplish big goals completely by ourselves. That’s why companies can also be referred to as “organizations,” because they organize many different functions in a way that makes it possible for many people to achieve one goal.
Think about all the big-name corporations out there right now; Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. would not be able to function at the same capacity they do today if they didn’t have a team of experts working together to fulfill their missions. Even the local small businesses in your area consist of teams that work together to ensure success. One person alone can surely do a lot, but a tight-knit group of people allows for tasks to be divided, making the whole operation run smoothly. But, how do people work together in a team?
This term sums up how the individual parts of a team come together to accomplish their goals. Collaboration is the heart and soul of a team, and is the glue that holds the team together. In fact, teams would not be able to function without it. It is essential to making sure the team is able to accomplish its goal, but what exactly is collaboration?
Collaboration is about individuals coming together and using their shared intelligence, experience, and skills to achieve whatever the common goal is. It means that each person on the team has their own, specialized role to fulfill that will assist the others on the team. It also provides a space for one member to draw on another’s relevant skills to help out in completing their roles.
Think about a Football team, for example. The entire team’s shared goal is to win the game by scoring more points than the other team. On the offensive side, the Quarterback must either throw or hand off the ball to one of the team’s receivers. From there, whoever received the ball must run it as far downfield as they can, aiming to get it into the End Zone. The offensive line must protect the Quarterback and receivers from the opposing team’s defense. On the defensive side of the ball, their goal is to stop the other team’s offense from scoring points.
Though each person on the team may have their own purpose, they each work together by fulfilling their individual roles. If the Quarterbacks didn’t throw or hand off the ball (or run it themselves), then the receivers and runners would not be able to complete their roles. If the offensive line cannot protect the rest of the team, then they won’t be able to move the ball and score points. If the defense isn’t able to effectively stop the opposing team, then it will become much harder to obtain or maintain the higher score.
As you can see, it is only through collaboration that teams are able to reach their shared goals. If even one person is unable to fulfill their individual duties, it affects the whole team! Which leads us right into the last point of discussion for this week…
The Importance of Teamwork
Teamwork is extremely important because, like we discussed earlier, there are many things that require us to collaborate with others in order to achieve them. Back to the Football team example, winning a game would be just about impossible if the teams were only one person. There’s no way one person would be able to throw the ball, catch it and run, and protect themselves all at the same time. Depending and relying on others is a natural part of life.
Because there will always be moments where we need to draw on someone else’s intellect, experience, or skills, teamwork is an essential skill. Even our own personal goals would be much harder to accomplish without the help of others. After our discussions about goal setting from January, you will hopefully have many short- and long-term goals you’d like to reach. Whether it’s a goal for school, work, or home life, there will undoubtedly be moments where you need someone else’s help. In school, for instance, your teachers and classmates will be able to help you along your scholastic journey. At work, your coworkers and bosses define a community that is there to help your organizational and career dreams come true. At home, your parents, siblings, and family create a tight-knit team that will always be there to help you throughout life.
The point is, there will always be times where you need to work with others effectively, which is why teamwork is so important. Relying on others is not a “bad” thing, as long as you do not overly depend on others for everything. Teamwork is partially about finding the balance between your individual capabilities, and what others on the team can provide for you. A successful team will build a culture of interdependence, which means each member of the team relies on each other member in order to thrive, and the dependent relationship is mutual (it goes both ways).
In Our Classes…
In our classes this week, we will be focusing on using teamwork to develop a strong connection between our students and team of instructors. We will do this through various team-building exercises and drills. Additionally, we will also show our students how they are already working as a team during Karate classes. Each class, our goal is to improve and discipline ourselves through the practice of Martial Arts. By coming to class each week, our students work with their classmates and instructors to accomplish this goal. Students would not be able to do that without the help of instructors and classmates, and the same goes for the other way around. That is the interdependence that exists within our school. Our goal is to help them understand that teamwork is a core part of life, so developing good collaboration skills is essential!
In summary, teamwork means working together with others in order to reach a shared goal. Teams can take the form of a sports team, a group working on a school project, the coworkers within an organization, or countless other forms. The heart of teamwork is collaboration, which means that each member of the team serves their own role in working towards the common goal. Finally, teamwork is important because there will always be moments where we need to rely on the help of others in order to complete tasks. Interdependence is a natural factor of life, so working on our teamwork skills will benefit us throughout our lives, whether it be at school, at work, or at home. Collaboration helps us accomplish great things!
What teams are YOU a part of? How do you help them out? What role do you play?
Why else is teamwork important? Besides collaboration, what other qualities are important for a successful team?