Exercise 6

Objective

The purpose of this activity is to help participants understand how teamwork is managed on the job – both from the perspective of the boss and from the perspective of the employee.

Time

15 – 30 minutes

Materials

Directions

This exercise offers two different activities. You may choose one or both, depending on time. One is scenario based and one is a role play.

Activity 1: For this activity, read (aloud or independently) the library scenario. Discuss as a group what Shawn (the librarian) did well, and what she could have done differently. How might she handle herself in the future? Discuss how Nathaniel (the boss) should handle this situation. Consider the fact that he probably wants to help Shawn to improve and not necessarily punish her.

Activity 2: For this activity, request volunteers to act out a role play. Allow a few minutes for the actors to read through the scene so they know what their character is like. After the scene is read aloud, ask the following questions:

  • What was the real problem at the coffee shop?
  • What could Jarrod and/or Steffy have done differently?
  • Do you agree with how the manager handled the situation?
  • What might you have done in this situation?

Discussion

The importance of teamwork is undeniable. Ask the group to come up with a list of the benefits of teamwork and to illustrate or give examples of each. If the group has trouble coming up with a list, use the following as conversation starters:

  • Support – Teamwork leads to camaraderie between team members. This will not only lead to better social relationships, but can also act as a support when things go wrong.
  • Varied skills – Different team members bring with them different skills.
  • Distribution of work – Distributing work not only reduces each individual’s burden, but also increases responsibility and ensures better commitment to completing the task individually and as a whole.
  • Creativity – Different people have different skills and possess different perspectives. Therefore any activity that involves teamwork benefits from the various creative thoughts and inspirations of different people.
  • Accomplish faster – People working together will tend to complete a project faster than if one person was working alone.

Reflection

Think about a time when you were part of a group/team and things worked really well, and a time when things didn’t work out so well. What were the situations and what made the differences?

Homework

Consider different jobs in your community. Arrange for field trips to some local job sites where participants can ask both managers and employees a few questions about teamwork (or ask an employer and employees to come in to talk about the impact of teamwork on the job). Alternatively, participants can do this independently and then share their experiences with the larger group.

Work with participants to develop a single set of questions to ask of managers and employees. Questions should be focused on the importance of teamwork and what happens when one or more chooses not to be a team player.

License

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Teamwork: An Open Access Practical Guide - Instructor Companion by Andrew M. Clark and Justin T. Dellinger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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