Sample Discussion Prompts

What are the Benefits of Teamwork?

  • What is a Team?
    • In one sentence define what you consider to be a team.
    • Give three characteristics that you think are necessary of all good teams.
    • Think of your own experiences with teams and state why some teams have worked well while others have not.
  • Benefits of Teamwork
    • What can you do in a team that you would have difficulty doing on your own?
    • Why do organizations place such a high priority on teamwork?
    • A team is made up of individuals with different personalities and backgrounds. What are two activities that you would suggest to a team leader to help bring team members together at the beginning of the process?

Being a Leader; Being a Follower

  • The Importance of Being a Follower
    • What are some examples from school, work, or organizations where you have seen followership in action? How was it done well? What happened when it was done poorly?
    • Is a leader always necessary for collaboration in teams? Why or why not?
    • Are you typically a follower or a leader? Why do you think that you gravitate toward one over another? Is it important to be in both roles in life?
  • How to Become a Good Team Leader
    • Who do you feel was a great leader? What qualities made them a good leader?
    • What are some lessons that you have learned from a good leader?
    • What does trust look like in the context of a team?
    • What are some ways that a team/group leader can promote accountability in a classroom setting?
  • Handling Conflict in Teams
    • What are some conflicts that you have experienced as part of a team?
    • How do you typically approach conflict? Do you prefer to handle issues immediately/publicly? Later on/privately? Avoid it? What is the best approach?
    • What are some ways that you have contributed to conflict in a team?
    • What are some ways that you have worked to resolve conflict in a team?
    • How can culture influence conflict in teams?
  • Working with Difficult People
    • Has there been a time where you have collaborated with someone who was difficult to work with? What was that experience like?
    • What are some ways that you have been a difficult person to work with?
    • What are some things that you can do to address potential challenges? How have you tried to build rapport with a difficult person? How might you better understand someone else’s perspective and/or intentions?

What is a Team and How Can You Contribute?

  • Types of Teams
    • What are some different types of teams that you have been part of?
    • What differences did you notice in the different types?
    • What are the strengths and weaknesses of working as part of a virtual team, as opposed to working face-to-face?
    • To what extent do you think we will begin to see a permanent move toward virtual teams?
  • The Process of Forming a Successful Team
    • If you were meeting together with new team members, what is the first thing you could do to establish a good team environment?
    • Some research says naming your team is important. Why do you think this is so?
    • Name three important attributes that every team should have and state why you believe they are important.
  • Understanding Yourself as a Team Member
    • When you think of contributing to a team, what role do you gravitate toward?
    • Is there a role that you would like to have, but don’t think that you have the skill just yet?
    • How can you develop the skills to fulfill that role?
    • If you were to describe essential roles in a team, what roles/titles would you come up with?
  • Evaluating Yourself and Your Team
    • As you evaluate yourself, what surprised you about the evaluation?
    • Teamwork by its very definition involves working with others. Why is working with others hard or easy for you?
    • What are your strengths and how could they benefit a team that you might be a part of?
    • In relation to teamwork, what is one weakness you have, and how can you improve on that to help strengthen your team?

Marketing Your Teamwork Experience

  • The Importance of Teamwork Skills on a Resume
    • What are some class activities that you have participated in that may have helped you gain teamwork skills?
    • What are specific skills did you  gain through working in teams in your courses that you could highlight on a resume?
    • What are some activities that you have participated in that may have given you teamwork skills?
    • What skills have you developed through these activities?
  • Preparing for the Interview
    • As you think about your experiences working in teams, what are some lessons that you have learned that you could tell a future employer?
    • Give an example of a time that you were part of a team and you were able to make a difference in the outcome of the team.
    • Think of a time that you were on a team and there was conflict. What did you do, or what could have done, to handle that conflict so that it did not affect the function of the team?

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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