There are countless definitions of team and group. Many of them stress the fact that a group is not necessarily a team: a team has specific characteristics that make it more than a simple gather of people.

Within the self-empowerment framework, however, the mere identification of the external indicators (being them structural, such as a clear role definition, or process-related, such as communication protocols) that make a successful team are not sufficient.
Even when working with a team, the self-empowerment approach is focused on the individual and, by doing so, it acknowledges the individual actions that contribute to fostering or hindering the team as a whole:

  • start from your responsibilities, from yourself and be authentic rather than pointing at or judging others for their shortcomings;
  • demand the best from yourself, commit your most desirable skills and resources;
  • allow yourself to demand the best from the other team members by conceiving them as quality individuals and encouraging them to always improve. Most of all, agree on a direct and transparent communication pact;
  • look at the future with trust, acknowledge the successes and goals you achieved;
  • devote yourself corresponsibly: defend your own (or those of your own role or part of the team) instances and needs but also embrace a broader view and take into consideration the team as a whole.

In this perspective, team building becomes a specific competence that can be trained. He/she who learns teambuilding will, therefore, transfer such competence to the other groups he/she will be part of.

In this view, the definition of a successful team according to the self-empowerment approach is not connected to the level of accord or cohesion among members, but rather it’s about the extent to which the team can stimulate and promote each member’s development and growth. In other words, the key to team success is linked to the quality of the mutual exchanges, provocation, and support between members.

Try to think of someone (a boss, a coach, a colleague) that, in your opinion, has been able to teambuild. Now identify three skills or qualities you think he/she possesses and that made a difference in that situation.

Now look at this list and try to think of the skills you own and the ones that you still need to develop.

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