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The greatest team building in the history of mankind

2020-06-01 12:57

Luigina Sgarro

Articoli, Società, covid-19, team building, team,

The greatest team building in the history of mankind

What we are witnessing, according to some, is a social experiment, in my opinion, it is the greatest team-building exercise in the history of mankind,


What we are witnessing, according to some, is a social experiment, in my opinion, it is the greatest team-building exercise in the history of mankind, a team building on a national scale, perhaps on a global scale.


Team building in the field of organizational psychology, constitute a set of development activities, such as team games or group experiences, whose purpose is the formation of a group of people with the aim of increasing their amalgamation, and interpersonal harmony, to improve the performance of the group as a whole.


According to Wilson and Hanna, teams are defined as "a set of three or more individuals" who interact on a common problem or an interdependent goal and for the resolution of the first or the achievement of the second, "can exert mutual influence on each other".


The key component of a successful team is above all the sharing of a goal, responsibility in roles, respect for rules and awareness of the mutual influence of one's actions.


It is undeniable that, in this circumstance, we all share the same goal, to get out of the Covid crisis as quickly and as well as possible and, for this reason, for the first time we are acting as a team, at least on a national level, perhaps on a global level.


This emergency may represent a real turning point in the history of our country.


Our country, Italy, has always been disunited, heterogeneous, quarrelsome, difficult to establish common goals, rules respected by all, working together. But a country is also a team, because the well-being of a nation depends on how well the people who live in it manage to live together constructively and row towards a common vision.


If we think about the development of the team, through the phases of the classic Tuckman model, we will have:


Phase 1: Forming


"High dependence on the leader for leadership and direction. Little agreement on team goals other than those received by the leader. Individual roles and responsibilities are not clear. The leader must be prepared to answer any questions about team purpose, goals and external relations. Processes are often ignored. Members test the tolerance of the system and the leader. The leader leads." In the beginning, for everyone in any country, the compass was what the government said, in the person of the head of the Government or their representatives. Where there was no clear definition, there was uncertainty and confusion.


Phase 2: Storming


"Within the group, decisions are not easy. Members compete for a position as they try to assert themselves against other members and the leader, who is put to the test. Clarity of purpose increases, but uncertainties persist. Subgroups and factions form and there can be power struggles. The team must be focused on its goals to avoid being distracted by relationships and emotional problems. Compromises may be needed to move forward." This is the stage where, for instance, many countries, and namely Italy may be at now, the goals are starting to become clearer, but there is a high level of conflict.


Phase 3: Norming


"Agreement and consensus begin to form within the team, which responds well to facilitation by the leader. Roles and responsibilities are clear and accepted. Important decisions are made on the basis of a group agreement. Less important decisions can be delegated to individuals or small groups within the group. Commitment and unity are strong. The team can engage in fun and social activities. The team discusses and develops its processes and working style. There is general respect for the leader and part of the leadership is more shared by the team". It is the case of the countries where there is already an alignment because it is inherent to the culture or due to a more effective leadership style.


Step 4: Performing


"The team is more strategically aware; it knows why it chooses a particular course of action. There is a shared vision and it is able to stand on its own feet without interference or participation from the leader. The focus is on achieving the objectives and the team makes most decisions based on criteria agreed with the leader. The team has a high degree of autonomy. Disagreements occur but are now resolved within the team, and necessary changes to processes and structure are made by the team itself. The team is able to work towards the goal and also deal with issues related to relationships, style and processes along the way. The members take care of each other. The team requires the leader to delegate tasks and projects; it does not need to be educated or assisted. Team members can ask the leader for assistance in personal and interpersonal development.


Italy, and the world as a whole, historically, are at stage 2. This emergency is the first time in the history of our country that we have one clear shared objective, to fight the virus, to maintain our health, to overcome the economic crisis, and we depend on each other to achieve it. We are therefore experiencing a unique opportunity to evolve towards Phase 4 and build a new identity as citizens, as a country but also on a global perspective.




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