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Advantages and Disadvantages of Working in a Team

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Pros and Cons of Team Work

So which is it "two heads are better than one" or "too many cooks spoil the broth"? Well in truth there are potential advantages and disadvantages of working in a team, however it mainly revolves around the people involved in the team and how they 'get on with one another'. Let's explore both the benefits of team work as opposed to those work by their seldom as well as the negative aspects in comparison.

Advantages of Working in a Team

More Heads Means More Ideas

Instead of one person coming up with a plan or solution to a problem, generally speaking, you will come up with better & more sound ideas when a group of people are all focusing on a common goal. Where we all think differently, one person may raise an initial idea and then another takes that idea and builds on it and so on -- until you come out with a good 'plan of attack'. 

Whereas just working on your own, you may come up with an initial idea -- but there is no one there to help validate your idea or improve upon it further to make it better.

Source of Motivation, Support & Confidence

For some individuals, working as a team relieves them of stress and insecurity as the responsibility is shared. Also, if someone is having a particularly harsh time -- you have other members to share the load on and help support you and motivate you to get the absolute best with regards to performance. 

If you are on your own however, if you get ill or down -- there is no there to cover you or serve as a pick me up. If you can't come up with an idea -- then it is just you & this can be a pretty stressing situation to be in. 

Play to Each Others Strengths

When you have a team, you can have members do what they are good at (what they have a competitive advantage in) and get the most out of that skill for the benefit of the group. If however, you are on your own -- you might be able to do what you are good at some of the time, but you have to be a jack of all trades and do what you might not be so great at as well -- essentially being less efficient as a team with regards to time and utility.

Disadvantages of Working in a Team

With regards to the negative aspects of team work -- it is essentially many of the points made above, but on the flip side.

You Might Know Best

For instance, you may feel you have the best idea (and actually do), but if the other members of the team don't agree with you or decide to take it down a different path -- you are outvoted. Working on your own however, there is no one to answer to, you decide what to do and when. Also, when there is too many people -- there can be in the end, no conclusion and simple decisions take copious amounts of time and everything becomes just inefficient.

Teams Don't Always Get On

There are times when a group of individuals get together and they simply don't get on from a work & social perspective, which harms the productivity of the team as 'no one cares' about other players of the team and co-operation goes out the window. More conflict and less actually getting on with the task in hand.

Where instead of getting the most out of people, they force people to become unconfident and retreat further into their shell -- someone may have a great idea, but are scared to voice it -- as they might be ridiculed. Resentment may creep in too, where people feel like they are carrying the team and riding off the back of them.

All these aspects simply won't occur if you work on your own.

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