Leadership and Teamwork

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Being part of a team
When we are part of a group of people who share skills and work together to achieve a common goal, we are part of a team.
Sharing ideas and collaborating with others enables us to work creatively together. When each team member contributes, we can benefit from a wide range of strengths and skills. We can also help other people to be a good leader, by being a good team member.
Skills involved in being a good team member include:
. Reliability – do what you say you will do
. Communication – listen to others, and respond clearly and calmly
. Flexibility – be prepared to adapt when circumstances change within the team
. Focus – concentrate on your own work, and let others concentrate on theirs
. Being Respectful – of the roles and abilities of other team members

Types of Teams
When we think of a team, we often think first of a sports team, but a team is really any kind of group that is formed for a specific purpose. Some examples are:
. School student council
. School crossing patrollers
. Library monitors
. Class maths group

Being a Leader
Just as being a strong team member is crucial to the success of the team, so is having good leadership. A leader helps a team to stay on task, as well as making sure that all team members are valued and effective. Good leaders are positive and inclusive, not bossy and judgemental.
Although some people appear to have ‘natural’ leadership abilities, in actual fact, leadership skills can be learnt by anyone.
Good leaders:
. Help everyone to understand and ‘see’ the goal
. Motivate the team to keep going when things get hard
. Know how to listen to others, and communicate well
. Ensure that all team members feel valued
. Lead by example: be hardworking and reliable themselves
. Know how to encourage, not dominate, the team
. Are respectful of others and their abilities
. Treat all team members fairly
. Are prepared to take responsibility for the team and the outcome
. Can make difficult decisions when needed

At school, and in the community, it is important to take opportunities to lead – perhaps starting with small groups and projects. Leadership experiences can be very rewarding.
With a good team and good leadership, great things are possible. Whether the goal is to write and perform a play for the class; to plan and organise a school disco; or to compete in a sports tournament, teams need the participation and commitment of each team member to be truly successful.

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