Teamwork does not always lead to better results
Teams need Coaching. I am going to tell you why Team Coaching is important and why you should invest in it.
We are all familiar with the “given” concept, teamwork leads to better results, right? Well, not necessarily, and there is some science to back this up.
The Ringelmann effect refers to a combination of social loafing and coordination losses.
Ringelmann asked a group of workers to pull as hard as they could on a rope attached to a meter that measured their efforts. Subjects worked alone and in groups. While the total force on the rope increased as the size of the group rose, the amount of effort by each person dropped.
One person alone exerted an average of 63kg of force; this dropped to about 53kg in groups of three and to about 31kg in groups of eight. the greater the number of people the less effort each expended.
So the more people in the group with the same shared responsibility the less the effort because they were working with others, synergy was not created. The group result was much less than the sum of individual efforts. This violates the notion that group effort and a sense of team participation leads to increased effort.
The Ringelmann Effect thus describes the inverse relationship between the size of a team and the magnitude of the group member’s individual contribution to the accomplishment of the task.
Subsequent work was carried out in 1974, developing the theory further. In a replication of Ringelmann’s experiment, participants were placed in two groups, much the same as in Ringelmann’s original conditions, with real participants in groups of various sizes or, pseudo-groups with only one real participant.
In the pseudo-groups, insiders were to pretend to pull on the rope whilst making actions as though they were really exerting themselves. A decrease in the participant’s performance was, as one might expect, still found. What proved of interest here was that as there was no coordination between the participants and the insiders (they weren’t physically taking part in the actions), poor communication cannot account for the decrease in the effort. Therefore, motivational losses must be the cause of the performance decline. Additional losses were seen in the real groups, which can be attributed to coordination losses.
Anyway, less of the science bit. My theory is this; if you want to get more effort from everyone in your team then make sure every single one of them is individually accountable for a specific part of a task or wider mission. During my Team Coaching sessions, I use my own model to achieve this, its called Mission-Focused Leadership. The model is my framework for Team coaching which creates links between individuals, the team they work within and Organisational Objectives, which ensures that essential connections are made with targeted business performance outputs. It works for me.
Trevor Parker is a Strategic Executive Coach and Mentor to private clients trying to excel in a world of increasing competition, pressure, negativity and stress. Positioned as one of Yorkshire Business Insider’s power 100 and a fellow of the Institute of the motor industry, Trevor is a uniquely qualified and experienced Strategic Executive Coach. Learn more about Trevor here.