TEAM BUILDING SKILLS DURING A CRISIS
What Does Teamwork Mean?
“An architect, a doctor, a teacher or even a priest or a politician cannot improve people’s lives alone.” -Alexis Carrel
Building up a crisis team is necessary for crisis management before encountering a crisis situation, in order to work together to act rapidly. This kind of team may be found in every company and organization
What would you do in the crisis situations when you are alone? What would you do if you were working with other people?
When we ask these questions to ourselves it is possible to understand the difficulty of acting alone. Thus it is necessary to act in harmony with other people and learn leadership skills.
First of all, we should ask ourselves: “What is a team?”
A team is is an organizational unit that:
-has similar qualities or qualities that complement each other
-has a common and higher purpose and values
-has performance goals and perpetually evaluates itself
-works for a common cause to successfully accomplish the desired result in the shortest amount of time.
This organizational unit is usually comprised of a small number of people.
It has become clear that especially the performance goals that have been put forward in business life can only be accomplished by teams. Teams bring the complementary skills and experiences together. When the team becomes an organic unit, it becomes more than the sum of its parts. Teams also provide an environment in which the members can feel safe and acquire friends with whom they can communicate their problems and express their expectations.
We need each other, right? By observing search and rescue teams we can rapidly answer some questions in our minds.
“Acting as a team” provides a medium to exchange information and work together coherently for a common purpose.
The civil defense members use the term “unit” frequently like the “Civil Defence Search and Rescue Unit Directorate”.
The term unit used in the military reminds one of cooperation. This cooperation has become more important in business life and has been conceptionalized as teamwork or multidisciplinary work in the management literature.
Teams that have different features and skills can cooperate. For example, in a disaster region, while one team may provide security, another may be listening with vibraphones, yet another may be searching using dogs. In the meantime the support teams may help with transportation and food.
Teamwork may also be described as finding a consensus to satisfy a need and resolve problems by gathering information, skills and experiences. In order to meet the needs and resolve the problems of a person, family or a group, the related professionals move towards a solution and work systematically for a determined purpose in a team atmosphere.
For example, I was the coordinator of the “Neighbourhood Disaster Relief Volunteer Team” that has been founded in my neighbourhood. We have fifty two members from all walks of life with different ages and genders. There are housewives, craftsman, tradesman, students, teachers, workers, retired people, drivers, sportswomen, health professionals, government officials and many other more people from all kinds of professions. These people have come together for the common good and decided to work together without a commercial, ideological or political cause.
Similarly, other teams in which I found the opportunity get training and improve myself on search and rescue are comprised of volunteer professionals who do humanitarian work. In these kind of teams everbody does what he/she is specialized in and sometimes a general manager of a company may work together with a blue collar worker from the same company with understanding and flexibility to accomplish a mission responsibliy.
In all these teams amateurs and professionals that have different levels of experience knowledge and skills come together to achieve a common purpose. I call this the “Voltran Effect”. I try to help people understand this effect via the different exercises and games I utilize in the training I give to institutions.
When people are a part of a team they may get better results compared to what they do alone. People become empowered with the feelings of belongingand love for the group. Because the teamwork team work enlivens these emotions, the exercises become more enjoyable. The team members feel important and contribute to the work with more desire to come together.
The team spirit created in time by the consciousness of working together and helping each other is a wonderful collective experience. The consciousness that we call “collective mind” may rise to a level which is not possible via the sum of the isolated members. People who experience this become aware of the value of cooperation and sharing information. Self importance is replaced by community. In this regard team work is a prototype for us to understand the sources of social conflicts and to achieve reconciliation.