The role of “togethering” in developing teamwork relationships and shared meaning

As team projects ramp up we bring you The role of “togethering” in developing teamwork relationships and shared meaning for this month’s IRT Archives. The authors of this study looked at student interactions in team-based engineering design projects, analyzing everything from their conversations to their body language. They observed that the analysis of individual team-member behaviours alone was insufficient to help them understand how what appeared to be the same behaviours and dialogues could produce opposite results on teams. As a result they combined looking at the individual-behaviour level with the team-process level to explore those differences. For a nuanced look into two design teams and how they created this together read the full paper here.

  • Ask yourself whether and if your team is building on the contributions of others. The ability to build and co-create was a feature of the study’s more successful team.
  • If you notice that conversations are disconnected, you’re speaking over one another and the conversation doesn’t flow, consider this a sign that it might be time to seek team support.
  • Is there someone who isn’t contributing? Ask yourself why you think that is. Don’t be afraid to seek outside help to find out why, so that these interactions can be approached with respect and care.
  • Check in to see if everyone is on the same page and has the same understanding of the work and each team member’s role in the project.