Work Group Myths – Tips For Effective Leadership

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Brought to you by Felice J. Tilin, Ph.D., Program Director of the Online Master’s in Organization Development and Leadership Program at Saint Joseph’s University.

Common Work Group MythsWhat the Research Says
A group is no different than a team.These terms often are used interchangeably although the term 'group’ refers to people with something in common while 'team' refers to people who must work together to accomplish an agreed upon goal or outcome.
When the individuals on a team are outstanding performers, the team will be a high performance team.This statement makes common sense, yet research has shown that outstanding individual performance does NOT predict outstanding team results.
The entire team changes when one member leaves the group.It may FEEL like a new group when one member leaves, but the stage of group development does not change if 50% of the core members remain the same.
The most effective teams have no more than 8-10 members.True! More than 8-10 members impede the ability of a team to effectively collaborate.
The entire dynamic of a group changes when there is a new leader.A new leader alone will not significantly change group effectiveness.
A team of members with high emotional intelligence (EQ) will be a more effective team.The research is not conclusive yet. However, it is probable that a higher average emotional intelligence (EQ) of all team members will translate into higher group effectiveness.
An outstanding, high performing leader will lead a great team.It is not all about the leader. Team members who collaborate to accomplish goals are even more important to the team's success.
The same techniques we use to coach individuals will always work with a team.A team coach must have a thorough understanding of group dynamics in order to be effective.
Group effectiveness cannot be measured.One valid and reliable instrument is the Group Development Questionnaire (GDQ), which determines the developmental stage of a group and gives a group practical ways to increase effectiveness.

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