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"The Difference Between a Group and a Team"

Late last week I attended an informative online team coaching presentation which began with a powerful question.

What is the difference between a group and a team?


Like most things, the answer is quite simple when you delve into it.

In fact, the major differences between a group and a team can be summarised with a few bullet points:

  • Teams will have a clear purpose and groups do not.

  • Teams will have a clear value proposition and groups do not.

  • Teams have defined behavioural expectations and groups do not.

  • Teams are expected to demonstrate agreed team values and behaviours even when they are not together and groups do not.

  • Teams have a strong focus on the overall performance of the team and achievement of common and shared goals and groups do not.

  • Teams demonstrate an interest and are invested in the performance of the individuals within the team and groups do not.

  • Teams are committed to a common purpose and hold each other accountable and groups do not.

These points should now give you an insight into whether you are working, playing or indeed leading a team or a group.

My take on the purpose of team leadership is to create an environment that encourages individuals to grow and develop their own skills in the achievement of the agreed team purpose and goals.

Many of the above-mentioned points are covered in my recent book "You-nification" which also outlines a practical leadership model that can be adapted to any environment requiring leadership skills and team focussed outcomes.

The other important fact about effective and powerful teams is that they provide the opportunity for each team member to be a part of a bigger collective that is always more powerful than the individual.

Having had the pleasure and good fortune of being involved in some very powerful team experiences in both life and business I can attest to the positive impact that they had on me and how I became less selfish and more selfless as a result.

My fervent hope is that all of you are committed to a journey of reflection and selflessness in the pursuit of the well-being and harmony of the various teams that you are currently a part, relationships, family, sport and business to name but a few.

I also hope that you now know the essential difference between a 'group' and a 'team' and choose to play in a team both for what it gives and brings to your life.

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