Business Basics Program

Kids Business Basics

Team Work

Team Work

The more you learn about business, the more you will realize a business team is extremely important.  The sooner you learn how to handle yourself with a team, the sooner you will be ready for business.

What is a team?

Let's say that a business team is the group of people that a business relies on to provide a product or service.  

A product takes more then one person to produce, ship to the stores, market to people and sell it to stores. Therefore, through all the steps to provide products and services, there is a team at work.

Your team is extended outside of your company by many other suppliers and companies that provide you with services.  For example; if you sell products over the phone, you rely on a phone company, a supplier of phone equipment and a service company to manage equipment, service and software issues.

In TeachingKidsBusiness.com we use a team of people from around the world who contribute time to developing the site. We are unique in that we encourage kids to be part of our business team to contribute to improving the site.

You will seed many books and training aids that use the comparison of a sports team to a business team. If you have played on a sports team, you realize that a team that works together well, has a better chance of doing well.

How to be a team member.

Usually you get on a team because of your interest and talent. If you are interested in playing sports you often get on some type of team. Your talent (skills) often determines what team you play on, which position you play and how much you play.

In business, it has often been the talent or skills that gets people a particular job. As more and more people have similar skills, it is usually experience that decides on a particular person for a job. 

Recently, the term "team player" has become very important in picking people for a job or to get onto a business team. Talent will only get you so far as in many jobs it is critical that you work well with other people to get the job done . You must be  a good team player.

You have probably come across situations in school when you were grouped with a smart or capable person but you didn't do that well on a project or activity because you didn't work well together. 

 You can imagine that people don't get along together in  business too. When it happens, things don't get done and a lot of time and money is wasted. The term often used to determine if people get alone together is "fit". When people are hiring someone for a job it is important that that determine if the person is a good fit or not.  The fit relates to working with the current team of people and within the business environment itself. The business environment is more about the way in which business is done; examples: fast paced, lots of rules, entrepreneurial etc.

Some tips to being a good team player;

  • cooperation, get along with each other,
  • understand and respect your team matembers,
  • work in the interests of the team and not just for your own interest,
  • figure out how to best use your skills on the team,
  • gain the respect of your team members,
  • gain the trust of your team members,
  • show good character,
  • be a good listener,
  • learn to take direction well,
  • learn to communicate well with your team,
  • use peoples time wisely - don't waste their time,
  • learn to focus on things that are important,
  • learn to be constructive about discussing other team members,
  • support fellow team members.

How to make up a team.

When we examine teams of people we start to realize that we need different people with different skills.  We need people to lead,  we need people to manage and we need people to take responsibility to get the job done.

Think about how your friends and classmates are good at different things. There is always someone that draws well in your class. Wouldn't you like to have that person doing your drawing needs for business in stead of another friend or classmate that can only draw stick people.  Businesses need to constantly look for the right people with the right skills and personality to work on a team.

As businesses conduct business in international markets they need people on their team that know the language and culture of other countries.

Management

You have probably heard the term, management ,before.  Sometimes management is discussed as if they are on another planet (own world) and other times you will hear discussions about how great they are to work with.

Management is really about people that manage people and responsibilities. If you work at a job and are not responsible for other people to help get your job done, you are not usually considered management.  

You can be on the management team of a company or organization if you are responsible for a certain department or major activity of the company. Usually a management team will consist of a president and senior managers.  The management areas are usually marketing, sales, accounting & finance, operations, human resources, information systems and  legal council. Depending on the size of the company and the type of business, the type of managers on the management team will differ.  There are new management areas that are evolving in many companies such as ethics and security.

Managing People

As we talk about business teams, we should consider how to manage people.  You have experience on being managed by parents, teachers, friends and other adults.  You have seen many management styles and could probably write most of this section.You know what type of management style you prefer and the style that gets the best results with you.

You even have management skills yourself as you have dealt with people before.  Your style is developing as you gain more experience in dealing with people. Think of situations when you deal with a brother , sister, friend, classmate or parent.  Each time you deal with these people you have a way that you talk to them and act with them.  The way you talk and listen to people and the actions you take towards them, is really management.  

You may have probably shown many management qualities such as;

  • a good listener, 

  • demanding or lax, 

  • easy going or tense, 

  • clear  communicator or vague,

  •  fun or miserable.

You  may have shown all or most of these qualities in certain situations. As you become aware of how you are acting and how you should respond to get the results you desire, then you will become a good manager.

Think of ways you should act towards people to;

  • encourage people to do a good job,

  • get people to work with you and help you do something,

  • get the results you need and would like.

Example; if you are yelled at to drop what you are doing  and help someone - do you really want to respond? There are better ways to get someone's attention and help!

Here are some anecdotes or phrases to help make the point about team work and management.

"If you want employees to do a good job, tell them what you want and encourage them to succeed. If you want employees to do a great job, tell them what you need and give them permission to fail."

Richard Kessler

"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others."

Anthony Robbins

"I learned that a great leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it".

Harry S. Truman

"Inspiration is the feeling I get when I hear the pride in my mom's voice when I tell her about something I have accomplished."

Sameer Zaman

Activities:

  1. Think of a team that you would like to be on. Ask yourself why you would want to be on the team. Ask yourself why you should be on the team.

  2. Think of a business that you would like to work in. Think of the team that would be needed to run this type of business. Which team member would you be and why?

  3. Take situations in your house or school and act like a manager. For example; if there is someone needed to make sure something gets done then volunteer your services and take charge. Plan out what has to be done and identify; what help you need, who will do it  and when. Most imortantly, get the job done.

  4. Think of ways to get different family members, class mates or friends to do something. Appreciate that everyone responds differently to orders. (remember please don't yell).

  5. Organize a  business club and start putting a team together.