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Generally, individualized work is work that is completed by a person on his or her own. In education, much work in the past was completed in this manner. However, I find that more and more, group work is finding its way into the really progressive classroom. Students can be grouped in such a manner that those who are proficient can help youngsters who are not. Responsibilities are usually divided up. In some groups, different members will have a specific role: a scribe might record the answer the group is looking for. Someone else might be a reader. Someone else might watch the time and make sure the group is focused. In this way, students learn to work with others in a positive way; often it is the work of the team that produces the desired end result.
Although this kind of thing has been happening in business for some time, now in the classroom, students learn to work together and enjoy the less structured learning environment—where they may feel as if they aren't doing work, they are actually still learning. In either situation—individualized work or team (group) work—the teacher (or organizer) moves around checking to make sure everyone is on-task, he/she watches the time, and finally, the leader allows time for whole-group discussion when the small groups break up and the large group "returns."
While many people successfully complete projects as individuals, there is a potential for the individual to let his or her personal agendas influence the project development. Teamwork, if successfully managed, has a synergistic affect. The group thinking makes for a more complete project. In addition, if others in the group are being directed by their own personal agenda, the other voices in the group can regulate that.
Teamwork is when a group of people with similar goals gets together to create an action plan that will ensure that the goal is met with success. Companies, businesses, and organizations use the word "teamwork" as a way to make the organization more cohesive and create a good bond among the members. This way, the work to be done will be shared and appreciated more once the goal is met.
Individual work is when you choose a goal to meet and create a plan of action that you will follow by yourself. You cannot call individual work anything that has required the aid of another person: That would still be teamwork. The main difference between teamwork and individual work, however, chances are that the success that you can reach as a team is bigger than the success you cam reach alone. This is because, as a team, you get more resources and better support than carrying on a big goal by yourself.
The major benefit of teamwork is that it allows the team to bring a number of perspectives to bear on the problem at hand. It is the old idea that "two heads are better than one." In addition, a task can be broken up between members of the team who can take the parts that they are best at. This sort of division of labor prevents any person from having to tackle an aspect of the problem that they are not really ready to deal with.
The benefit of individual work is speed and clarity. One person, working alone, can make decisions and implement them more quickly because there is no need to discuss or explain. This allows work to proceed quickly. The person is very clear on his/her goals where members of a team might not be so clear on what their teammates are thinking.
Probably the best way for you to tackle this presentation is to create a couple of pros and cons lists. If you like to think in terms of answering questions, answer the following:
- What are the pros and cons of getting work done with a group of people?
- What are the pros and cons of getting work done alone?
Aim for 6-10 pros and 6-10 cons on each list. When you compare your lists, you can decide how the best way to organize your presentation. It usually makes the most sense to group similar ideas under a common heading. Also, attempt to include some real examples for the main points you make. In a PowerPoint, often the examples are presented (in your speech) but not necessarily visually represented on a slide.
The debate over the strength of teamwork vs individual work is ongoing in the business world. If your presentation is for business in general, you might attempt to keep both sides fairly balanced. If your presentation if for a specific industry on the other hand, and you feel very strongly about one side working better than the the other, use examples to support your position and prove it.
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