Team vs. Group

10 Ways to Distinguish between a Team and a Group

By Australian Business, adapted by Dean Prebble, Howard Frederick, and VadiK






Mould your people into a pro-active and productive team!

The purpose of assembling a team is to accomplish bigger goals than any that would be possible for the individual working alone.

  Hot Team vs. Dull Team emfographics winners vs. losers




The aim and purpose of a team is to perform, get results and achieve victory in the workplace and marketplace.  The very best managers are those who can gather together a group of individuals and mould them into a team.

Here are ten key differentials to help you mould your people into a pro-active and productive team.


Star Team

Passionate Team

Synergistic Team

Management Team

Innovation Team






In a group, members think they are grouped together for administrative purposes only.  Individuals sometimes cross purpose with others. In a team, members recognise their independence and understand both personal and team goals are best accomplished with mutual support.  Time is not wasted struggling over "Turf" or attempting personal gain at the expense of others.


Passionate Team vs. group





In a group, members tend to focus on themselves because they are not sufficiently involved in planning the unit's objectives. They approach their job simply as a hired hand. "Castle Building" is common. 

In a team, members feel a sense of ownership for their jobs and unit, because they are committed to values-based common goals that they helped establish.


Shared Values


Let Values Rule

Make Everybody a Team Player

Stretch Goals

Achieve Goals





Creativity and Contribution

In a group, members are told what to do rather than being asked what the best approach would be.  Suggestions and creativity are not encouraged. 

In a team, members contribute to the organisation's success by applying their unique talents, knowledge and entrepreneurial creativity to team objectives.


Working Smart & Hard

Team Creativity

Hot Intrapreneurial Teams

Hot Teams at IDEO





In a group, members distrust the motives of colleagues because they do not understand the role of other members. Expressions of opinion or disagreement are considered divisive or non-supportive. 

In a team, members work in a climate of trust and are encouraged to openly express ideas, opinions, disagreements and feelings. Questions are welcomed.



Team Building


Trust as  Competitive Advantage

Cross-Cultural Trust




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Smart & Fast

  INNOBALL simulation game







Common Understanding

In a group, members are so cautious about what they say, that real understanding is not possible. Game playing may occur and communication traps be set to catch the unwary.  In a team, members practice open and honest communication. They make an effort to enpathise, listen and understand each other's point of view.


Empathy quotes how to understand others VadiK Dennis MeSim




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Smart & Fast

People Skills 360






Personal Development

In a group, members receive good training but are limited in applying it to the job by the manager or other group members. 

In a team, members are encouraged to continually develop skills and apply what they learn on the job.  They perceive they have the support of the team.


Business Skills

Social Skills

Soft Skills






Conflict Resolution

In a group, members find themselves in conflict situations they do not know how to resolve.  Their supervisor/leader may put off intervention until serious damage is done, i.e. a crisis situation. 

In a team, members realise conflict is a normal aspect of human interaction but they view such situations as an opportunity for better understanding of perceptions, generation of new ideas and creative problem solving. They work to resolve conflict quickly and constructively.


Conflict Resolution

No-Lose Method

10-Step Yoga Approach




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Smart & Fast

People Skills 360






Participative Decision Making

In a group, members may or may not participate in decisions affecting the group.  Conformity often appears more important than positive results.  Win/lose situations are common.

In a team, members participate in decisions affecting the team but understand their leader must make a final ruling whenever the team cannot decide, or an emergency exists.  Positive win/win results are the goal at all times.


Smart & Fast Decision Maker

Intellectual Teamwork

Spiral Integration of Ideas (SPIN)

6 Thinking Hats






Clear Leadership

In a group, members tend to work in an unstructured environment with undetermined standards of performance.  Leaders do not walk the talk and tend to lead from behind a desk. 

In a team, members work in a structured environment, they know what boundaries exist and who has final authority.  The leader sets agreed high standards of performance and empowers team members. S/he is respected via active, willing participation.


Team Leader

A Model

Inspire Your Team

Tao-style Leadership

Leader of a Virtual Team




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Smart & Fast

Leadership Success 360







In a group, members are uncommitted towards excellence and personal pride.  Performance levels tend to be mediocre.  Staff turnover is high because talented individuals quickly recognise that

(a) personal expectations are not being fulfilled

(b) they are not learning and growing from others and

(c) they are not working with the best people.

In a team, only those committed to excellence are hired.  Prospective team members are queuing at the door to be recruited on the basis of their high levels of hard and soft skill sets.  Everyone works together in a harmonious environment.


Management Team

Meet the Needs of Team Members

Inspirational  Leadership

Virtual Team

Best Practices