The importance of communication cannot be overstated in business or in the workplace. It is such an essential aspect of business that no business team can succeed without it. But, are there any key differences in communicating to small teams and large teams that constitute any major advantages in their performance? Let’s take a closer look at that question as we examine the purpose and size of a team.
The Purpose and Size of a Team
A purpose of a team in business is very similar to that of a team in any sport. While teams in the sports industry have a purpose to accomplish, so do teams formed in business. Unlike sports teams, workplace teams do not have a specific number that actual limits their size. Depending on the number of people that make up a workplace team, communication efficiency may suffer if there become too many members on a team.
Communicating in a Small Team
Although there is no official number of members that dictate how large a small team should be, most businesses consider a small team to consist of between 4-6 people. The great thing about communicating in a small team is that all the people on the team know each other by name. Working in a small team becomes an intimate working experience, and personalities are taken very much into consideration when managers create them. When obstacles or problems develop within a small team, the working environment can get a little more than tense. Solutions are often times presented to the whole team, as everyone on a small team usually knows from communicating to one another what is happening. But how is communicating any different in a large team?
Communicating in a Large Team
Similar to small teams there is no set limit on how many people make up a large team, but most businesses consider a large team to make up between 6-12 people. Unlike smaller teams, many times people in large team may not be familiar with others in their team. Managers of large teams don’t often have enough time to spend with each member of the team and require the help of supervisors to communicate with them. Communication in a large team can become less frequent in a workplace, relying more on memos, network communication, instant messaging, emails and morning meetings. But, at the end of the day, when it comes to successfully communicating in either a small or large team, each person counts.
Small or Large Team, Each Person Counts
While the key differences in communicating to small teams and large teams are mostly identified by the intimacy and familiarity between team members, the bottom line is that each person’s personality matters. The size of a team is not the first consideration when a manager puts together a team, to have a truly successful team, no matter what the size, team members need to get along. Good communication within a team can help to ensure that all team members work well together. Larger teams seem to have more difficulty in communicating between individuals because of the number of team members. Successful communication within larger teams needs to have easy access to supervisors, or the manager, to sort out problems as they are sure to occur.
As we can see the key differences in communicating to small teams and large teams is with the familiarity with other team members. Most large teams that grow beyond twelve members usually experience communication problems. Now-a-days many companies prefer to form fewer smaller teams, than have one large team. Why is that? Because, individuals can communicate better between each other, and tend to perform better, than those in larger teams.
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