October 23rd marks the 55th anniversary of the Smurfs. Today is a day to pause and take note of the exemplary teamwork embodied by these little guys.
The Smurfs’ community generally takes the form of a cooperative, sharing, and kind environment based on the principle that each Smurf has something he or she is good at, and thus contributes it to Smurf society as he or she can. In return, each Smurf appears to be given their necessities of life, from housing and clothes to food without using any money in exchange.
Let’s work with author Frederick Mumma’s definition of a team:
A team is a group of people who work together in specialized roles to make the best use of the talents and experiences of each person.
So, first, a team is a conglomerate of individuals – with individual skills, personalities, and backgrounds. And second, they are using their talents, in defined roles, to work toward a common goal.
The key to great teamwork, then, is labeling people. No – I’m not kidding! The Smurfs own their labels; they even use them as their names. They don’t mind them because they’re true and they contribute to the success of the group. They represent the qualities and actions each Smurf prefers to express – the qualities that are strongest and most consistent in them –and the role they play in advancing the group.
Finding your team role (your Smurf name) will make you more effective and help your team achieve better results.
Team-Work and Team-Roles, a self-assessment and soft-skills training workshop from HRDQ, identifies individuals’ preferred team roles and their team’s role in its organization. By providing individuals the opportunity to reflect on their natural preferences and strengths, as well as prompting them to consider their role as it relates to their organization, Team-Work and Team-Roles reinforces the value of each employee and each team in an organization, and allows for the most effective allotment of that value.
It also reveals any polarity in resource distribution, exposing gaps and highlighting areas for potential development. By creating this awareness and encouraging self-assessment, Team-Work and Team-Roles develops efficiency, employee engagement, and accountability while strengthening teams and organizations.