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Maximizing Team Work in Disasters

During times of disaster and emergency as we are currently experiencing in northern Queensland with recent flooding it demonstrates a high commitment of all emergency services to work together towards a common goal. Keeping people safe is the primary focus. It is times like this that you will see emergency service teams working at their absolute best.

Good teamwork such as we will witness over the following weeks maximizes involvement by all emergency services, utilising everybody’s strengths and areas of expertise. Whether it is being a first responder in an emergency, working to prepare our communities for the disaster or working with stakeholders in the recover process, you will find emergency services bonding together with motivation and determination.

Working together utilising individual skills and expertise means that:

1. Information is being shared among the team members, maximizing the levels of knowledge and learning of all services.

2. A good team can produce a wide range of possible solutions to each specific problem and ascertain the most effective one from the range through collective input and interaction.

3. Teamwork gives people shared goals. It also gives individuals an interest in encouraging and aiding other members of the team to achieve those shared goals.

4. A team often produces more accurate, innovative and practical solutions to problems than individuals - think in terms of “collective wisdom”.

5. Teamwork in general produces better end results, as well as bringing out better quality performances from individual members of the team.

6. It encourages a wider sense of ownership for the organisation, both collectively and individually, making team members more responsible and enthusiastic.

7. Workers are more emotionally positive and are better at sharing knowledge, learning and responsibilities when they experience the personal security of being part of an effective team.

8. Individuals are more likely to try new things and offer suggestions when they experience the security of being part of an effective team, as they receive the support and reassurance of being part of a group.

9. By utilizing teamwork, an organization’s decision-making process can be much better understood by its members.

10. A team can sometimes deal with complicated, difficult, deep, and involved problems more effectively than individuals can.

11. Teams can complete tasks and solve problems quicker than individuals through the effective allocation of human resources and producing multiple ideas in a short period of time.

12. Innovation and creativity can be improved through the greater and wider inputs that come through team involvement.

13. Effective teamwork is fun for the people involved and this raises motivation and morale.

Even the strongest, most well-built team will, at times, be met with adversity. What makes us great is not that we should anticipate less adversity the stronger that we become, but rather that in anticipation of adversity we become stronger. — Michael Joling

Gold Coast QLD, Australia

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