Thursday, March 20, 2014

Monsters University & The Internship: Teamwork

This is one of my favorite animated movies. These monsters are awesome and made me laugh all the time in the theater. It's a MUST! The Internship is interesting, especially because it shows what it is like to work for Google.

I. Work in pairs:
1. Do you prefer to work individually or in groups? Why?

2. What do you understand by teamwork? How effective is it?

3. What are the consequences for a group that does not work as a team?

4. Is teamwork always necessary in a person's professional life? Explain it.

II. Read the text below, taken from the document at the site 

Then discuss the questions:

Teams are groups of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose 
and hold themselves mutually accountable for its achievement. Ideally, they develop a distinct identity
and work together in a co-ordinated and mutually supportive way to fulfil their goal or purpose. Task
effectiveness is the extent to which the team is successful in achieving its task-related objectives. 
Shared goals are most likely to be achieved  through working together and pooling experience
and expertise. 

Successful teams are characterised by a team spirit based around trust, mutual respect, helpfulness and
– at best – friendliness. Simply bringing people together does not necessarily ensure they will function effectively as a team or make appropriate decisions. Teams are composed of people who have a variety of emotional and social needs which the team can either frustrate or help to meet. Teamwork indifference – failing to take action to promote good teamwork – is a strategy likely to result in mediocre performance. 

Effective teamwork results from:
  • a team whose membership, size and resources match the task
  • good leadership and attention to team-building
  • commitment by team members to understand and identify with one another's goals the development of team goals – a shared vision
  • a sense of common ownership of the task at hand and joint responsibility for its achievement co-ordinated effort and planned sharing of tasks evenly across the team 
  • the open exchange of information within the team 
  • honesty and frankness among team members.

Effective teamwork may be undermined by a variety of problems, for example: 

  • disorganisation
  •  poor communication
  •  misunderstandings or inadequate procedures for problem-solving. 
  • Team functioning can be weakened by obstacles faced by individual members within the team, as well as by difficulties linked to the task.

II. Discuss the questions:

1. Explain, using your own words, what the author means by team work.

2. What makes teamwork effective or ineffective?

3. Do you agree with the definition that you have just read? Why?

III. Watch the segment and discuss the questions.


1. How successful was this teamwork? What were they supposed to achieve?

2. Why weren't they successful?

3.What requirements for successful teamwork they did not follow?

4. What should they do to be successful the next time they have to work together?

IV. Watch the movie segments below: They show two different moments of the same team in the movie "The Internship". These groups must work as a team in order to achieve some tasks/goals in order to be hired by Google. Then answer the questions that follow each one of them.


1. What is the task they have to achieve? 

2. Why do they have to work as a team?

3. How successful are they as a team?

4.What could they have done to be more successful?

5. How do you compare their team with their opponent's?

V. Watch the second segment from the same movie and answer the questions:

1. What is their new task?

2. How successful were they?

3. What has changed in the group's attitude from the first to the second segment. 

4. Why was teamwork more successful this time?


V. Watch the ads below. Explain how teamwork was dealt with in the presented situations.  

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