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Teamwork

One of the key things to observe about a good Jedi Knight is not only that they function effectively in the field as an individual but that they can also integrate themselves effectively into a team, working in collaboration with others to achieve their mission objectives and save lives by combining their many resources and creativity to create a single united force that can achieve far more than the Jedi might do alone. This is important for all Jedi to develop: there will often be times when your own singular resources are insufficient to achieve your mission, and since many Jedi tend to develop some specialisation, there will always be areas in which you might be lacking that another might be better at dealing with. Thus, it makes sense to combine abilities, time and resources to achieve your goals, and sometimes is utterly unavoidable.

That said, there are many different types of team that you may be required to work with:

– A group of people collaborating directly towards a common goal
– Several people working individually but towards a common goal, thus combining their efforts indirectly
– Individuals working in concert towards separate goal, but following a similar path

The first is the most common form of teamwork, and the one all Jedi are expected to be able to do competently. This starts as students: you will often be given exercises or expected to participate in simulations where the only chance for successful completion of your objectives is to combine your skills and resources, since failing to do this will result in a failure of your mission as a whole – something which may lack consequences in the sim room, but out in the field could cost countless lives. No person’s individual pride in their abilities, no matter how great, should ever be permitted to compromise the integrity of the mission, and often you will have to swallow or put aside your preferences with regards to independent operation if doing so increases your chances of success.

There are several reasons why working in a team is likely to be of benefit to you. The first reason is that with two or more people, you can do more than you might on your own, in terms of how many things you can focus on doing at any one time. So, if you’re looking for a person on your own, you can only cover half the ground that you could with several people, and as such, working in a team means you can cover more ground or get more work done. In combat terms, it also means that you pose a greater threat to an enemy, or perhaps serve as a more intimidating force than any single Jedi might do on their own – a potential enemy would think twice if they had to face a group of Jedi, when they might not if they only had to face a single Jedi.

The second reason is that one person is limited in what they know and how they think, whereas two people have double the resources – perhaps more, if you think that a second person might inspire the first to think or act differently to how they would were they on their own. From that, you’ve got several benefits available to you: more ability to think, more information and experience to draw upon, and a combined level of creativity, which would likely equal far less than half of what it would be without a team. You can always discuss your ideas when working with others, so you’ll likely formulate a lot of different approaches to the same problem, which can allow for considerable versatility, as well as permit redundancy in your plans: if one idea doesn’t work, you’ve got others to draw upon.

Thirdly, working with a team means that, collectively, you have a lot of different skill sets to draw upon. If you’re going to cook a meal, you can certainly do it on your own, but with several people working in concert with one-another, you could have one person who knows how to prepare the ingredients properly, another who knows how best to combine them to make something nutritious and tasty, and another who would know how to serve it properly and then clean up afterwards. A workload shared is both a workload divided and also likely improved, because you cannot be an expert in everything, and others are likely to have expertise that will effectively supplement your own.

A team is also better able to support each other emotionally and psychologically – having everyone have different abilities is useful, but you can also offer each other support, providing encouragement and bolstering confidence so that everybody is giving their best to the team, rather than worrying about failure lying on your shoulders alone, and knowing that you have others watching your back. This also ensures that any mistakes or issues that arise can be dealt with by everybody, rather than festering in private in a way that might serve only to compromise your state of mind and, accordingly, the mission itself.

However, there are dangers to working in a teamwork: firstly, it’s very rare that all teams work without some sort of internal conflict arising. These should be dealt with quickly and effectively so as not to cast a cloud over the group. Individual differences absolutely must be put aside to ensure the cohesiveness of the group – it only takes one person disagreeing with another to compromise group cohesion and effectively make the situation worse than it might be if you dealt with things on your own. To that end, the vast majority of groups elect a leader to speak for them and to make decisions on directions, and they are also expected to keep the peace within their ranks. As such, a group should always have somebody standing point, but that is a position of responsibility, not of power: your duty as a leader of a team is to serve the team’s interests, and to keep it working together effectively. A leader who abuses their authority will destroy their team just as easily as an internal conflict will.

How to work effectively as a team? First, it helps to take stock of everyone’s abilities and resources, and work out a plan that makes the most efficient use of these skills, so that everybody is working to make the group’s efforts stronger. Naturally you cannot do this if you do not know your strengths as an individual, so this is paramount. Knowing yourself means you will better able to serve your team. Likewise, this is true of weaknesses: an advantage of a team is to use everyone’s strengths to cover each other’s individual weaknesses, so these must be recognised and openly acknowledged as part of a group. Finally, you must put ego aside and be prepared to do whatever is required of you. You may feel you can handle a situation alone, and ask the group to let you handle it, but that is reckless and, should you be wrong, would diminish your team.

So, if you’re intending to advance as a Jedi, you absolutely must come to appreciate what it is to work in a team: advantages, disadvantages and understanding what is required of you. If you cannot achieve this, stay in the Temple until you can, because it is a fundamental requirement for Knighthood that you be able to do this well.