Learn to Recognise the TRAITS OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM
For a team to build properly the following traits do need to be present:
The team must include members with complementary skills to get the job done to a high standard. A team must also include complementary roles. Everyone contributes something different to a team, and the team is most functional when the roles people take on are complementary. For example, some people naturally take on a leadership role, others are great at coming up with plans, others are supportive listeners etc. A team with members that take on a variety of roles is likely to be more successful than a team lacking vital roles or where, for example, all members try to take on the role of “leader”. Some combinations of personalities are much more difficult than others to evolve together to produce a team.
Team roles are looked at in more depth later in the course.
The leaders role is to set the vision and bring the team together. Strong teams have clear leadership, whether the leadership is from a group, an individual or self-managing. Whatever form of leadership is used, it is important that all team members recognise and support the leadership. Leadership styles may vary from time to time in order to be effective (e.g. a coach or captain may need to be democratic at times and more autocratic at other times, according to the situation).
Commitment to the Team
Team members should be committed to the team. A successful team will have a sense of unity, where victories and defeats are shared. To be highly effective, the team will develop loyalty from its members and a sense of “belonging”. The team will develop a clear identity that the members can associate with.
Concern for Achieving
The team should develop a shared vision, with common goals. All must be not only aware of objectives, but also in total agreement. In a successful team, the individual should be focused on the common goal of the team, and not strive for individual credit (rather, feel valued as a team member whether in the spotlight or not).
Effective and Well Organised Work Methods and Procedures
An effective team will develop formalised roles and responsibilities. Each individual will be accountable for their area, whilst still having collective responsibility for the overall team performance. The team member will understand what is expected of them, and what they need to do to perform successfully. Having these guidelines clearly defined allows members to take ownership for their role and responsibilities. Ground rules are established to provide direction, and gives guidelines on how to deal with decisions, discipline and disagreements.
Ability to Take Criticism
All criticism should be delivered respectfully and constructively, with the purpose of improving performance, rather than degrading the team member. A team member must be able to take on board this constructive criticism and use it in a positive manner.
Creative strength is the ability for new ideas and approaches to develop from interactions that occurs between members. One of the strengths of working as a team, rather than as an individual is the coming together of each member’s unique viewpoint. A successful team will use these differing views in a synergistic way, where the sum is greater than the parts.
All team members are conscious of the benefits of interactions occurring between members on an interpersonal level. Team members should treat each other with respect, and develop mutual trust.
A non-threatening and always optimistic/positive environment. The leader has a big part to play in creating a positive environment for the team.
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