Why do so many organizations think that teams and teamwork is important to their success? A team gets together with different people having different goals and becomes a cohesive whole. When a team becomes successful, it funnels the energy of the team members towards the good of an organization.
A team comprises different kinds of people and it can be very tough and challenging to build a successful collaboration around this. People carry their opinions, knowledge, values, education, past work experience, upbringing, life and work goals to the table. But teamwork can be taught and developed. Here are some tips and ideas.
The team understands the goals
Everyone in the team is on the same page regarding the mission, vision, aspirations and goals of the team and the organization. The direction and expectations of the team are crystal clear and they are prepared to be accountable regarding the outcome.
Team members trust each other and are comfortable in taking reasonable risks. Nobody is punished for disagreeing; disagreements are expected and appreciated.
Communication is open, honest and respectful. People are allowed to express their opinions, thoughts and possible solutions to problems. Team members should feel that they are being listened to by their colleagues, rather than being snubbed when they are speaking.
A sense of belonging
A sense of deep commitment to the group’s decisions and actions is experienced. The feeling of belonging to the team is enhanced and reinforced, when everybody is involved in building relationships together.
Uniqueness is appreciated
Differences of team members are taken advantage of and the uniqueness of everyone is celebrated. The more a team brings out divergent points of view that are well presented and thoughtful and are supported with facts and opinions, the better it is for the team and the organization.
Creativity and Innovation
Creativity in trying something new and exciting, improving a process or reaching a goal is appreciated, encouraged and expected. No idea is “too dumb” or shot down because “it has already been tried before and it did not work”. Brainstorming for ideas brings out unusual and bizarre concepts that might just work.
A successful team is able to look within and constantly want to improve itself in the areas of effort, strategy and talent. The team holds regular review meetings to find out what is hindering its progress in moving forward and examining its processes and strategies.
Personality conflicts and clashes are not encouraged and team members do not pick sides in a disagreement. A mutual resolution of problems and disagreements are worked upon.
Leaders are visible and lead from the front while holding meetings, assigning tasks, recording decisions and commitments, holding team members accountable, assessing progress and providing direction to the team.
Decisions are made together
Team members support each other and carry out decisions together. The commitment and progress of the team are well documented and communicated to all the people concerned.
If teams follow the above steps, success and rewards will definitely follow. Relationships and the little things that happen on a daily basis are what usually undo a team. Team members can achieve greatness if they can rise above these small challenges.