As the world becomes more complex and change happens at a quicker pace, organisations are becoming aware that it is more difficult for individuals to get results on their own and that they need to encourage them to work in teams. Many progressive organisations now spend large sums of money on developing team work. One of the reasons for this is that many people’s attitudes do not equip them to work constructively in teams. In a sense, they are products of a school system which does not encourage good team working
Below we've outlined what we believe are the essentials of good team working. Use the menu on the right to access other material outlining common team problems, the advantages and disadvantages of diverse teams and much more.
The essentials of good team working
For people to work effectively together in a team it is essential that they have the following-
1. A clear sense of mission, purpose or goals
When this is not present team members inevitably pull the team in different directions in furtherance of their individual views and objectives.
2. A team leader
Teams benefit from clear leadership but team leadership is different from traditional leadership. It is about leading from “the centre” and not about leading from above. Teams can survive where there is no designated leader but at any one time it has to be clear who is facilitating and orchestrating their activities.
3. Clarity on the roles and responsibilities of each team member
Each team member must know clearly what is expected of them but they must be prepared to further the team’s goals by being flexible and undertaking the work of other members when necessary.
4. A supportive, trusting environment and team members who feel valued
Everyone must feel they can trust other team members and are supported by them. Each team member must feel they have an opportunity to contribute to the team’s purpose and be respected for they way they make that contribution.
5 A way of resolving conflict
Conflict is not something which may arise in a team - it is an inevitable consequence of people working together. For good team working, the team must encourage individuals to air grievances and to ensure, where possible, win/win solutions to problems. If this isn’t done, even trivial differences can fester and become major problems which undermine team effectiveness.
Effective teams, like effective individuals, are aware of their strengths and are able to use them to best advantage. Equally they are aware of their weaknesses and know how to minimise the impact these weaknesses have on overall team effectiveness.
© Carol Craig
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