They say it takes two to tango.
Teams are an integral part of business organizations and often one of the drivers of their success. The mere vision of a founder or leader can’t take an organization beyond the first few steps.
An efficient, cohesive, and enterprising team is needed to execute the vision, overcome challenges, and deliver results.
However, despite knowing the importance of teamwork and having great team members, we rarely see great teams in action at most workplaces.
Here, we bring to you the five key characteristics of an effective team:
Characteristics Of An Effective Team
No matter how talented individuals are, they may not come together as a great team until they have the right interpersonal attributes.
One of the favorite pastimes of sports lovers is to create their own ‘All-Star’ or ‘Dream Team’. Often, there are one-off matches that pit such star-studded teams against ordinary teams. Yet, it is not uncommon to see the bunch of superstars lose to the less famous team.
Do you know why that happens?
What makes the difference between success and failure is not the level of talent or skills of the team members, but their ability to work together as a good team.
Here are the five factors that ensure good teamwork:
1. Unity of vision and action
A great team is not merely a bunch of co-workers but a closely-knit unit that is invested in each other’s and the organization’s success.
Why do All-Star teams—which typically comprise members who can win games single-handedly—lose to ordinary teams? Stars are likely to focus on their own goals, demand entitlements, and enter into ego battles. The ordinary team, which has less to lose, can single-mindedly focus on the pursuit of victory.
Therefore, a good team is one that commits to the common goal without letting egos, emotional conflicts, and interpersonal issues come in the way.
The team that bonds well and cares for its members is likely to win more often.
2. Free Flow of Communication
The hallmark of great teams is the free flow of clear and transparent communication. Nobody should sit on information or share inaccurate or incomplete facts with others. Any information, data, finding, or update that you receive related to the team’s task should be shared unambiguously.
Poor or incomplete communication is a sure-shot way of sabotaging the team’s performance and jeopardizing its chances of good teamwork.
3. Role assignment
One of the main qualities of a good team is clarity in role assignments. Team members must wholeheartedly commit themselves to the specific tasks they have been assigned without getting into each other’s lanes. Yet, if someone needs a helping hand, others should be willing to step-up.
Great teams are typically led by those who are skilled at identifying the strengths of their team members and assigning each of them roles that will bring out their best.
4. Time management
Great teams understand the value of time. Time is a precious asset and good teamwork ensures its optimal use.
Whenever discussions or choices need to be made, the process must be quick and result-oriented. The emphasis is on making sure that the discussion or decision-making process doesn’t eat up precious time. Each team member has their tasks and timelines cut out and adheres to them.
5. Problem-solving aptitude
Great achievements in the workplace will necessarily involve overcoming highly challenging situations. The qualities of a good team include its ability to solve problems practically and efficiently.
Members of well-oiled teams are aware of the fact that the biggest step towards solving a problem is to identify it precisely. A good team doesn’t avoid problems but prepares for them. You don’t overlook an issue and expect it to vanish from the scene. You go ahead and tackle it with the perspective that it will enhance your knowledge and skills.
Teamwork is critical for the success of any business and social endeavor. However, to improve the quality of teamwork, it is important to focus on the characteristics of an effective team and ensure that the team has all those bases covered.
A strong team is likely to achieve great success and ensure the seamless functioning of the organization. Team members should be assured of each other’s support and back each other to do their jobs. They should be ready to provide professional and emotional support to their colleagues in times of stress.
Harappa Education’s Managing Teamwork course is an online learning option that can help you become a better team member. It has a section on the GRIN Framework that will tell you everything you need you to know about the key characteristics of effective teams. Knowing what goes into making effective teams can give you a professional advantage.
Explore topics such as What is a Conflict, Types of Conflict, Thomas Kilmann Model, Functional and Dysfunctional Conflict & How to Manage Crisis in our Harappa Diaries section in order to build trust-rich relationships at work.
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