How to Define an Effective Team? 11 Characteristics
Effective teamwork is what makes companies and products succeed. Have you ever been a part of a great team?
When an efficient team starts to work, their efforts turn to productive results.
In order to gather a productive team, you need to identify the core characteristics of effective teamwork.
It may sound easy: a team is a group of people who work together to achieve common goals. However, how to make them successful?
What makes one team effective while others are not is a bit complex. Characteristics of effective teamwork include the ability to set aside personal prejudices and the willingness to take on group responsibilities.
An important leadership competency in small and midsize businesses for any company’s manager is the ability to create, manage and lead high performing teams.
To remain competitive, people must work closely together and collaborate effectively across the company to get tasks accomplished quickly enough. Here we combine 11 characteristics of high-performing and effective teams:
11 Characteristics of Effective Teams
1. Clear direction
Yes, it’s about a clear sense of purpose and measurable objectives. This unifies the group and every team member knows why the group exists.
Unfortunately, often companies are in such a hurry to move on their projects that they pull together groups of people without deciding on the goals and desired results. A clear goal is a fuel that drives each member’s effort.
First, you need to realize and communicate the team goals and desired outcomes. Use them for clear direction for the team you select and leave the team flexibility to develop the best way to get there.
2. Open doors and clear communication
Communication is crucial for building a sense of camaraderie between team members.
Clear and transparent communication is when the team is able to communicate effectively and there is a feeling of open communicative relations between all members of the group. All the issues are handled by face-to-face communication and team members do not talk behind each other’s back.
Keep your door open to let your coworkers be with you. The more freely you talk to your team members, the more comfortable you are in sharing ideas and insights. This is one of the reasons why modern businesses emphasize communication and collaboration tools.
Here, it’s a relevant thing to add a couple of words about listening. It is not just a way to find things out but also a sign of respect. Listen like you mean it and demonstrate that you’re listening.
3. Collaboration spirit
The more you collaborate and communicate, the more you create and the better products you get. Thorough and close collaboration is a trait shared by every high-performing team.
It can be difficult, especially if some members possess strong personalities. Successful teams tend to have strong leaders that are able to keep everybody on the same page while keeping the petty bickering to a minimum.
4. Playing by the rules
Any team should have a set of rules that determines its operating procedures and acts. This set helps to keep the team on track and eliminate any ambiguity. It means that everyone has to agree to the rules beforehand.
5. Defined roles
Skill sets, specific roles, and thinking styles are required for teams.
If it’s needed to develop a new product, the team will need a detail-oriented person who can keep the team on track.
An explorer is also an important role because he/she can be more of a big-picture thinker who can help the team see what is possible. There is also a need for a person who will be responsible for measurement and metrics.
Of course, your team may have other roles, but you should have a good handle on those roles before you begin managing the team.
6. Encouraging differences in opinions
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
Common goals and their agreement are essential. However, it’s not about suppressing alternative ideas and opinions. Divergent opinions within a team may enhance team performance.
7. Mutual accountability
High-performing teams accept responsibility as individuals and as a team. Team members should not blame one another for mistakes and failures. And no one should spend time in personal justifications.
Any success should be celebrated together.
8. Team trust
The truth is – team members who cannot trust one other or and do not believe in the defined team goals seldom get success.
Focusing on solving problems is a natural thing for effective teams. There can be trust between team members only if they can translate their views freely.
That’s why managers and team leaders often undertake team building exercises and problem-solving activities that put everyone in positions of trust.
9. Decision making
There are a built-in decision-making system and a hierarchy in any effective team. They help teams to react quickly and effectively to all situations. Each member is respected for the various areas of expertise, and the leader obtains the members’ opinions to formulate the group’s response.
10. Efficient use of ideas
Generating ideas is a crucial skill for all teams. Brainstorming is one of the ways to come up with a solution to a problem. Every team member should be able to propose information and formulate that information into a response.
11. Having fun
Permanent work can lead to burnout and lack of productivity, so it’s important for any team to have time for fun and relaxation. It shouldn’t be just work and no play.
Collaborative groups that work particularly well together should enjoy each other’s company and get together outside of the office sometimes to socialize and have fun.
Creating such positive relationships with colleagues can make for a much more relaxed environment and reduce conflicts.
A powerful team is the foundation of a high-performing business and a good team ethic may lead to the success and smooth running of a company. If employees do not feel each other’s support and do not work well together, problems, conflicts, and risks can arise.
The characteristics mentioned above are definitely required for the teams’ great performance and the total company’s success.
Would you like to learn about some threatening roles in companies that only interfere with the processes and inhibit the overall teamwork? Watch this fun video here: