Well I’ve got a lot of grey hair now and on the way to that I have experienced some ordinary team structures and with great pleasure a few absolute crackers. The list below is not exhaustive, but I guarantee that the ingredients of a top performing team will always show some or all of these characteristics.
(Photo by Karla Vidal on Unsplash)
An effective team consists of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal or purpose and who hold themselves accountable for team output & success.
To be considered “Effective” it is generally expected that several criteria are met:
There should be mutually-agreed aims and objectives, and everyone has a clear understanding of these. It is critical that these aims & objectives are closely aligned with the overall organisations’ objectives & timelines.
There is a good balance of skills, abilities and aspirations. Team members should have a clear understanding of each individual’s role in achieving overall team objectives.
There are good processes for making, communicating, implementing and reviewing decisions. There are effective information systems and co-ordination of resources.
Meetings are productive and there is effective communication up, down and across the organisation.
The team trusts the team leader and feels that it is led in an appropriate way.
Support and trust:
People help each other by listening, evaluating, offering ideas, encouraging experimentation and giving support.
Openness and conflict:
People express themselves openly and honestly. There is a willingness to work through difficult situations or conflict constructively.
There is a readiness to be involved and committed. Individuals’ abilities, knowledge and experience are pooled and used by the team. There is acceptance of each other’s’ strengths and weaknesses.
‘Mistakes’ are faced openly and used as a vehicle for learning. Individuals are given opportunities to develop new skills and experience.
Sound inter-group relations:
The team enjoys good relations with other teams, departments and agencies, each valuing and respecting the other.
The team regularly reviews its performance and goals and alters its priorities and practice in the light of review.