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Effective teamwork can take an organization a long way towards meeting its objectives.

In this article, the Career Experts at explore the building blocks of effective teams.

Fortune Magazine and Leadership author Max De Pree defines teamwork as an art. The key elements in the art of working together are how to deal with change, how to deal with conflict and how to reach our potential. The needs of the team are best met when we meet the needs of individual persons. Teamwork is a much flouted term in the workplace today, but it is actually only a few organizations that are really committed to fostering and nurturing this important commodity. For employees to become part of a team, it is necessary for them to feel engaged in something that is larger than their everyday job function, in something that identifies them as individually integral parts and unifies their efforts towards reaching organizational goals and ensuring overall strategic success. Creating teamwork is a daunting task at its early stages, but it can definitely be achieved through good leadership skills and a sound commitment and the results are worth the hard work. Team building requires time and persistence.

Time: Time is an essential component to successful team building as people need a fair amount of time to get to know each other and to learn to know, trust and respect their leader.

Persistence: Cohesive functional teams can not be developed overnight. A leader should commit to being patient and persistent in order to ensure consistent progress and truly reap the rewards of effective teamwork.

The Stages of Team Development:

Every leader needs to be on familiar terms with how to walk his team through the different stages of team development in order to avoid stress, chaos and uncertainty. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman developed his team development model in the 1970s and it has been a great success so far. Here are the 5 essential phases of team development:

Stage 1:Forming: This is the initial phase when the team first gets together. It is usually a stressful period, as team members do not necessarily know each other well and might approach each other with caution and trepidation. The leaders primary task at this stage is to give them the best possible start and make them feel at ease. Bayts leadership tips at this stage:

1. Be as clear and open as can be about your goals. 2. State specifically what the exact tasks of the team will be before moving on to explain the specific task for each team member. 3. Shed light on the rules and the guidelines to be abided by.

4. Maintain an open communication channel: this will encourage team members to share their queries and concerns, if any.

Stage 2:Storming: This is a tricky phase that usually results because rules and roles become somewhat unclear to team members despite the fact that they have been briefed during the forming stage. The actual truth is that every team member is now looking for a way to link the teams goals to his own individual goals and agenda. The leaders skills are put to test here as the team is in need of clear direction and support. Bayts leadership tips at this stage:

1. Gather the team together and get things out in the open. 2. Make sure to go over the overall team goals with individuals and understand what this means to every individual.

Stage 3:Norming: This is the acceptance phase: goals are now comprehended, responsibilities are clarified and relationships have solidified. The leaders role at this stage is to ensure the smooth continuity of the process and the avoidance of any potential challenges. Bayts leadership tips at this stage:

1. Provide guidance to team members, one on one, to help them see where they stand in relation to the teams goals and their individual goals. 2. Once they feel confident of their capabilities, start allocating additional tasks in anticipation of the performing phase.

Stage 4:Performing: This is the concentration phase: team members have set their minds to work towards team goals in order to reap the benefits of getting there. They can now identify their strong and their weak points and can focus on developing themselves. All members who have made it to this stage will witness the birth of team loyalty. The leaders role at this stage is to grant team members the opportunity to become self-directive while he focuses on the next step forward. Bayt.coms leadership tips at this stage:

1. Give team members space and be more of a coach than a director. 2. Encourage greater responsibilities that entail leadership roles. 3. Recognize a team job well done and reward both team and individuals.

Stage 5:Adjourning: This represents the final stage of the development process. Tasks have been completed, goals have been reached and this is sometimes considered as a mourning stage for both team members and leaders, but is actually the start of a new beginning.

Bayt.coms 5 Tips to Build an Effective Work Team:

Promote first-class leadership: A good leader not only focuses on the corporate team goals but makes the effort to encourage other team members to share his vision by infusing the team with positive morale and strong motivation levels.

Promote open communication channels: This will allow team members to share their views, ideas and concerns amongst each other and with their leaders. Collective wisdom can be a very useful pool to tap into.

Provide accurate descriptions for individual roles: It is necessary to clearly communicate to all team members what every individuals scope of responsibility will be. This will keep the team focused and in sync.

Set the best example for your team: Lecturing team members about values and ethics is not fruitful if the leader and upper management is not abiding by the same. Show commitment, persistence, and integrity and your team members will follow: Struggle and adaptation are critical, difficult, but very necessary parts of team development", state Robbins and Finley (coauthors of best selling business book Why Teams Dont Work, winner of Financial Times the Best Management Book of the Year in the Americas)

Organization Charts graphically

aditional Departmental illustrate the delegation of Hierarchies: authority for what people are
allowed to do. Traditionally, authority is delegat ed down from the top officer of the organization to Executive Vice Presidents who in turn delegate responsibilities to levels of Directors until responsiblity is accepted by front-line Managers who are ultimately responsible for the performance of workers in a department. Under this hierarchicalorder of organization, an individual manager (a boss) personally decides who is in the department and what they do. The manager provides to his/her workers the information and resources provided from above. As work becomes more complex, managers often find that more can be achieved quicker with less effort if the workers communicate and coordinate with each otheras well as with their common boss. They try to form a team. The trouble with a top-down "feudalistic" approach to delegation of authority is that people at the bottom do not feel "empowered". Workers tend to ignore requests unless they come from legitimate authority.

Requirement for a primatur of authority to accompany requests require people at the top to work frantically (at work that has no real value). This sets up people at the bottom to be criticized for not taking "initiative". But "peons" fear to take initiative because they see those who do are reprimanded for stepping outside the bounds of their authority, for "going over the heads" of their bosses or colleagues.

A team is a small number of people with complementary Not Every Group is a skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance Team: goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
From The Wisdom of Teams, Harvard Business School Press, 1993.

A group of people is not truly a team unless that group meets all of these conditions for being a team. All the aspects of a team as specifically defined here may not apply to a department.

Nevertheless, many groups are called teams on the hope that they will achieve the ideal conditions for being a team.

Improvements in communication technologies is allowing organizations Functions and Work Units: to be less dependent on the physical location of people as the basis for control and teamwork.
In some companies, a worker in Singapore and a worker in Paris could belong to the same department reporting to the same boss in Los Angeles.

Technology and intense competition is forcing management to shift their emphasis from hierarchy to function. Functions define what tangible product is created and what service is delivered by a Work Unit. A Work Unit is a group which performs related activities. Departments and functions are two separate viewpoints of work. A department within an organization could be responsible for several functions, and several functions could be performed by a single department.

When we have a conflict, we used to look at the Organization Chart and find out who reports to whom. Our culture has improved. Now when we have a problem with someone, we pull out Flowcharts of how products flow through the plant andschedules when we could communicate.

The culture of an organization is what that organization Culture, Climate, and considers desirable or not desirable. For example, some cultures Norms: find it desirable for each individual to achieve his/her own desires at the expense of other individuals. Other cultures find it desirable for individuals to sacrifice to achieve a common desire.
The climate of an organization defines what is considered acceptable behavior to maintain the culture -- to achieve what is desirable and to reject what is considered undesirable. (SNAFU is slang term which is an acronym for Situation Normal All Fouled Up). For example, one organization may have a climate of open hostility where people often yell angry accusations at each other. Another organization may have a climate where people interact with smiles, apologies, and questions. Norms are usually un-written but specific guidelines for specific actions in response to what the group considers acceptable or not acceptable. Many groups have found that they can be more productive if they consciously clarify their Norms These are often called the "process" issues. They define the culture of a group or organization and the climateunder which life is lived. Establishing these norms early in the life of the group will reduce the amount of time needed at each meeting to address procedural issues.

The Methods Teams Use to Avoid Difficulties provide the reasons Ground Rules: why each team role and action is needed.
Successful teams have found that consistently enforcing their own ground rules helps to create and protect an atmosphere most conducive to their common purpose. Many teams have found that having their norms written down on paper (and put up on the wall while they meet) helps the efficiency and success of their group for several reasons:

It reminds everyone of how they should behave. It makes enforcement (Intervention on dysfunctional behaviors) easier (and less personal) when people look at the rules rather than each other. It helps people new to the group be aware of what's expected of them without having to makeassumptions and take the risk of behaving inappropriately.

An important ground rule which is often not discussed is the level of individual personal subscription to the philosophy of continuous improvement and the need for change.

Continuous Process Improvement is a belief that even already Continuous Process excellent products and services can be madebetter by always Improvement: improving how work is done.

This belief is reflected in an approach to working which includes ongoing examination of how work gets done consistently and methodically identifying problems and anticipating opportunities to achieve better results. Much of the work of improvement teams is conducted in group meetings which provide a forum and structure for teamwork. People in improvement team meetings typically:

Stages of Team Development:

explain what they do in terms of their outputs and the tools they use; clarify the words used to describe how they work; Storming: express how satisfied they are with their tools, the climate of their organization, etc. ; identify problems and opportunities ; focus on who the team can help. Norming: deciding scope of team's desired impact. develop plans to make desired changes; Performing: collect data needed for wise decisions; make wise and mutually satisfying decisions related to future actions; conduct experiments to test changes; analyze the impact of experimental changes; publicize their learning and train others. Forming:
Many believe that a climate of open communication based on trust, mutual respect, and commitment to acommon purpose enables teams to achieve better results more quickly and with less stress and waste.

An organizational philosophy of commitment to provide the best Quality Philsophy: possible products or services in response to the needs and expectations of internal and external customers.
More and more, customers and accrediting organizations (such as ISO 9000) ask for proof that continuous process improvement activities are occuring in the company. Organizations that adopt a quality philosophy typically restructure themselves toward more team approaches with a commitment to Continuous Process Improvement.

The charter for a team is a written document which formally Team Charter and Mission: defines the scope (the limits) of the team and confers authority to the team what that team is officially allowed to do. Some charters also define theoutcomes expected from the group, such as greater volume of work produced, improvements in efficiency, better customer satisfaction ratings, etc.
The team's mission is the team's own understanding of why it exists. It may be written or informal.

If a group lacks a mission, its approach may tend to be fragmented as each member tries to fill the void of meaning by introducing their own person agenda thus diffusing the team momentum toward specific achievements. A clear and commonly accepted reason for why the team is together provides the team a "touchstone" for the way the team identifies issues to work on, establishes priorities, handles conflicts, and makes decisions.

The scope of the authority given a group can be defined by Authority: the stages of a project: 1. Just gather the facts. The leader/team will decide what is the next step. 2. Identify the alternatives for the leader/team to select. 3. Recommend a course of action for leader/team review and decision. 4. Decide what to do. Delay action until leader/team approves the go-ahead. 5. Decide what to do and do it, but let the leader/team know so he/she can object. 6. Just do it. Inform leader/team only of exceptions. 7. Follow-up on everything. Don't bother leader/team with it. The scope of a group's mission could be also be limited by Milestones: the stage of work task: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Preparations Setup Starting During Ending Follow-Up or the phases in Purchasing: 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Awareness Interest Evaluation Trail Participation Adoption Repeat Orders

The conventional wisdom is that teams are most effective when Team Size: they are small, usually having no more than 15 members, and often between 5 and 10. The most effective teams achieve a balance between the diversityfrom a larger group and the dedicated focus more easily achievable in small groups. The conventional thinking is that the larger and diverse a group is, the more difficult it is (and the longer it takes) for them to come to a common agreement.
However, recent innovations (such as electronic mail, shared databases, and opinion surveys) now allow a larger number of people to productively participate on a team than possible before.

Ideally, teams benefit from diversity (variety) in its membership Complementary Diversity: because it would have a greater richness of skills, knowledge, experience, and perspectives. This richness is often needed to achieve the critical massneeded to implement changes and make them stick. The special contribution that a team makes to an organization is the creativity possible from its unique combination of skills, knowledge, experience, and perspectives.
Greater diversity can means greater thoroughness. However, being thorough often requires the team to expand its scope and make more decisions. A team may not have the time to sort out all its decisions. Each individual on a team may need a certain amount of the group's "air time" to feel heard and included. So limits on the size of a group should be coordinated with limits on the scope of that team's charter. Also, teams may not need to be large if people outside the team can feel included in discussions and decisions. Therepresentative form of government is one which a group elects one person to speaks and make decisions for his/her constituents in a larger body of representatives which makes decisions for the organization as a whole.

Customers are the people or groups who benefit from the Customers: services or products which the organization provides. External Customers are individuals or organizations from outside of the organization.
For example, external customers of a medical University include students, parents, patients, researchers, corporations, and the general public. Internal Customers and Support Functions are individuals or organizations from Customers within the company. Departments like Human Resources, MIS, Maintenance, and other "support" staff and groups serve primarily internal customers. The success of service to external customers is more dependent upon effective service to internal customers than most people realize. In more progressive organizations, managers consider themselves a support function to those they are responsible for. Many customers are asking their suppliers to speed up the tempo of Cycle Time, Creativity, design, build, and service activities.

Control, and Skill Develpment: Progressive organizations are coming to realize that cutting time for

the physical movement of products usually required cutting the time needed to make decision by those who handle the product -- among front-line workers and their supervisors. Progressive organizations are recognizing that it is difficult to cut cycle time, so they need greater creativity from everyone in and outside the organization. They are learning that creativity can come

from anywhere in the organization. When attempting to tap the creativity of workers, organizations inevitably face issues of control how much front-line workers should be allowed autonomous decision-making power. It is human nature for higher-level commanders to reduce their uncertainty, driving their organizational orientation to greater centralized control. The cost for more control at the top is less autonomy at the bottom. Some managers are reluctant to allow workers greater autonomy because it may jeopardize their own personalprestige and freedom of action. Traditionally, the way to "get ahead" is to get promoted to a "higher level" in the organization. To get more money, it is assumed that one had to become more responsible for more people and more departments. The dilemma with this structure is that this often forced good technical people into becoming bad managers. This also drained technical talent from the front lines. So in order to keep expertise in the front-lines, many organizations are redesigning their training, compensation, promotion, and communication policies. Progressive organizations now realize that good leadership skill can be developed over time. The key ingredient to creativity is knowledge about what other people inside and outside the organization are doing. This knowledge cannot usually be acquired on the job, since active benchmarking with other organizations is needed. When a manager's role is to be a conduit of information from higher levels of the organization. that manager gained power from the ability to withold information from others. However, the ability for anyone to instantly broadcast information to everyone at once is changes how managerscreate value for an organization. The skill most valued in today's information Age is the ability to inspire creativity because it is creativity which creates more competititve value. Rapid information flow also enables groups to make wise decisions quicker. More importantly, smooth information flow enables individual groups to take actions which benefit the entire organization as a whole rather than just themselves. Organization assemble cross-functional project teams to provide opportunities to develop in their people the interpersonal skills for politics and persuasion.

A cross-functional team is a group of people brought together Cross-functional Teams: from different functional areas to make recommendations or decisions about processes or products.
Membership will come from a number of areas within the department or organization. Suppliers or customers of the organization may also be included. A common concern for cross-functional teams is the extent which each member legitimately represents functional areas and levels of the organization. This is why such teams need both a topdown mandate from workers on the front lines. The degree of independent authority given to a cross-functional team should be specified in its Charter. Cross-functional teams are often charged with the responsibility to implement the decisions they make and the changes they recommend. A Team Charter may be either shortterm or long-term. Many organizations who have been successful with cross-functional teams usually take the next step into self-managed teams.

A team made up of a group of employees Self-directed Work Teams who share responsibility for a complete product or process, or and Flat Organizations: accomplishment of a significant part of a process.
Membership in such a team may be made up of employees from the same level or from different levels of the organization. A manager or leader may also be a part of the team, however the role of the manager or leader with such an organizational structure is usually to provide guidance and support and to be a liaison to other teams and other parts of the organization rather than to control and authorize work. Self managed teams often use different words to reflect changes to the scope of authority. Rather than having a traditional manager who directs the people, self-managed teams have a coordinator who facilitates workperformance. This coordinator is often elected from within the group to represent that group. Less managers means a flatter organizational structure, with less layers between the top officer and front-line workers. Increasingly, workers are being asked to make decisions. A necessary foundation for self-managed teams is widespread personal individual adoption of the Continuous Process Improvement approach toward work. Ultimately, the self-directed work team needs to be able to thoroughly monitor and correct its own work in a timely manner.
May the God who gives endurance and couragement give you a spirit of unity. Romans 15:5 Examples:

Penton Publishing: Using Teams for Strategic Improvements

Teamwork Some of the socio-cultural characteristics of developing countries may not be elusive to effective teamwork. Relationshiporientation may be perceived as an asset for teamwork, but the nature of relationships and in-group dynamics may hinder effectiveness. The barriers to teamwork effectiveness are outlined in the following. 1. Team formation and member composition: In most of the organizations, team members are appointed on the basis of their task-related knowledge and competencies. However, because of the strong in-group and out-group differentiation in developing countries, it is difficult to persuade people to work with those who are perceived to be an out-group member. In fact, if given the chance to self-select the team members, teams are formed on the basis of friendship relationships. Interpersonal harmony in teams is more important than task accomplishment. As such, team members find it very difficult to work with someone who they 'don't know' or 'don't like'. Members who have the potential to disturb in-group harmony are not wanted no matter how competent they may be. In her first year of teaching back at home, a US-educated Pakistani professor randomly assigned senior students into teams for their final class projects by drawing a lottery. This was a common practice back in the US. To her, it was an excellent opportunity for students to practice and learn how to work with different people in 'real life'. Soon after, a student came to her office in tears saying that "Professor, you put me in the same team with someone who I have not been talking since we were 8 years old. Under the circumstances, I have to drop the course". The professor was in shock. Which one was worst? Was it that the student blamed the teacher for this sheer coincidence, or that the student was not talking to someone for more than 10 years, or that she dropped the course because of this?" 2. Team cohesion: Teamwork requires egalitarian relationships and cohesiveness. Some status-conscious members may be reluctant to cooperate or share information with others to maintain their powerful position in the team. This not only hurts team cohesiveness, but also delays task completion. Also, in-group rivalry may occur to get the praise and recognition of the superior. To the other extreme, excessive team cohesiveness may easily result in 'group thinking', because some members may be reluctant to voice their disagreements not to risk their position in the team. 3. Performance feedback: Team members who do not perform at the expected level rarely receive negative feedback from others. If a member receives negative feedback, s/he takes it personally and takes offense. Criticisms that are done publicly or that represent a group's opinion are especially hurtful to people's public image and honor. The member who receives such feedback may leave the group immediately and may even try to sabotage the process. It is not appropriate or common for team members to give performance feedback to one another in an open manner. It is also not appropriate to report the low performing team member to the higher management. Such an act of 'whistle blowing' is considered as unethical and immoral. Therefore, often times, the low performing members hide in the group and go unnoticed. 4. Division of responsibility: Social loafing is more likely to occur in teams where there is no consequence of low performance. Team members feel compelled to protect one another from reprimands of the management. Reliance on 'backing up' among team members increases social loafing. Another factor that increases social loafing is the members' need for clear role differentiation and task assignments. Lack of clarity in task assignments may sometimes be used as an excuse not to take on extra responsibility. "This is a story of 'everybody', 'somebody', 'anybody' and 'nobody' working in a Zimbabwean firm: There was some very important work to be done and everybody was sure that somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but nobody did it. People were very angry because it was everybody's job. Everybody thought that anybody could have done it, but nobody realized that somebody wasn't doing it. The story ends with everybody blaming someone when nobody did what anybody could have done." (modified from Granell, 1997, p.36) 5. Evaluation apprehension: Self-representation is an important concern for people in developing countries. Team members may hesitate to participate in group discussions because of the concern on how they are perceived and evaluated by others.

Others' perceptions and evaluations are important as they determine whether or not the group accepts or rejects the individual. Evaluation apprehension exists especially when a member has to present a counter-argument, or brings a new perspective to the group's attention. This, obviously, is a serious barrier to innovation and creativity in teams. In order to improve teamwork and communication effectiveness in developing countries, the following suggestions could be useful.

Teamwork effectiveness is enhanced if there is a leader who is skillful in both maintaining good interpersonal relations and setting high performance standards. Leaderless or autonomous groups are less likely to succeed in a developing country context.

Leaders must be sensitive to feelings of insecurity among members. Leaders have to spend considerable time and effort to inculcate feelings of acceptance and indispensability among team members to minimize in-group rivalry and increase group cohesiveness.

In order to decrease uncertainties and social loafing, individual roles and responsibilities should be clearly stated. In addition, team's goals have to be well-defined and articulated clearly by the management. Members will benefit greatly from training in effective teamwork where they will acquire knowledge and skills about performance management and communication in teamwork. Before starting to work together, the team should establish norms on how to handle difficult team members as well as on the ground rules in meetings. Once the group sets these norms jointly and agrees upon the repercussions for violating them, team members who receive negative performance feedback are less likely to take it personally and withdraw from the group.

In forming the team, members' compatibility in terms of interpersonal relations should be given special attention. That is not to say that only 'close friends' should work in teams, but it should be remembered that interpersonal conflicts do interfere with effective teamwork functioning.

Social activities that will improve interpersonal relationships among team members should be organized to increase cohesiveness. People need time to get to know one another before working together. Team members' performance evaluations should not be done individually. However, poor performers should be monitored through either periodical and anonymous peer evaluations, or careful observations in group meetings. It should be the manager or the team leader who gives the negative feedback in a private meeting. Team success should be rewarded as a group

How to Make Team Building Work for You

By Bart Allen Berry Nov 5, 2006 - 2:21:00 PM

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Teamwork is the catalyst that helps a business enterprise realize its full potential. Developing teamwork is therefore a long term strategic imperative, not just a touchy feely, feel good session. Developing teamwork is about facilitating a commitment to working together on the goals of the company and aligning the circumstances and opportunity for workers to contribute their best. For an organization to reach its potential, it must deploy its human assets efficiently, for maximum productivity, creativity and synergy. For this to happen, people must want to work together, and this kind of highly focused commitment is ultimately an individual behavioral decision made by each employee. The challenge of managing individual commitment to the team, overcoming ego behaviors, lack of teamwork skills and process, and creating an inclusive and participatory work environment should not be taken lightly.

Few organizational dimensions have such great potential for organizational success if handled well, while carrying the seeds of catastrophic failure if managed badly. With the importance of teamwork in mind, this article addresses the key elements a company should be looking at when designing a team building or team development program. I. Start with a vision of where you are going and why it makes sense to get there. Team members need to participate in defining what kind of team they want to become, how they want to treat one another, and how they want to be perceived by their customers. Although any work groups manager might be able to develop the ideal state vision of teamwork for his subordinates, it is critically important for the team to develop this together. Facilitating buy-in to a compelling picture of what the group is working towards becoming gives everyone a positive outlook and hope for the future and assures them that there is something in it for them. When employees have the chance to have input in this regards they will support, rather than resist the future state ideal for teamwork. II. If it is an intact work team that has been together for a few months or more, do a thorough diagnosis of how things are working now. Instruments such as Aquarius Training & Developments Functional Workgroup Teamwork Survey uncover detailed issues and problems and hidden histories that often hold back team participation. Anonymous administration of this type of comprehensive survey creates an effective current state benchmark of the work groups strengths and weaknesses. Without this type of thorough diagnosis- even if utilized to confirm that things are going well, team development program efforts must rely on luck and anecdotal narrow perspectives to hit their mark. Guessing at what you think a team needs is the first step on the road to wasting your time energy and money on team building. Many times, team members will not open themselves to new teamwork approaches unless old issues and water under the bridge are addressed in some fashion. When the current state of teamwork is effectively analyzed, a target list of issues, problems and needed teamwork skills forms the basis for program design. Discussion of anonymous results also gives the group permission to talk about sensitive topics with tact and diplomacy some they can put them to rest and move on to more productive behaviors. It is important to be clear here that teamwork behaviors can be measured and statistically represented for later comparison to quantify results. III. With team development targets prioritized, and time and budget constraints applied, work teams need high leverage learning experiences that work on several levels simultaneously to deliver the results intended. There is no more powerful adult learning modality than experiential learning. Properly designed experiential exercises and organizational simulations have powerful components; > Unfamiliar task and settings shuffle the traditional positional relationships and create a more level playing field, which stimulates higher levels of participation by everyone. > Artificial use of symbolism and metaphorical role-playing are designed to create situations that closely parallel organizational challenges and learning opportunities without real penalty factors. Participants often learn as much from failing in an exercise as they do when they are successful. Lessons stand out in greater relief, and are easier to objectively analyze. > When properly facilitated, experiential exercises are adjusted to the appropriate adult learning levels and somewhat customized for different worker populations from line workers to top executives, sales groups to engineers. Curiosity, surprise, competition, and in a wordfun, keeps adult learners engaged. > High-energy participation allows co-workers the opportunity to see themselves as more human, outside of work, as each reveals more about their true character and personality and develops a new appreciation for what each has to contribute, as well as personal styles and preferences. Individuals step out of their traditional roles and experiment with new behaviors. > A well-organized team development program utilizing experiential exercises will present a series of progressive exercises that not only address work group issues and teach new teamwork skills but give the group the opportunity to practice and observe the cause-effect relationship between operating in a new way and the results they get. Teams rarely get the opportunity to practice working together, and this is the reason a large portion of an effective team development program should be spent in the experiential mode. Issues and skills addressed include everything from team leadership and planning skills to conflict resolution, communication and collaboration, problem solving approaches, and continuous improvement root cause analysis. The emphasis her is on actual practice, however, with minimal use of didactic lecture and one-sided presentations. A point can be made here about what types of experiences are, in the mind of this author, a waste of time and money. Scavenger hunts, paintball, jeep tours, and golf may be fun recreation, but they cannot be expected to create the changes in behavior most teams need to be more effective at work. If recreation is what youre after, there is always value from a high-energy shared experience, just dont expect it to create a measurable team development benefit. Just because work teams are participating in something doesnt necessarily mean you are doing teamwork training. The lucky thing is, well designed and professionally delivered team development programs should also be fun, and in fact learning is much more effective when this is the case. It is also important to note that the longer your team development program the better results you can expect. When groups overcome initial resistance to participation and become fully engaged, their potential for learning and growth is exponentially higher. It is important to leverage this delicate state as much as possible, once it is established. A half day is an absolute minimum, one day is better, two days or more is great. You might ask yourself whether a simple outpatient procedure is all thats needed or major interventional surgery.

IV. After a team has experienced a new way of operating, has learned new skills and approaches, and has opened up to charting a new course for teamwork, learnings need to be transferred back to real world application at work. Typically, teams participate in a learnings summary step and develop a list of actionable items that they will take responsibility for back at work. The best approach is to assign small improvement teams to making necessary changes in circumstances that effect teamwork and reporting on their results in 30 days or so. This ultimately makes team members walk their talk and follow through on the commitments they made at the team development program. These results should have measures that can be tracked for their effectiveness. Although there are many intangible benefits to team development programs, especially when team members return from off-site programs and are noticeably more energized and warmer in their relations with one another, it is the follow through on commitments to change that will sustain the more short term halo effect of a high-energy team development program. Ultimately after 3 to 6 months, the baseline teamwork survey can be re-administered for a true objective measure of the programs effectiveness and return on investment. Many organizations spend thousands of dollars per year on events and meetings either solely devoted to team building or with some activities that are supposed to help with teamwork. Many of these are a waste of time, energy and money and produce no long term results at all. Often these types of events are ill-advised by unqualified meeting or event planners who know more about catering than organizational development. There is no reason that your valuable discretionary budgets for meetings and training cant produce programs that are both fun and entertaining and a valuable and impactful team development training experience. Including the elements listed above, when professionally delivered, gives you a time tested and reliable formula to get the results you need for your work teams. Bart Allen Berry is one of the worlds leading proponents of team development with 23 years of experience and team training delivered to more than 200,000 professionals worldwide. Bart is the founder and CEO of Southern California based Aquarius Training & Development and can be reached at 800-328-

This article needs attention from an expert on the subject. See the talk page for details. Consider associating this request with a WikiProject. (March 2011)

Teamwork is work performed by a team towards a common goal. In a business setting accounting techniques may be used to provide financial measures of the benefits of teamwork which are useful for justifying the concept.[1] In health care teamwork has been defined as: a dynamic process involving two or more healthcare professionals with complementary backgrounds and skills, sharing common health goals and exercising concerted physical and mental effort in assessing, planning, or evaluating patient care.[2] Teamwork is increasingly advocated by health care policy makers as a means of assuring quality and safety in the delivery of services.[3] [edit]Teamwork


A challenge for leaders of groups of people, such as in a work department, is to get everyone to pull together and function as a team instead of going in separate directions. One way to foster teamwork is to engage the members in activities that require them to work together. Activities can be physical in nature or require the use of team brain power

to solve a problem. Fun activities such as sports or games can allow the team members to relax and enjoy working with one another.

Social Activities: Part of the challenge of developing teamwork is to get team members to become comfortable with each other. Informal social activities allow the team members to relax and have fun while developing the rapport necessary to function as a unit. Examples of social activities include team sports such as volleyball or bowling or a group picnic, where everyone is responsible for a task such as bringing food or planning a game.

Charitable Endeavors: Working together for a charitable cause builds teamwork and gives the participants a good feeling from working together. An example of a team charitable activity is planning and organizing an event like a walk or run to raise money or a bake sale that promotes a cause.

Workplace Activities: Because teamwork is important to a productive and healthy work environment, teamwork activities should be a part of the workplace. Possible activities include job swapping, where workers swap jobs with each other to develop empathy. It also requires workers to help each other to learn the jobs. Another idea is to start a team newsletter that provides the latest information on activities and accomplishments of the team members.

Projects: Projects require that team members work together to achieve a common goal. Projects can involve activities like putting puzzles together or cleaning up or rebuilding a property. Projects typically involve assigning each team member a specific task that he is responsible for completing, which helps to develop trust within the team.

Outdoor Activities: If members of the team are relatively fit, outdoor activities are a way for the team to get away from the "normal" environment. Activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking or whitewater rafting allow the team members to relax while enjoying the fresh air, and the sense of being "away from it all" can lead to bonding within the team.


Developing teamwork may seem to be a gargantuan task-one that is filled with difficulties, heartaches, headaches and sleepless hours. That is, if you have people in the organization who are so individualistic that they cannot work with each other. That might be inimical to the overall performance of the organization. That is why, developing teamwork is a very important aspect of leadership in any organization.

If you are a leader in the organization and you want to develop teamwork, you need to have a good understanding of your people. Spend time with them. Talk to them. This way, you will come to understand what they care for individually. You will also discover what makes them come alive. That is very important if you wish to win them over and initiate an organization that uses teamwork to its fullest potential!

When you understand your people, you also understand their motivation and their situation. Thus, you have a pretty good view of how to bring them together as a group. You would also know the best leadership style to use with any person in your organization.

Developing teamwork requires commitment on the part of organizational leaders and employees. It is a two-way street. The managers and leaders have to take the lead and the employees have to respond. This way, there will be cohesiveness and better harmony in the organization. When that is done, the employees can simply come together, talk and pursue the goals of the organization. They can also become more loyal to the organization in this way.

Rewards should be granted to effective teams in the organization. Most people understand rewards. More than punishment, rewards should be used. Punishment will only worsen things and bring down the morale of the people in the organization. Of course, there will be times that punishment is necessary and called for. But rewards are far better at increasing productivity and developing teamwork.

Bring people together. When they start working and feel the pressure, you will be surprised at the level of effectiveness and efficiency that they will bring to the group. Spread good performers, the average people and the bad performers evenly. This way, you can maximize the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the teams. The result will be a kaleidoscope of perspective that will enrich the overall performance of the organization.

What is your experience in developing teamwork? Has it been a difficult process for you? How so?

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Team Building \ Team Building Articles \ Characteristics of a good team and team member

Everyone participates actively and positively in meetings and projects. Team goals are understood by everyone. Individual members have thought hard about creative solutions to the problem. Members are carefully listened to and receive thoughtful feedback. Everyone takes initiative to get things done. Each teammate trusts the judgement of the others. The team is willing to take risks. Everyone is supportive of the project and of others. There is plenty of communication between team members. Team decisions are made using organized, logical methods. Full team acceptance is expected as decisions are made.

Dissenting opinions are recorded, and may be revisited if future situations dictate. Team goals are given realistic time frames. Everyone is focused on the ultimate goal of the project, while also digging into the underlying details.

Works for consensus on decisions Shares openly and authentically with others regarding personal feelings, opinions, thoughts, and perceptions about problems and conditions Involves others in the decision-making process Trusts, supports, and has genuine concern for other team members "Owns" problems rather than blaming them on others When listening, attempts to hear and interpret communication from other's points of view Influences others by involving them in the issue(s) Encourages the development of other team members Respects and is tolerant of individual differences Acknowledges and works through conflict openly Considers and uses new ideas and suggestions from others Encourages feedback on own behavior Understands and is committed to team objectives Does not engage in win/lose activities with other team members Has skills in understanding what's going on in the group

TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF A HIGH-PERFORMANCE WORK TEAM 1. Develop goals and plans. An HPWT begins with a clearly defined mission that describes the specific purpose for the teams existence. In addition, the team sets goals on a regular basis and is effective at developing and implementing plans. The team members are clear about goals and priorities, and consistently act in ways that support the teams overall mission and goals. 2. Enhance communication among members. An HPWT has members that freely share information, are open and honest with each other, listen to each other, and provide each other with both positive and constructive feedback. The team also employs a specific process to facilitate the dissemination of information on a regular basis (e.g., informational meetings).

3. Develop and maintain positive relationships among members. An HPWT has members that respect, support, cooperate with, and trust each other. Such teams proactively work to build positive relationships by providing opportunities for social interaction, by giving assignments that put staff into contact with individuals they dont normally interact with, and by providing cross-training opportunities. 4. Solve problems and make decisions on a timely basis. An HPWT is effective at identifying and resolving problems, as well as making successful group decisions. In addition, the team involves all members in the problem-solving and decision-making process. 5. Successfully manage conflict. An HPWT is effective at identifying and resolving conflicts in a timely and mutually beneficial fashion. High-performing teams also minimize the occurrence of conflict by implementing communication and conflict resolution training, by incorporating ongoing team-building activities, and by encouraging the active participation of all team members. 6. Facilitate productive meetings. An HPWT has effective, productive, well-managed meetings that efficiently use team members time. Every meeting is focused, timely, and necessary, and is used to solve problems, make decisions, disseminate information, and enhance team member skills. 7. Clarify roles for team members. An HPWT has members who know their responsibility and authority, understand the roles that are played by others, and use everyones skills and abilities. Team members are also clear about the connection between team goals and their day-to-day activities. 8. Operate in a productive manner. An HPWT has the resources and skills needed for success, is able to complete its work in a timely fashion, and utilizes quality and productivity measures to evaluate overall efficiency (how well team processes are operating) and effectiveness (the quality of the teams products and services). 29: TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF A HIGH-PERFORMANCE WORK TEAM 181 To customize this handout for your audience, download it to your hard drive from the accompanying CD-ROM. The document can

then be opened, edited, and printed using Microsoft Word or another popular word processing application.9. Exhibit effective team leadership. An HPWT has leaders that define team goals and priorities, facilitate collaboration among team members, manage team performance, and generate opportunities for success. Successful team leaders encourage active participation, clarify priorities on a continuous basis, and work to create a supportive team environment. 10. Provide development opportunities for team members. An HPWT provides ongoing development opportunities for team members in technical, interpersonal, and team-building areas. This includes the application of a variety of developmental interventions such as classroom training, coaching and mentoring, development assignments, feedback-based activities, and self-directed learning.

Strategies for Developing an Effective Team

What is it?
A team is made up of a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. An effective team has certain characteristics that allow the team members to function more efficiently and productively. An effective team develops ways to share leadership roles and ways to share accountability for their work products, shifting the emphasis from the individual to several individuals within the team. A team also develops a specific team purpose and concrete work products that the members produce together.

How does it work?

Effective teams will have open-ended meetings and develop active problem-solving strategies that go beyond discussing, deciding, and delegating what to do; they do real work together. When necessary, individuals in a team will set aside their own work to assist other members of the team. In a wellfunctioning team, performance is based not on an individual member's ability to influence other members, but rather is assessed directly by measuring the work products of the whole team. Rewards based on the whole team's effort help underscore the importance of team responsibility.

How to use it:

There are several ways in which a supervisor can help clinic managers and staff become a strong team: 1. Establish objectives together: Define performance objectives with the team and make sure that all team members understand the objectives and what actions will need to be taken to achieve them. 2. Develop a participatory style: Encourage staff to suggest ways to improve services. Listen to their ideas and acknowledge their points of view. Encourage team members to discuss issues and to find solutions together. 3. Focus on contributions: Define objectives for having all team members actively contribute to the meeting. Introduce team members to the ways in which they can participate. 4. Organize meetings: Hold meetings with the whole team during supervisory visits. Discuss supervisory and clinic objectives and encourage the team to discuss their concerns. 5. Organize the team: Define roles and responsibilities together. If everyone has a clear role, individuals will be less likely to become frustrated and will be more willing to work together. Agree on who will assume leadership roles for different team activities. 6. Explain the rules: Discuss all norms and standards that have been established for this clinic by the Ministry or the organization. Explain the rationale for these rules and discuss their implications in day-to-day practice. 7. Promote team responsibility: Encourage members of the clinic team to take responsibility for completing specific tasks and to solve problems as a team. Introduce rewards only if the entire team meets objectives. 8. Establish time commitments: Schedule when and how each team member will devote time to team work. Determine if team work will require other staff to take on extra work, and, if so, discuss this with all staff and obtain their commitment. Monitor actual vs. planned time carefully and clarify all adjustments in schedule.

Seven Characteristics of an Effective Team 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Team members share leadership roles Team develops own scope of work Team schedules work to be done and commits to taking time allotted to do work Team develops tangible work products Team members are mutually accountable for work products Performance is based on achieving team products Problems are discussed and resolved by the team


What are the characteristics of a good team? What does a good team look like, and how do we recognize one when we see it? Maybe character is more than just what a team looks like on the surface. How does a good team get along? Is a competitive or nurturing workplace more important to team performance? Most experts agree, character is the root of what makes a good team in the first place.


I'm sure anyone who has had to suffer through a boss or coworker who lacked character can certainly agree. Good teams are led by people who convey a clear vision of the team's purpose, provide the team with the necessary resources to complete their jobs, and maintain the team's overall character. There are thousands of questions about what makes a good team, but the true measure of great teams is the process by which they succeed. It's clear that great teams simply perform better; the question is: How?

Are You Choosing Character Wisely?

Waste no time arguing what a good man should be. Be one. --Marcus Aurelius Aurelius' words ring true for establishing a culture ofemployee discipline and the characteristics of a good team as well. Though innate talent certainly plays a factor in team performance, the best teams are not solely talent driven. Great teams are flexible enough to readily evolve methods that work effectively for each member of the team.


Team performance is sharpened by rapidly testing and evolving methods that work for each team member, despite personality differences, skill sets, and critical thinking skills.

Participative leadership - creating an interdependence by empowering, freeing up and serving others. Shared responsibility - establishing an environment in which all team members feel responsibility as the manager for team performance. Alignment of purpose - having a sense of common purpose about why the team exists and the function it serves. High communication - creating a climate of trust and open, honest communication. Future focused - seeing change as an opportunity for growth. Focused on task - keeping meetings and interactions focused on results. Skill Utilization - applying individual talents and creativity. Rapid response - identifying and acting on opportunities.


Good teams don't just happen, they become good through consistent action and constructive feedback within an high morale workplace. Feedback that doesn't get bogged down in the realm of vague philosophy or nitpicking. Business teams happen in the real world; discovering what works and is a process of collaborative learning and then focusing on what works. The results for your business can be amazing. We want to be in control of our own destinies. But the old hierarchical model of dictating people's thoughts and actions doesn't work in this highly networked yet polarized business world. The characteristics of a good team that we all enjoy, become liabilities and threats under the thumb of a tyrant. Free thinkers and highly talented and skilled team members don't need the stress or pressure of putting up with a manager breathing down their neck. Does the Top-Down Corporate Business Model Really Work For Your Employees Anymore? Discover What to Look For When You're Hiring: Common Characteristics of a Good Employee


Staying consistent within a team setting is about not wavering when hardships occur. Coming up with your team's code of conduct is about setting rigid boundaries about what is acceptable and what is not. This type of team building is not for weaklings, but it's essential for establishing the characteristics of a good team.

If you're serious about extracting top notch performance from your team, the code of conduct you agree upon can not be deviated from. So what are some characteristics of a good team Code Of Conduct? It depends upon you unique objectives, purpose, and values. According to Jim Collins, discovering a company's core values is about asking the "right questions," these questions can be scaled down to fit the needs of your team:

What can we be best in the world at? What are you deeply passionate about? What drives your economic engine?

Team building is finding the answers to these same questions, but on a smaller scale. To build an effective team the answers to these questions must mesh in order for you to find alignment in your purpose. Team members must assign similar value to the core characteristics of a good team and their team's code of conduct.


Trying to force values onto people who don't believe in them is a lesson in futility and frustration kind of like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Team members, employees, managers and companies thrive within effective systems and culture where people are empowered by their work. Team members want a culture where their unique knowledge, experience, and motivation make a difference for themselves and their team. People will choose the values that reflect their own, and easily accept a code of conduct that allows them to take personal ownership over their position. They want to be an integral part of the team. It's simple, if your team or company cannot meet the needs of your people or customers, they will find one that can. For more on the importance of getting the right people in your team, read When Teamwork at Work Fails: Too Much Team and not Enough Work? Some insights into a better way to manage on the Happy The characteristics of a good team are those which choose their values and purpose with care, focus and passion. Then they create a culture that holds people accountable for their actions, while at the same time creating a system of empowerment for the team's members.

team is simply a group of people who work together to achieve a common purpose. In the world of small business, teams may be assembled to perform tasks such as developing a marketing plan or finding ways to improve customer service. Characteristics of effective teamwork include the ability to set aside personal prejudices and the willingness to take responsibility as a group.

Sense of Purpose
Teamwork is characterized by having a sense of purpose to achieve a clear, specific goal that all members believe is important to attain. A team can be assigned to carry out a specific project, such as seeking ways to improve profitability in a small business. A team could also be assembled to find the right candidate for a job opening.

All teams should consist of members who are capable of contributing to the achievement of the goal based on their level of knowledge or expertise. If a team is assigned the task of development of an expense budget, but one or more of the members has little or no budgeting experience, the whole team will suffer as a result.

Cooperative Spirit
A successful team contains a spirit of cooperation. All members need to work together to achieve the specific goal. This can be difficult, especially if some members possess strong personalities or are highly opinionated. Successful teams tend to have strong leaders who can keep everybody on the same page while keeping the petty bickering to a minimum.

Playing by the Rules

Teams should also have a set of rules that determines its operating procedures. These rules help to keep the team on track and eliminate ambiguities. For example, a team might have a rule that all team members must agree on a decision before it can be implemented. This would require that the team deliberate, much in the way of a trial jury, until a consensus is reached.

Teams must ultimately be held accountable as a whole for their failures as well as their successes. As a business owner, this means you need to reward the team as a whole for its accomplishments and hold all members accountable for its failures. Team leaders should foster an environment within the team where its members are free to offer praise and criticism of other members with the idea that team results are what matters, not individual contributions.

4.4.3 Team Leadership In the late 1970s Meredith Belbin conducted a study of teams focusing on the factors separatingsuccessful and unsuccessful teams via a college business game at Henley a feature of which wasshared leadership.Through the game Belbin found that the composition of the team was important and that individualdifferences in style, role and contribution far from underlining personal weaknesses, were a source ofpotential team strength. Balanced teams comprised of such individuals who engaged incomplementary role behaviour performed better than unbalanced teams.Nine distinctive roles were identified in the study, with most people being found to embrace a mix oftwo or three roles whilst also avoiding others with which they were uncomfortable. Where there was anindividual with clear, useful and appreciated attributes they would fit into a team on the basis of thestrengths they brought. These people would also have weaknesses that belonged to the same clusterof characteristics as the strength itself. These potential deficiencies were considered the price that hasto be paid for a particular strength, a price that is worth paying, and were referred to as allowableweaknesses. Belbin found no ideal team member, individual who could perform all of the roles.From this work, Belbin drew the distinction between the Solo and the Team leader. He suggeststhat leaders are not notable for admitting their weaknesses, whether allowable or not. They act

Solo Leaders and Team Leaders

The idea of Team Leadership is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Belbin reckons that there are two main reasons for this:

1. we are living in a world of increasing uncertainty where things are changing quite dramatically and often very quickly. One person can no longer understand all of this and provide the direction needed to cover every situation.

2. team leadership is the only form of leadership that is acceptable in a society where power is shared and so many people are nearly equal.

As dictators fall, whether in the state or in industry, people are looking for a type of leadership other than one that comes down from high above.

Solo Leader

Team Leader

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Projects the idea that he knows everything best (interferes) Strives for conformity - tries to make everybody be the same Collects admirers and yes men Tells subordinates what to do Management by Objectives - makes it clear exactly what everyone is supposed

Chooses to limit his roles and delegates other roles to those who can do better Builds of diversity - values the differences in different people Seeks talented people and does not feel threatened by them Encourages colleagues to use their particular strengths in their own way Creates Mission - helps to clarify the vision which others act on as they think

to do



1. 2.

Plays an unlimited role and interferes in everything that goes on

Takes on those roles in which he is strong and delegates to others who are strong where he is weak

Personally knows what is best and tries Appreciates that people are different and to make everybody go along with this makes allowance for their strengths and personal vision weaknesses Does not take kindly to criticism. Prefers people who do what they are told. Expects subordinates to follow instructions and not to think for themselves (lack of trust) Plans everything in advance and expects everybody to follow the plan exactly Tries to attract and keep hold of people with the special abilities that the team needs Trusts colleagues to make best use of the strengths and encourages them to overcome their weaknesses Expects and encourages colleagues to be creative in finding ways of making the dream come true