Building Successful Teams

1782 Words8 Pages
What is a Team? One definition of a team is "A small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, common performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually responsible"¨ (Moorhead & Griffin, 2001, p.604). Another definition is "A group of two or more entities linked by a common bond to foster the achievement of a common goal" (Chillis, 1999). Whichever definition is used it is understood that commonality is the guiding force for a successful team. With their purpose and goals defined and accepted the team becomes interdependent; they coordinate their various skills and abilities to direct themselves toward the desired result. Characteristics of a Successful Team There are common characteristics that make an effective team successful. These characteristics are developed by the individual team members and by the group itself. As stated above, the first and probably the most important, is the understanding of the purpose, mission, or main objective of the team. Each team member must ensure that communication is direct, open, and straightforward. There must be a strong team leader who is responsible for building team member¡¦s understanding, and assuring commitment to their common purpose. Without effective team leadership, members often pursue independent and diverse interests (Cooke, 1999). The team should have adequate resources that are available to permit the team to perform its function, including expertise, facilities, materials, and budgets. Furthermore, ... ... middle of paper ... ...f skills and abilities that form different beliefs and opinions among its members. These diverse views lead to an increase in creativity. An increase in creativity allows the organization the flexibility to adjust to new situations. By understanding its purpose, building trust, and working together a successful team becomes empowered and owns its responsibilities. They challenge, motivate, and encourage one another as they progress toward their goals. Team members with a common goal work harder for the benefit of the team. ¡§When the quality of collaboration improves, the speed and quality of work improves¡¨ (Steelcase, N.D.). An organization that empowers its employees gains a motivated workforce, which can result in greater productivity and thereby greater profitability.
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