In order to be effective your team needs a number of key elements to be present. Elements such as clarity of purpose, shared awareness of roles and constructive communication. These elements are not difficult to achieve but they do take focus and effort. Take a moment and ask yourself two simple questions – How many teams are you currently part of? And how effective are these teams? The first question is easy, but the second? Working in teams is so common for many of us that we just don’t take the time to reflect on how effectively we are actually performing – and so we miss an opportunity to develop ourselves, our team and our impact on our organization’s goals. Researchers have shown over and over again, that these elements are essential for effective teams. Businesses which recognize their importance and work at maintaining them, are rewarded with teams that consistently perform and achieve their targets. Ignoring them leads to unachieved goals, wasted potential and demotivated staff.
What does an effective team look like?
Here’s a simple tool we use when running workshops with existing teams. Some of these questions are hopefully familiar, but too often we see goal-oriented teams typically neglect the softer aspects explored by questions 8-10. Select one team of which you are currently a member. Now ask yourself the following questions, rating on a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being low and 5 being high:
- Do we have a clearly defined purpose?
- Are our roles and responsibilities well-defined, understood and followed?
- Do we have the tools and resources we need to achieve our objectives?
- Do we listen to each other?
- Do we all actively participate in problem solving?
- Do we work constructively through conflict?
- Does our team leader approve of our work, providing relevant and specific feedback on whether we are meeting expectations?
- Do we work and learn together?
- Do we take time out to assess our progress?
- Would we work together on another team?
Effective teams should be expecting to score 40+. Outstanding teams score 45+. What did you score? And what are you going to do now? Why not check out Target Training’s seminar on building effective teams? Click here for more information.