This is the reason why workplaces and corporations spend millions of dollars to get their employees and teams to work together in a way that maximizes time and resources, and at the same time building strong links that can serve as the foundation for more effective collaborations. However, it can be hard to identify whether a team is working effectively or not. Here, entrepreneur Keith Orie explains what the hallmarks of successful teamwork are and how you can work to build these traits in your teams.
An effective team knows what its goals are. End goals and even minor tasks must start with a clear discussion on what the desired outcomes are. These outcomes must be clearly articulated and understood by members. This is the only way to get the team moving forward in a way that allows them to pool individual tasks towards a common goal. The direction also involves a clear expectation of timelines. Each team member is aware that their tasks are a significant part of the overall process and must be completed on time.
Effective teamwork is reflected in how individual members can fulfill different tasks over time, taking over responsibilities when one team member goes down. Team members learn new skills and adapt to changing realities to meet the overall goal. Flexibility is also seen in how team members adapt to working with different personalities, work through tensions, and cope with changes such as the arrival of newcomers. Flexibility is not only a quality that benefits teams. It is also a great personal quality that will benefit individual members as they navigate their respective career paths when they move on to bigger and better things or when they face career setbacks.
It can be hard to strive for lofty team goals if you have a lousy leader. Bad leaders can be anything from uninspiring to unbearable micromanagers. Bad leaders do more than just slow progress down. They could very well be the reason why goals do not get accomplished at all. Bad leaders also tend to waste valuable member talents, especially those who find it hard to accept feedback and criticism.
Effective leaders, on the other hand, communicate well, have a vision, know how to lead humbly and with empathy, and use criticism and feedback for the group’s advantage. Good leaders also know how to use the unique talents of each member to reach collective goals. It is important to note that even bad leaders can get things done. However, this efficiency could be at the expense of team members’ ability to trust each other and collaborate effectively. Effective leadership can be seen in how team members see their leaders and whether or not they tend to stay long under someone’s leadership.
Cooperation is best achieved when team members know what their roles are. Ideally, roles must be identified before the start of any project. This way, the team avoids duplicate work that can waste time and resources. The leader must effectively delegate tasks according to who has the best skills. This ensures that tasks can be delegated right away and done by the person best equipped to handle them.
Accountability is crucial, especially in small teams where every team member plays a crucial role. From meeting deadlines to ensuring the quality of output, accountability rests on the shoulders of each member, not just with the team leader. Good leaders know how to use accountability to remind team members what is on the line and how their respective roles contribute to the success or failure of the team. Being late in performing a task, for example, could mean a delay in other team members’ ability to accomplish their work. However, team members must also feel free to hold their co-workers accountable. Open communication, trust, and respect can help build a culture of accountability where each group member strives to meet his or her responsibilities on time.
An effective team is not merely one that gets the job done on time. Effective, efficient, and well-oiled teams produce quality output while making use of the unique talents of each member. Effective teamwork fosters cooperation, trust, accountability, and flexibility, all traits that develop each member to become even more efficient individuals, whether on their own or as part of a group.
About Keith Orie
Keith Orie is a certified professional life coach in Temple, Texas, and an owner of Advanced Medical Sales, LLC. He started the company to give patients a chance to live a life not dependent on pain relief medication or invasive procedures. By providing medical professionals access to an extensive range of top-of-the-line durable medical equipment, he helps provide patients with effective pain relief treatment.