A team may be described as a group of people working together towards the achievement of certain objectives. However, not all teams are successful in what they set out to do. Effective and efficient teams are those which can transform their efforts into productivity hence achieving their goals promptly.
The following are some of the key defining features of effective teams:
Strong and effective communication is one of the biggest strengths of any effective team. This means that there should be clear channels of communication to allow members to openly share knowledge, opinions, and ideas. Effective communication can, therefore, enhance collaboration and innovation. Effective communication also ensures that all members understand their roles and the ultimate goal that they should be working towards. Additionally, communication facilitates and enables effective progress monitoring hence contributing to project timeliness.
Unity of Purpose
Effective teams always have a unity of purpose. This simply means that they agree on specific team goals and objectives and agree on how to achieve them. A key part of building a sense of unity among team members is to agree on how members will contribute towards the attainment of the ultimate team objectives. This ensures that all members are in the same direction and have a greater collective aim. Giving everyone clear roles also helps in ensuring that members have a strong sense of belonging and feel useful to the project.
Encourage Diversity and Risk-Taking
Effective teams also recognize and appreciate diversity. First, the team should be comprised of a diverse pool of people with unique skills, personalities and age groups. Secondly, teams should also encourage and promote diversity in thoughts and ideas. This includes encouraging and rewarding members for taking risks and thinking outside the box. Members also approach mistakes as learning opportunities.
Teams are comprised of people and it is therefore inevitable for conflicts and tensions between members to arise now and then. Effective teams do not ignore conflicts. Instead, they should investigate issues in-depth, assess the impacts on teamwork and productivity and seek ways of amicably resolving these conflicts. Conflict resolution management also requires open and honest communication. Members should also learn when to compromise and when to ignore conflicts. Working in small groups may also help to reduce conflict.
Strong and effective teams are also characterized by the presence of strong leaders who are capable of inspiring members and earning their trust and respect. Strong leaders motivate team members to work towards a shared vision and mission.