Peak Team Performance should be the goal of every organization. There are hundreds of books, tools and other resources dedicated to the pursuit of this outcome.
Over the years, and through working with hundreds of clients, we have come up with a working list of Team Essentials. The list is by no means complete, and the unique qualities and goals of individual teams will add to or detract from this list – however, this list provides a framework around which a team can achieve.
- Vision – without a common vision, it is difficult to achieve results from members of a team. The foundation of any team should be a shared vision for what the team is there to accomplish.
- Effective Communication – in order for a team to get the most from its members, it is imperative that everyone makes an effort to communicate openly, honestly, and without reservation. Often, the biggest stumbling block to a successful project is that team members simply misinterpret the ideas, opinions, and emotions of others in the group.
- Focus – the best use of a team’s time and energy is on a completely focused goal. Defining exactly what is expected from the team, and fervently sticking to “the plan” can be one of the best ways to accomplish a goal, both on time, and with complete support from the members of the team.
- Involvement – teams that expect, support, and value the input of every member of the group will accomplish much more than those whose members are rarely held accountable.
- Self-Direction – micro-managing a team project is rarely appreciated, and often stands in the way of team performance. Typically, a team that is given a goal and allowed to work unsupervised will achieve greater results and enjoy greater job satisfaction.
- Quality Check – teams that review their work regularly will learn from the experience. “Debriefing” the project gives teams a chance to celebrate the successes and dissect the mistakes. In this way, teams are able to build upon the previous project and improve their overall performance.
Every team is different, and every team project has its unique qualities. However, these “Team Essentials” provide a good foundation for creating team success.