Building a great team

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A team is the coming together of two or more people with shared responsibilities, who intend to work together and aim to accomplish a shared goal. Synergy, which is the working together of two or more great minds, who enthusiastically combine the great value of their individual talents and intelligence in an effort to accomplish a goal, often yields the very best results. Therefore, a better way than riding solo to accomplishing a grand goal is forming a team with other motivated and competent participants, who are ready to be committed to the task.

Team-work is often required when a project too enormous or complex for one person to carry out is involved. And since two committed minds are better than one, participants are able to complete the project to required specifications and within the specified time. This is seen to be very useful in business, sport, recreation, and community development. The members of a team are aware of the tasks to be completed, the goal to be achieved, and the methods to implement. They also share the same vision and are willing to share their ideas on how best they believe the tasks can be completed. There is cooperation, communication, and cohesiveness. And the members are highly interdependent on each other.

Not every team-work leads to success. Like a soccer team doing rather poorly, any team can perform appallingly if the essential demands of quality team-work are not met. A great team will achieve their shared goal successfully, and will be proud of their concerted effort. But to do these, they must possess the following characteristics.

Shared vision and goal

All the members of a great team must have a shared vision and goal. Paul must have the same goal as Peter, and they must be excited about the goal, showing zest and enthusiasm over the idea of accomplishing the goal. 

Commitment

All members must be committed to the task. They must put in a lot of effort in an attempt to accomplish the set goal, showing diligence and determination. They must be result-oriented because success strongly matters to them.

Competence

A team is only as strong as its weakest link. For maximum success to be accomplished, each member of a team must play a significant role. The default or incompetence of one member can have a considerable adverse effect on the final product/result; simply because the competence and commitment of each team member is of the essence.

Roles and responsibilities

Every team member should know what role he or she is supposed to play. He or she must also be aware of what the expectations are, as regards the execution of their assigned roles, and must therefore put in their very best to perform as expected.

Mutual respect and trust

It is true that unresolved conflict within a team can tear the team apart, and will often adversely impact the team’s effort, thus leading to poor results. Team members should be able to value, respect, trust, and tolerate one another, because only in such atmosphere can effective, productive, and result-oriented team-work exist.

Effective communication

Great team members are able to communicate with one another understandably, and give information as at when due, completely and clearly, without withholding important details.

Interdependence

The purpose of forming a team is to achieve a significant goal through concerted effort. This means that a member may not be able to perform his role effectively if another member is not attending to his/her own duties. All roles are therefore interdependent, and effective interdependence leads to excellent delivery. For example, in a game of soccer, if the midfield players are under-performing, this will adversely affect the general performance of the team. Therefore, effective interdependence is of the essence.

Feeling of belongingness

Members of great teams feel like they are among family. They strongly identify with their team, feeling safe, secure, and respected. They can freely share their ideas without receiving negative feedback (or made to feel inadequate), and feel that their presence and contributions to the team are highly valued.