What Is A Team?
A team is a small number of people with complementary skills, who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
In order to build strong teams, we have narrowed down to these 5 top attributes which are essential ingredients to any successful team.
Attribute 1: A Common Commitment
A meaningful common purpose that team members has helped to shape.
The essence of a team is a common commitment. Without it, groups perform as individuals; with it, they become a powerful unit of collective performance.
Teams develop direction, momentum and commitment by working to shape a meaningful purpose. The best teams invest time and effort exploring, shaping and agreeing on a purpose that belongs to them both collectively and individually.
Attribute 2: Specific Performance Goals
Translating the common purpose into specific performance goals.
Transforming broad directives into specific and measurable performance goals is the most important step for a team trying to shape a purpose meaningful to its members. When purposes and goals build on one another, combined with team commitment, they become powerful engines of growth and outperformance.
Specific team goals help define a set of work products that are different from individual and organisation job objectives. The specificity of team performance goals facilitates clear communication and constructive conflict within the team. These specific goals must also be attainable practically, as this helps teams maintain their focus on getting results.
Performance goals that are compelling serves to motivate and energise. They challenge team members to commit themselves, as a team, to make a difference. Team members will have their collective eye on an attainable, but challenging goal.
Attribute 3: Complementary Skills
The right mix of skills to do the team’s job.
Successful teams often have members with complementary skills. These include technical or functional expertise, problem-solving and decision-making skills, and interpersonal skills.
Even if members do not have all the required skills in the beginning, they will develop them along the way to meet the team’s performance challenge.
Attribute 4: Commitment To A Common Approach
Agreeing on how to work together to achieve a common purpose.
Teams must agree on who will do what jobs, how schedules will be set and adhered to, what skills need to be developed and how decisions will be made and modified. Herein lies a commitment-building process in which the team explores who is best suited to each task, as well as how individual roles will come together.
Every member of a successful team does equivalent amounts of real work. All members, including the team leader, contribute in concrete ways to the team’s work product. This is a very important element of the emotional logic that drives team performance.
Attribute 5: Mutual Accountability
Trust and commitment cannot be forced upon.
No group ever becomes a team until it can hold itself accountable as a team. Team accountability is about the sincere promises we make to ourselves and others – promises of commitment and trust.
Mutual accountability cannot be coerced any more than people can be made to trust one another. But when a team shares a meaningful purpose, mutual goals, common approach – mutual accountability grows naturally.
Teams enjoying a strong common purpose and approach inevitably hold themselves responsible, both as individuals and as a team, for the team’s performance. This produces the abundance of mutual achievement in which all members share.