Seven Characteristics of Strong Teams

Seven Characteristics of Strong Teams

Leadership is all about team building and developing. Leaders use specific skills to bring people together in a cohesive team.

Leadership is ultimately faith in others. Leaders are able to motivate, inspire, and guide their teams by using their specific skills and abilities. Leaders are able to delegate authority to their teams and empower them to execute and implement the strategies they have developed. Leaders should not assume that their teams can operate independently without the guidance and direction of their leaders.

Leaders must have the ability to communicate their vision and foster cooperation within a team environment. This creates synergy and energizes the group, and helps it to thrive. Many working groups and teams that lack active leadership will eventually become ineffective and lose their purpose. Leaders must not only cheer on and motivate their team members but also guide and direct them.

Leaders need to understand that they can’t simply call a group of people a team or a working group and expect them all to seamlessly blend into an efficient working unit. Leaders must actively engage with their teams and provide leadership to ensure that they develop and maintain the energy and strength that fuels their actions. These are the elements that create team strength and stamina:

A shared vision

A personal vision that identifies the direction the leader believes the organization should go is one of the hallmarks of effective leadership. Communicating their unique vision to their teams should be an essential task for leaders when creating effective work teams. Communication alone is not enough; leaders must also share their vision with their team, so it becomes a joint driving force for all members.

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Mutual Goals

Individual team members bring different goals and objectives to work in teams or working groups. Leaders need to combine these goals and objectives in order for all members of the team to share the ones that are most beneficial. This will allow team members to set aside their own goals and agendas in order to work with the team.

Shared Purpose

People naturally want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Teams that form and merge create a shared purpose that motivates and energizes each member of the group towards achieving collective goals and objectives. They realize that achieving a shared purpose is more than they can do on their own.

Mutual Respect

Effective teams have mutual respect for each other, regardless of differences in viewpoints or perspectives. This is one of the critical characteristics of successful teams. Mutual respect can be developed and nurtured when people recognize the value of all contributions and feedback from others. Respect is fostered by the team’s rules, roles, and boundaries. This is a critical part of team culture. Any attempt to undermine mutual respect within the group is destructive and corrosive to the team’s future actions.

Best Practices Embedded

Organizations change and evolve, and teams are formed and dismantled. Best practices that have been developed over time should be incorporated into the organization. These best practices are able to eliminate the need for every team to “reinvent” the wheel and give them a head start on their projects and programs. Some “best practices” may become outdated and outmoded over time due to their length and implementation by other groups. Leaders need to review and evaluate their best practices in order to ensure that they are effective and productive and not inhibit the performance of their team.

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Time to Grow and Develop

It is essential to allow teams time to develop and become effective work units. Each team’s experience and expertise will determine how long it takes to create. Experiential and experienced individuals who have worked together before can significantly reduce the time it takes to build team strength and then develop into a cohesive unit.

They are responsible for setting their own direction

When given the freedom to choose their own path, teams can build strength and energize themselves. Leaders play an active role in leading and directing the team. However, leaders should give their team the freedom to set its own rules, roles, and boundaries and determine its ultimate direction.

In some environments, teams can be self-managing and require little guidance or leadership. However, in others, leaders are needed to provide direction and guidance. The maturity and responsibility of each member of the team will determine how much guidance and advice they need. Leaders should aim to gradually surrender more authority to their team members. Leaders will feel more confident in their ability and power to take on specific roles and assume responsibility as their teams improve and show their effectiveness.

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