When we think about all the things that make a team great, knowledge, experience and skill might come to mind. Still, a team consists of a group of people who each have their own unique personalities, ideas, perspectives, and skillsets, so the inner workings of a great team are actually quite complex. Here are some of the qualities that all successful teams possess.
Clearly Defined Roles
When roles aren’t clearly defined, it becomes difficult for a team to perform efficiently and effectively. Most major projects are made up of multiple tasks that require different skillsets to complete. If everyone is confused about which part they should be working on, or they’re unsure of how to proceed with a particular aspect of a project, things aren’t going to go so well.
A team should be a well-oiled machine, with all parts working together in unison towards a larger goal. A great team recognizes the strengths and skillsets of each of its members, and assigns tasks accordingly in order to maximize efficiency. For example, building a website requires both back-end and front-end development. These are two clearly defined roles that any good company will look to fill for all its website needs.
Even when roles are clearly defined and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do, poor communication can greatly impede a team’s progress. The ability to articulately express ideas, opinions, and perspectives in person, and in emails or on platforms such as Skype or Slack is incredibly important. Along with this, good communication includes the ability to listen to others.
For a team to operate effectively it needs to be able to share ideas coherently, even if that includes providing constructive criticism. The point is, everyone should be able to help one another and express themselves in a way that is professional and appropriate, especially when it’s related to completing a project or defusing an internal conflict. In the absence of proper communication, a team will become disjointed, and in some cases its members may begin to resent one another.
Most teams will come across tasks or situations that they are unfamiliar with, or they might be faced with an extremely tight deadline. The ability to adapt to new circumstances and come up with creative and innovative solutions to problems is indeed one of the characteristics of a successful team.
A team that values the unique ideas and perspectives of all its members will find that thinking creatively together is a lot easier. It’s also important to keep in mind that a team that thinks creatively also practices good communication, since all the creative and innovative ideas in the world won’t do a thing If they aren’t expressed properly.
Even the of best teams can run into problems if one or more of its members prove to be unreliable. Life is full of surprises, and we all get sick or take a vacation once in a while, but when a team member constantly calls out it can cause serious problems for everyone else. This is especially true when that team member performs a particularly important function or a deadline is approaching.
When each team member is reliable and committed to the success of the team, tasks and major projects go much smoother, and there are less surprises. Dependable team members will also put in the effort to help and support one another during particularly difficult situations. Team members who can rely on each other will remain motivated, and will deal with far less stress in the workplace.
Good leadership is integral to building a successful team. An ineffective team leader can and will bring everyone down with them. For example, when the team leader is disorganized, the team will almost always follow suit. Similarly, a team leader who is flaky will demonstrate to the team that it’s “okay” to call out all the time or ignore important responsibilities.
A strong leader leads by example, and regularly demonstrates the qualities they want their team members to possess. They keep their team motivated and on point, and make sure that roles are properly assigned and that projects are completed in an organized and timely fashion. The team should feel comfortable approaching their manager with questions and concerns, and a good leader is knowledgeable about each member’s skillset and responsibilities.
By definition, a team is made up of a group of people who are working together towards a common goal. For a team to succeed, it’s important that its members are able to appreciate one another. If everyone is always competing for the boss’ attention or feeling jealous of each other’s achievements, the team will start to fall apart at the seams.
If someone does a great job, let them know. Positive feedback will keep everyone motivated and excited, and will strengthen the bond between team members. Along with this, team-building exercises or a night out after work can help to make everyone feel included and valued.
During your career you’ll probably work with a number of different teams, some of which might demonstrate a few or all of the characteristics mentioned above. When you start a new job, take note of which qualities your team demonstrates, along with which ones need to be worked on. If your team is lacking in a certain area, take the initiative in making the necessary improvements, or set up a meeting with your boss to address any questions you might have.
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