Beginnings, whether through changes in leadership, team members or a new start up, are a time of opportunity. Many questions come to mind. What does leader expect? What are the goals and objectives going forward? Who are the people on the team? Will the team “gel”? How long do we have to get organized before our business results are impacted?
We address four dimensions for effective and productive teamwork and climate building.
1. Objectives – The most critical factor for effective team functioning is a set of objectives that are understood and accepted by all team members. When objectives are not in place, the effectiveness of the team may suffer because all individuals may pull in different directions.
2. Working Relationships – Individuals have different personal styles for conducting themselves in the work environment. Some people are highly detailed, structured and analytical. Others are more free wheeling. Still others are more concerned with persona relationships. Within any group of individuals, there will always be people with conflicting styles. These style differences can result in misunderstandings and can seriously detract from team effectiveness. Identifying these differences and how they impact members can lead to understanding and more productive relationships.
3. Role Expectations – An effective management team has a clear understanding of what each member is expected to do. Further, they know exactly what each member of the team expects or wants from other members of the team. In short, everyone has a clear and shared understanding of the role he/she plays within the team.
4. Operating Procedures – The last dimension underlying effective team performance are the operating procedures used for getting the work done. For example. An effective team typically has agreed upon procedures for making decisions that are implemented. It has an established system for solving problems, which takes advantage of all the resources in a team. It manages its time effectively in meetings. Finally, an effective team recognizes that conflict is an opportunity for learning and growth, and rather than avoiding situations, has procedures for managing conflict productively.