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What makes a great team?

10 Apr 2015
Have you ever worked as part of a team that pulls together whatever the circumstances or have you ever found yourself in a team environment that for some reason just doesn't seem to work at all? 

Working as part of a team may be something you do as part of your job role, a sports or any other group related activity. Teams are created for different reasons; this may be working together on an ongoing basis or to deliver a one off project. Whatever the circumstances how well the team performs together will ultimately contribute to the end result. What is it that makes a team a great one?

Vision - any group must be working towards the same goal.  Everyone should know and understand agreed aims and objectives. The team will also remained focused and also know what their colleagues' responsibilities are.     

Communication
- having clear and effective communication between team members is key. People should express themselves openly and honestly and there should also be a willingness to work through difficult situations or conflict constructively.

Regular updates - a robust team regularly reviews its performance and goals and alters priorities as required. Having regular team meetings are helpful in this respect.

Support - team members should offer one another support and encouragement. They should also have respect for team members, listen and help one another when needed.
 
Using strengths - whatever the size of the team, each member will bring something different to the group. Everyone has their own individual personality, skills and experience and drawing on particular strengths will really add value.  

Flexibility - teams often deal with changing conditions or situations. A strong team will run with these and adapt as necessary even if this means changing previously agreed objectives or roles within the team. Recognising when things aren't working well and change is required is also key.

Strong leadership - a suitable leader should be appointed and this individual should be approachable and trusted, often leading by example when necessary.  

One question that is often asked at interview is how you have worked as part of a team and you could also be asked to provide specific examples of how you have done this and what has worked well for you or your contribution. A great team working together in harmony really can achieve something inspirational.

If you're currently part of a team, what is it that works well for you or what do you think could be improved upon? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below...

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