Characteristics of a Good Team
It is extremely easy to list the characteristics of a good team – the real challenge for your team is to actually have them, really apply them, and really live them on a consistent-daily basis.
The ability to lead a functioning team has become so desired that now Master's Degree Programs in different fields have recognized this and made it a core part of their curriculum.
The reason of existence of a team – any team – is to deliver results. A team needs to deliver results – this is what the team exists for.
Hence, results are the true compass in the life of your team.
This means that the individual interests, needs, and desires of any team member – including the team’s boss – are not as important as the team’s interests, needs, and desires.
The team’s interests (read goals, results) are always more important than any team member individual interests.
This is the first characteristic of a good team.
To deliver results, all team members need to be accountable and committed to such results – without accountability and commitment, results are a matter of luck.
This is the second characteristic of a good team.
The third characteristic is clarity – all team members must be clear about …
The decision made
The logic behind the decision
Who will do what and when
What will be communicated to the rest of the organization about the decision, how it will be communicated, and when it will be communicated
This is the third characteristic of a good team.
The fourth characteristic is candor, without candor people don’t speak their individual truths, and when people don’t put everything on the table; when people don’t speak up their minds with frankness, there are hidden agendas. With hidden agendas within the team, the team doesn’t have all the information that it should have to be able to make the best possible decision.
Information is the main ingredient in good decision-making – and without candor, the quality of decision-making is poor.
Usually when there is candor there is conflict due to the different and often opposing points of view, so another characteristic of a good team is its ability to manage conflict.
And for candor to exist within a team, there must be trust. When team members trust each other and the team’s boss, they are much more likely to speak up and put everything on the table for all to see and discuss – without any hidden agenda.
To sum it all up, the fundamental characteristics of a good team are:
Results are the team’s compass – they always come before any team member interests
Team members must be accountable and committed to the team’s results
The team much achieve clarity every time it makes a decision
There must be a culture of candor
The team must be able to manage conflict within itself
Team members must trust each other
These are the essential characteristics of a good team.
When a team masters these characteristics, the rest is easy.
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To learn more about the skills you need to manage the performance of your direct reports, go to my Management Skills page.
To learn more about the skills you need to lead the performance of your entire organization, go to my Leadership Skills page.
To keep on learning about other useful skills, go back to the previous page, or click here.
If you would like to learn how to build these characteristics of a good team through my speaking or consulting services, please click on this link.