There are many ideas as to how teams and teamwork should be structured. Those in management leadership often define teamwork as a group of individuals committed to a common goal and purpose. For teams to be healthy and productive it is necessary for those on the team to understand the basic principles of teamwork. To understand what strong teamwork is all about there must be a basic understanding of team structure. Here are the A,B,C’s of Healthy Team Structure.
Agreeing to a Common Purpose. Every successful team agrees to a common purpose! Many teams will have to evolve into a state of mutual agreement but agreement is essential for a productive team.
Backing one another up. Teams that succeed are made up of individual that see the value of each member of the team. This type of team recognizes the importance of supporting others in the group.
Cause. What is the "cause" of the team? A "cause" is something that gives a reason for performing a task. This is the reasonable grounds for doing, thinking or feeling something. A Team must understand their "cause!"
Dedication to the cause! A cause is worthless without dedication. This is fuel for the teamwork machine. Dedication must be practiced by every member of the team.
Energy. A strong team is capable of energizing team members. The talents and skills of a strong team complements each other.
Framework. Developing a framework for a team is the creation of a rigid structure that surrounds and encloses the design and direction of the team. A framework helps any team stay on track.
Goals. Every healthy team sets goals. Some of these goals may be long-range, some may be short term but a healthy team has solid goals to shot for.
Humor. Strong teams learn to laugh a lot. Humor is one of the best resources to keep diverse team members healthy, productive and on the same side. Work without humor is dangerous.
Intelligence Development. One of the greatest products of a strong team is the melding of minds. When several brains can share their thoughts this is a powerful resource for any organization.
Journey. Those on strong teams do not see the task as a job but rather as a journey. A journey is the act of traveling from one location to a new location. Being on a journey is all about progress.
Keeping Focused. It is not difficult to become detracted from the work at hand and allow several "things" to occupy the mind. One of the greatest challenges for any team is to keep focused on the goal and ignore those things which are secondary.
Leadership Skill Development. Continual training for every member of the team is an absolute must. There is no graduation day for those working on a team. Leadership skill development is a lifelong journey.
Milestone Setting. Setting milestones (a resting point) is what helps team members avoid burning out. Although teamwork is a lifelong journey, milestone must be set so that rest and revitalization can take place.
Negotiations. The skills of negotiation are absolutely necessary for any team. Conflict and disagreement can take place on any team. If negotiation is not part of the team's make-up the team cannot hope to survey for very long.
Organization. Teamwork is different from "committee organization." Every sports team has someone who plays a unique role. This is also true for anyone working with a team in businesses, charity groups or churches. Organization recognizes the value of each person on the team.
Physical Well-being. Rest and recuperation are essential for all successful teams. Ever member of the team must take time off. Being in good physical shape creates strong teams.
Quick Responses. The worst thing for any team to do concerning any task is to drag it out. Quick responses can help a team move forward in a timely fashion. If a quick response cannot take place this leads to the next letter.......
Rational Analysis. When something needs to be decided don't forget: "Two heads are better than one!" Rational analysis of any issue may take a little bit longer but it is worth the effort.
Strategic Mapping. Put the plans of the team down on paper. Most people remember and think better when they see something and not just hearing it. A drawing of a strategic map put in the right place can be a constant visual reminder of where the team is headed.
Tolerance of Different Personalities. A team that is made up of various personalities is a powerful organization. Because of diversity of personalities tolerance is an area that ever team will have to address.
Utilize All Talents. Any team that does not utilize all the talents on the team will short-change the team. No team is at its best if one person's talents go unused.
Vision Casting. Casting the vision of the team should take place on a regular basis. "Casting the vision" should be a process that explains clearly what the goals and purpose of the team is all about.
Win-Win Mentality! Anytime that conflict is addressed the goal is for everyone to walk away as a winner. "Win-Win" is the goal for any conflict or disagreement when working with a team.
X-tra Knowledge. Extra knowledge is always needed in the development of strong healthy teamwork. New ideas, new knowledge, new concepts and new training opportunities are sought after by growing teams.
Yern for Success. Strong teams desire for success to take place. Success is sought after and expected.
Zeal! Anything worth doing should inspire us to be zealous about it. A task that is dull will never get the needed support. Be zealous about what your team is trying to accomplish!