Sunday, March 22, 2015

Do Your Teams Have the Qualities Necessary for Success?

Whether it’s every day or for a special project, at some point of time we all have to do some form of collaborative teamwork. Some people dread this, others look forward to it. What are some qualities to instill in your team in order to ensure success? Astronology covers five critical qualities of a successful team.

Clear consistent communication is extremely important. There is nothing worse than when team members don’t feel comfortable voicing their opinions and ideas.  Open and clear communication has to be promoted within the group. Having a facilitator for brainstorming sessions will be helpful in enforcing this. Facilitators have to be mindful to encourage all participants to contribute and, more importantly, acknowledge each contribution given. A facilitator also has to guide the selection of the best solution / process for the team. Recording meeting sessions via notes and sending these notes afterwards will also promote clear communication.

Active Listening:

Hand in hand with clear communication, team members must practice active listening. This form of listening is important because it can create meaningful dialogue when it comes to deliberating on a decision. Active listening requires team members to listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to respond. This will allow the speaker to freely voice his / her thoughts and, most importantly, allow the other team members the chance to thoroughly think about what is suggested. This also means dismissive attitudes cannot be tolerated. An effective technique to use in order to encourage active listening is, after a suggestion is made, or a thought is shared, a team member – preferably the facilitator – repeats what has been said in order to verify that everyone has the same understanding.


Although ideally we would like to think that everyone on a team is committed to the assignment, unfortunately this is not always the case. A starting point for success is the commitment level of the team leader or facilitator. A Forbes online article on the top qualities of a great leader stated that “There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else, showing that hard work is being done on every level.” As a team leader / facilitator, are you also assigning yourself tasks when it comes to delegation? Does the rest of the team see that you are also hard at work? Your demonstration of your sense of responsibility will echo to your team and can encourage everyone to take their roles more seriously.

Respect and Support:

Two other key qualities are respect and support. If a team leader can’t demonstrate respect and support to a teammate, nothing will be accomplished. Team members won’t feel free to express themselves, and team morale will lower significantly as a result. One articled suggested that team members, “…don’t place conditions on when they’ll provide assistance, when they’ll choose to listen, and when they’ll share information. Good team players also have a sense of humor and know how to have fun (and all teams can use a bit of both), but they don’t have fun at someone else’s expense.”

All of these qualities contribute to positive team morale and effectiveness in handling team assignments. There may be additional qualities, however, that other teams may value more than ones mentioned above. What qualities do you value in a team? Write to Astron and share your team’s keys to success!

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