What is teamwork?
Teams are groups of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose and hold themselves mutually accountable for its achievement. Ideally, they develop a distinct identity and work together in a co-ordinate and mutually supportive way to fulfill their goal or purpose. Task effectiveness is the extent to which the team is successful in achieving its task-related objectives. Shared goals are most likely to be achieved through working together and pooling experience and expertise. Successful teams are characterized by a team spirit based around trust, mutual respect, helpfulness and at best friendliness. the successful attributes needed for effective teamwork as follows:
Commitment to team success and shared goals – team members are committed to the success of the team and their shared goals for the project. Successful teams are motivated, engaged and aim to achieve at the highest level;
Interdependence – team members need to create an environment where together they can contribute far more than as individuals. A positive interdependent team environment brings out the best in each person enabling the team to achieve their goals at a far superior level (Johnson & Johnson, 1995, 1999). Individuals promote and encourage their fellow team members to achieve, contribute, and learn;
• Interpersonal Skills includes the ability to discuss issues openly with team members, be honest, trustworthy, supportive and show respect and commitment to the team and to its individuals. Fostering a caring work environment is important including the ability to work effectively with other team members;
Open Communication and positive feedback actively listening to the concerns and needs of team members and valuing their contribution and expressing this helps to create an effective work environment. Team members should be willing to give and receive constructive criticism and provide authentic feedback;
Appropriate team composition is essential in the creation of a successful team. Team members need to be fully aware of their specific team role and understand what is expected of them in terms of their contribution to the team and the project; and Commitment to team processes, leadership & accountability – team members need to be accountable for their contribution to the team and the project. They need to be aware of team processes, best practice and new ideas. Effective leadership is essential for team success including shared decision-making and problem solving the most effective teamwork happens when individual contributors harmonize their efforts and work toward a common goal. Good teams do not typically happen by accident; hard work, commitment and some amount of struggle are usually involved in creating successful teams. But teams that go through the rigors of creating a cohesive group are rewarded with higher productivity, fewer internal struggles and a more enjoyable work experience.
Stages of Team Development Model
A group of people come together to accomplish a shared purpose.
Disagreement about mission, vision, and approaches combined with the fact that team members are getting to know each other can cause strained relationships and conflict.
The team has consciously or unconsciously formed working relationships that are enabling progress on the team s objectives.
Relationships, team processes, and the team’s effectiveness in working on its objectives are synching to bring about a successfully functioning
The team is performing so well that members believe it is the most successful team they have experienced
The team has completed its mission or purpose and it is time for team members to pursue other goals or projects.