When I think of an effective team, I often think of a medical code team during a resuscitation. Because it is a life and death matter, the team is organized as effectively as possible. I think that teams within businesses and other organizations are dealing with matters of great importance every day. It will help to organize the team as effectively as a code team because everything really is about life and death.
Related Article: Closed Loop Communication; Effective Team Dynamics
In addition to establishing clear roles and responsibilities for each member making sure the team has a good leader, the following eight values will help you build an effective team anywhere. These are represented by the mnemonic TEAMWORK.
- Trust – Trust is built through competence, consistency, loyalty, and empowerment.
- Empathic Communication / Effective Communication. Effective communication involves clear messages and must also be frequent.
- Affirm each other. Let team members know that you value their contribution, loyalty, gifts, uniqueness etc. Let them know that you want to have future together for the long haul.
- Meet frequently – E.g. every week. Besides getting work done, frequent meetings focused on relationship building that goes beyond the work environment is key. At these meetings, the team must continuously evaluate their work and self-correct.
- Work together, not against each other. Share resources both physical, emotional/psychological, spiritual and social.
- Orderliness (or Focus) – First things first. Prioritization.The team must have a common focus on a SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Orderliness also speaks of being systematic.
- Rest & Reflect- To be effective, team members must be well rested. With reflection, we make better choices. To go with reflection is the desire to continue to learn and improve.
- Knowledge-driven. Effective teams love learning. They are continuously learning. They pursue knowledge, understanding, and application.
Dr. Rick Warren has a lovely article on his blog, in case you want to see another similar rendition of the mnemonic.