There are many reasons why it is important for leaders to build an effective team and yet quite often, managers do not take the time to focus on this time sensitive effort because of ongoing demands and priorities in the workplace.
What defines an effective team? Although there may be various perspectives and definitions, I think of an effective team as a group of individuals that are:
Motivated – Teams that are motivated will naturally have more energy and desire to focus on their work performance. They will take pride in the products and services they deliver.
Creative – You know the old saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. When there are obstacles and challenges, a motivated team can get very creative and tap into their critical thinking skills.
Collaborative – When teams collaborate, they bring out the best in each other. There is a sense of getting to the finish line and everyone feels the importance of playing their part by relying on one another with clear objectives.
Empowered – When everyone on the team can see the importance of their role and contributions, they feel more empowered to go above and beyond their day to day roles and responsibilities. They learn to see from a strategic viewpoint and feel empowered to play a bigger role in contributing to their company goals and see things from a different viewpoint.
Active Listeners – When individuals are actively listening to their managers, team members and stakeholders, they are invaluable to the success of the team. They learn to understand exactly what it is that they need to accomplish and how their achievements will support others. By learning to actively listen, they become more aligned with thoughtful leadership and set themselves and the team up for success.
Thoughtful Leaders – When team members see everyone on the team as a leader, they demonstrate the power of group leadership. They each know the value that everyone contributes. They instinctively know how to react when they are faced with challenges. They ask for help and do the same for others. They know that there is now “I” in team.
Accountable – When each member of the team knows the importance of accountability, they know how important and valuable it is to learn by experience. They know that that there are no mistakes; each trial and error experience is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Risk takers – In a world that is constantly changing, effective teams know the importance of learning how to take risks. They know how to mitigate risk exposure and learn how to navigate risks so they can achieve far more than would be possible if the team didn’t embrace innovative solutions.
Strategic Thinkers – Every individual on the team has their own specific skill sets but also know how important it is to see the end goal. They clearly understand what the overall objective is and the benefits that will be created by their efforts on the team.