Recently Teamwork has become a very common and demanding concept irrespective of all successful organization. But what do we mean by Teamwork? Does merely a group of people’s working together is called teamwork? Let us find the answer.
Webster’s World Dictionary defined Teamwork as ” A joint action by a group of people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group”. This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. Research shows that the most effective teamwork is produced when all the team members shows the following characteristics collectively.
- A common purpose and clear goals
- A common approach to work
- The necessary skills and resources
- The willingness to share information
- Trust and support in each other
- The ability to work through conflict
- The willingness to take responsibility for team actions.
Concerning all these points, we can define an Effective team as a team that consists of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal or purpose and who hold themselves accountable for team output.
Usually an optimal size of team consists of four to ten members. Regarding composition, all teams will have a team leader who provides guidance, instruction, direction and leadership to the team members in achieving the team’s goals. However the leadership responsibilities are not always specific to one person only, it might be changed depending on need, situation and available resources.
An effective Team Leader possess following characteristics:
- A team leaders communicate clearly.
- Set SMART goals and emphasize them.
- Give the team members the information they need to do their jobs.
- Act consistently.
- Make decisions with input from others.
- Give praise and recognition; reward team success.
- Criticize constructively and address problems.
- Display tolerance and flexibility.
- Exhibit a willingness to change.
- Treat team members with respect.
Besides the team leader, the other members of a team must hold the following characteristics to produce an effective team.
- Help and Support the team leader
- Ensure that all view points are explored
- Express opinions, both for and against
- Compliment the team leader on team efforts
- Provide open, honest and accurate information
- Act in a positive and constructive manner
- Provide appropriate feedback
- Understand personal and team roles
- Accept ownership for team decisions
- Participate voluntarily
- Maintain confidentiality
- Show loyalty to the organization, the team leader, and the team
- View criticism as an opportunity to learn
- State problems, along with alternative solutions
- Give praise and recognition when warranted