Effective Teamwork Takes Practice And Patience

Art Gib
January 30, 2009 — 5,336 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Teamwork is an integral part of most businesses today: it takes the effective interaction between members of a working team to bring about great results. In order to achieve your goals, your teams need to pull together as individuals unified by a common belief system. Achieving this delicate balance is no simple matter. Truly effective teamwork takes patience and practice. Here are some ideas to help improve your business's cohesiveness.

-- Have you clearly delineated what your expectations are for your team? In other words, do they really know how you want them to proceed, how you will measure their progress, and what you expect the outcome of a project or workflow system to be? The team needs to know how they can count on upper management to support them toward achieving those expectations and what kind of time frame they are working within.

-- The team needs to have a specific mission statement to help them guide their behaviors and work. The term "mission statement" has been overused for the last couple of decades, but it's still a vitally important principle: everyone needs a compass to steer by and help them stay on track. A visible mission statement will help with that.

-- Not everyone is used to or is even comfortable working within a team context. You have to remember that the group is made up of individuals first. Each of them needs to have a proper understanding of what his job is and how his specific skills can be used to further the purposes of the group.

Arrange your teams carefully so that the talent is spread around properly. Next, they need to be given a clear understanding of why working as a team rather than individuals is essential toward achieving the business's goals.

-- Once a team has been given a clear framework within which to work and knows what its mission statement and goals are, show confidence in them by giving them the freedom to actually do their jobs. It is empowering for a team to know it is trusted, and it will feel a greater sense of ownership of a project or system if it is not constantly being watched over, second guessed, and criticized.

-- Just as constant criticism will discourage a team's work, kudos and recognition for a job well done will have a positive effect. Never take great effort for granted, and take the time to give credit where credit is due. Encourage team members to be positive with each other, not engage in finger pointing, and work together in a spirit of friendship and camaraderie to resolve any differences.

If you are unsure how to properly train your workers to function in teams, it would be wise to hire the services of professional consultants who specialize in teaching the proper techniques that encourage cohesiveness and effectiveness. Then you'll be well on your way toward working together toward achieving your goals.

About the Author

If you are interested in learning about business simulation programs to help your company function better, contact the expert professionals at Executive Perspectives (http://executiveperspectives.com/). Art Gib is a freelance writer.

Art Gib