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Research shows that 85% of the reasons why teams succeed or fail are related to interpersonal issues rather than technical competence. However, both are needed for effective teamwork.
Use the following guidelines when identifying the strengths and development needs of your own team:
- Set clear goals. It's very hard to get there if you don't know where you are going! Make sure there is no question about your team's function and objective.
- Provide clear roles and responsibilities. This ensures people are accountable for accomplishing their part of the team's tasks.
- Share information. In order for the team to make the best decisions, each team member must have all the relevant information.
- Have competent people. Place the right people in the right positions. A talented person in the wrong place could throw off the whole team.
- Value diversity. When teams learn to value each other's differences, they can leverage each other's strengths.
- Solve problems creatively. Encourage people to express opinions freely. A team that appreciates diversity is more adept at solving problems.
- Be flexible. High performing teams check their progress periodically and adjust their course when needed.
- Resolve conflicts effectively. Conflict resolution that focuses on the task at hand, not the individuals, helps teams to move forward, faster.
- Manage your time. Teams that manage their meetings well tend to perform better and are more likely to accomplish their objectives.
- Keep up morale. Low staff turnover and longevity is a benchmark of good morale. A team that values the individual as well as the group has the best likelihood of success.