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Mastering The Art Of Team Building

Mar 11, 2008
In the last twenty years or so, teamwork has become increasingly significant. Most organizations today use a work model that is based on multiple kinds of "formal" and "informal" teams.

Given this development in the work world, team-building skills have come to be an essential part of seeking that new job or that promotion into the next level of management. After all, studies as well as real world experiences have shown that a group of people working as a team can generate much more productivity than the same group of people working individually.

So how do you become a team builder? How do you master the art of team building? How do you get the members to work effectively as a team? All of these skills are necessary to lead your team successfully and to master the art of team building.

-Communication. Efficient teams are created when every single member is free and able to share his/her thoughts and opinions. The decision-making process for a team must be dialogue based, not dictatorial. Good communication also involves active listening among team members and the ability of the team members to value the opinions of the others.

-Trust. All good teams are based solidly on trust. Every member of the team must be able to trust every other member to do the required work and to be an active and productive team member.

-Clear Goals. A team needs specific goals to function effectively. Team goals must be specific, decided after discussion, and must have a particular time limit.

-Progress Review. Goals by themselves are not enough in the absence of regular progress reviews. New information or even actions taken towards achieving the goal can sometimes end up affecting the completion. Teams need to conduct regular internal checks that include all team members to review the progress that has been made so far and to work out any problems that may have arisen.

-Cooperation. Each team member has to find some way of collaborating with every other member of the team. Personal accomplishments will shine through, but cooperation, not competition, is the key to team building success.

-Professionalism. Of the many individuals in a team, some are bound to have personalities that clash with each other. Team members have to be willing and able to set petty differences aside, working together with the others to achieve the team goals.

-Differences. Diversity is an asset. It often brings in new and differing ways of looking at the same issue, thinking about the same issue, and developing new ideas, all of which combine to give the team a better chance at making good decisions. Team members must be comfortable with and should revel in individual differences while respecting the value that each member brings to the team through their differences.

-Enthusiasm. Team members must be able to jump into the team process with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm helps each member to feel like a part of a vibrant.

-Collaboration. Efficient teams have members who each play a vital role in the completion of the work. Each member of the team must feel that they play a vital role in the sharing of the work and each member of the team should be held accountable for his/her share. Individual accountability is a large part of sharing and teamwork.

-Clear Responsibilities. Every team member must understand their role within the team and the importance of their share of work to the team as a whole.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals such as, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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