Characteristics of Effective Teamwork
... think synergy
... think synergy
There are numerous characteristics of effective teamwork. Whilst every team and context is different, identifying and building on these characteristics is essential for any team leader.
Think about how you might create a team that not only performs, but that sustains high performance, consistently. This article begins by identifying some key characteristics of effective teamwork. Then it examines what we think is an often overlooked key: a focus on the value of synergy.
High performing teams will probably have most, if not all of the following characteristics. They:
Often overlooked, one of the crucial characteristics of effective teamwork is the value of synergy. Synergy, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is:
the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately:
Team work at its best results in a synergy that can be very productive.
This is well illustrated in the example of Spain’s castellers. These are teams of ‘human tower’ builders, competing in annual cultural performances. Literally building on each others’ strength to assemble and dis-assemble a human pyramid, as quickly and safely as possible.
The festival competitions are both spectacular and clear examples of the power of synergy. No individual in the team could possibly achieve what the team creates together. High performance in more ways than one!
Typically team synergy is demonstrated when:
To encourage and build on the benefits of synergy, team leaders should consider:
By this stage of team development, it will be increasingly managing, if not leading itself, as the maturity and capability of team members becomes more evident. The leader’s role then becomes one of serving the team by helping to create the conditions for high performance.
Synergy is one of the distinguishing characteristics of effective teamwork, but it is not always easily found. There does need to be a sense of vigilance and determination to reap the rewards of a team that is performing for the wider benefit of the organization.
This article is part of our series on stages of team development using our STAR team model. This model illustrates that effective teamwork in the workplace happens when four elements (Strengths, Teamwork, Alignment and Results) are in place:
A different emphasis and focus for each of the STAR model elements is needed at different stages of the team’s development. But whatever stage your team is at, too much emphasis on the individual can cause significant problems.
This is one of the articles in our teamwork series. But for some practical team building techniques, look at our great-value e-guides here.
If you want to put our teamwork concepts into action, you’ll find more information and a wealth of practical resources, in our colossal Team Building Bundle.
Containing 240 pages and 50 tools, these are the 8 key guides we recommend to help you do more than define teamwork, build it!
We’ve used [the guides] as support tools for learners on our talent management programmes which has saved me a lot of time and a lot of money. I’d definitely recommend them.
Try our great value e-guides