Every team is unique. However, high-performing teams share certain characteristics that set them apart from other teams.
We call that teamwork. We have defined it earlier. But teamwork is a combination of competencies and mindset. So here are some characteristics of teams with a high level of teamwork.
Clear goals and shared vision A successful team clearly understands what they want to achieve and why it is important.
They have a shared vision that everyone understands and is committed to.
For example, a sales team may aim to increase revenue by 25% in the next quarter. This goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound, which makes it easier for everyone to work towards it.
I often hear managers say that employees lack commitment. The usual cause is unclear direction.
Strong communication and collaboration. Communication is the lifeblood of any successful team. Members must be able to communicate effectively with one another to share ideas, give feedback, and solve problems.
Collaboration is also essential as team members work together to achieve a common goal. When people say they have a teamwork spirit, they usually mean that there was cooperation and collaboration.
For instance, an engineering team may need to collaborate with a marketing team to create a product that meets customer needs.
The interests of departments may collide. However, they can find ways to collaborate when they are clear about their goals.
Trust and mutual respect. Trust and respect are the foundation of any successful team. Team members must trust each other to do their part and respect their opinions and ideas.
This is very valuable that in my Five Team Commitments workshop, the first is about commitment to each other. Trust and mutual respect is the foundation of that commitment.
When trust and respect exist, it leads to open communication and collaboration, which helps the team achieve its goals.
For example, a customer service team that trusts each other will be able to handle demanding customers better and provide excellent service.
Positive attitude and mindset. A positive attitude and mindset are essential for a successful team. When team members have a can-do attitude, they are more likely to take on challenges and find solutions to problems.
A positive mindset also means being open to feedback and learning from mistakes.
For instance, a marketing team that maintains a positive attitude will be more creative and effective in its campaigns.
Accountability and ownership. More than half of the managers who hired me for team building needed help with accountability and ownership.
Successful teams take ownership of their work and hold themselves accountable for their actions. Team members must take responsibility for their mistakes and work to correct them.
When everyone is accountable, it leads to a sense of ownership and a willingness to go above and beyond.
For example, a production team that owns its work will ensure its products meet high-quality standards.
If you want to know more about team characteristics, read the 10 Secrets of Successful Teams