What Makes Effective Teamwork?

Written by melissa mckean
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What Makes Effective Teamwork?
Working together can be easy and productive using a few best practices. (teamwork image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com)

Effective teamwork is key to the success of a business. Teamwork helps tasks get completed quickly and efficiently, and when a team works together well, the result is usually a quality idea, product or service. However, poor teamwork can hinder a business' success and make operations much more difficult. Four components of teamwork can make it effective and lead to business success.

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Effective Communication

Without effective communication, a team will crumble, and a project will suffer. When a team has open and honest communication, in which every member can speak her opinion and point of view, a lot more will be accomplished. Communication when groups of people are working together ensures that everyone listens to one another's viewpoints and will help each individual express his thoughts and feelings. Quality communication also aids in putting together a clear plan of action, in which members can contribute on their areas of expertise.

Complementary Skills

The way the team is assembled plays a major role in how well the group works as a team. It is essential that people with complimentary skills be paired together so that they can utilise one another's knowledge and skill set. For instance, there should be a few people who excel at planning, one or two key leaders and several experts in various subjects. If you have too many experts in one subject, there will be too many differing options and viewpoints. If you have too many leaders, there will be a power struggle that will prevent you from accomplishing your goals. If you have too many planners, you will come up with an excellent plan for execution, but you won't get anything accomplished without the expertise of the specialists.

Strong Leadership

Leadership is incredibly important in a team environment. A leader is needed to settle disputes, set goals and keep the team on track. A good leader can lead without being bossy, can accomplish goals by encouraging his team and stepping in when necessary to help, and can make suggestions for improvements with constructive criticism.

Ability to Compromise

Every member of the team must be able to step back from a situation and come up with a compromise. If group members have a "It's my way or no way at all," attitude, nothing will ever get done. There should be at least one member of the team who sees opportunities for compromise and presents them to the group, and all of the parties involved must be humble enough to back down and accept a compromise from time to time.

Commitment

A team without passion will get nowhere. A commitment to the task you are doing is essential for a productive work environment. If any member of the team does not have the motivation to get the job done and to do it will, she will slack on her duties and bring the rest of the team down.

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