Attributes of a good team

I wanted to know why some team always achieve their targets in style and still enjoy every day “what are the attributes of a good team?”. After leading & watching couple of different teams in the past 6 years in my opinion the following are attributes of a good team in my opinion.

Conflict within team

All team have internal conflict. Because all team members are not same. But a good team uses conflict to its advantage. No one just agrees to the decisions without a debate or question. If some thing is wrong it is communicated on the face. The same members who debate fiercely inside a meeting are the ones who sit together for a happy chat in the coffee table. The outcome of the conflict is always positive.

Mutual Respect

All the team members have mutual respect for one another in a good team. It makes the team more integrated. It makes the team member to listen to others point of view. It also provides courage to others to express their point of view. It makes the team to commit itself to a decision made. It brings in self discipline and a sense of satisfaction. It also makes the senior team members learn from their own juniors without any ego. It makes communication open within the team.

Empathy

All the team members put themselves into the other person’s shoes before asking the other to do something. This way each team member knows what is the feeling from the other team member. A good team never brands a particular team member to do particular kind of job. Each team member yields and shares the good work with others. Also all the team members take up painful jobs too. It increases sharing within the team.

Share success & failure

All the team members shares and celebrates the success together. A single team member do not hijack the team’s success. Again when there is a failure the whole team takes the responsibility together. A single person is never made a scapegoat. This builds up trust within the team. The team members learn to take up success and failure the same way. People don’t take the success to their head and failure to their heart.

Share knowledge

All the team members irrespective of experience shares the knowledge with other team members. The collective knowledge of the team grows exponentially over a period of time. New team members are productive in a short span of time. All team members feel that knowledge is to be shared and doesn’t hold back essential knowledge with them. Since knowledge is power the team achieves more in less time when compared to other teams.

Leadership

Each and every team member display leadership quality (I am planning a separate post for this). All the team members own and take responsibility for the team’s output and delivery. Individual team members put team’s priority ahead of their own individual priorities. They help the manager in making informed decisions. Problems are communicated well ahead.

Help one another

All the team members help and support one another. A team member falling sick, someone in the team needs an unforeseen leave, Someone injured etc., are taken care by the team. All the team members gives priority to the missing team member’s task. This way the loss of the team member is only visible to the team and outside the team nobody feels the loss. During these situations all the team members stretch whole heartedly. This builds trust and the missing member recovers faster due to lesser stress.

Responds stronger during crisis

Every team goes through a period of crisis and tough time some time in the life span. This is the best time to identify a good team. A good team remains cool whatever may be the situation. It collects the list of problems, time available & resource available. Then the team works out a solution and implements the solution with utmost focus. The team comes out of the crisis successfully. During this whole time no team member criticize the other team member. The team is always focused on the task to be done. From the outside no one can feel that the team is in crisis.

Learn from the failure

Success and failures are two sides of a coin. A good team responds to failure with a positive attitude. First the team searches for the root cause and not for an individual. Once the root cause is found, the team seeks how to avoid that in future. Then the team forgets the failure and remembers only the lesson taught by the failure. In future the team doesn’t commit the same mistake again.

Finds solutions

For a team it is very easy to find problems, escalate, crib and wait for someone to solve. A good team does the other way. It searches for solutions. It never waits from some one else to come and fix their problems. All the team members actively participate in the implementation of a solution. All these small solutions act as a lubricant that reduces the friction in the day to day work. Mostly the team members are happy because no one is worrying about problems but all are actively searching for a solution.

To conclude the following saying perfectly applies to teams also. Its people who make a team.

“Great people talk about ideas.
Average people talk about things.
Small people talk about other people.”

— Ferose