Various factors need to be considered when creating an effective and successful team. From diversity to team hierarchy, many factors influence the eventual output of the team, affecting the leader, team members’ performance, and client’s satisfaction. The paper aims to evaluate what factors need to be considered to create an effective team.
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Factors to Consider
First, respect and communication are the primary factors that indicate the potential level of success the team is going to reach. If every team member is capable of providing clear feedback, engage in open communication, and review their own ideas and those of others, it is likely that the teamwork will also result in excellent outcomes. Thus, the leader’s first aim is to evaluate the openness of the communication between team members.
Second, the decision-making in the team also needs the leader’s attention. It is important to avoid recruiting professionals who tend to have an authoritarian approach toward leadership and might try to build a hierarchy with them on the top. A hierarchy is important but should not undermine the team’s effectiveness and cooperation. The leader also has to observe how ideas are used in the team and whether they are all equally reviewed, criticized and accepted (if appropriate).
Third, flexibility is one of the most critical team qualities nowadays because the continually changing business environment requires from professionals to understand how they can adapt to new needs or wishes of their client. If new directions are sent, the team’s responsibility is to respond adequately and efficiently, ensuring that all team members are ready to defend their opinions and are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. It should be noted that both the inability to accept a new point of view and a too-fast readiness to abandon it are bad signs and can undermine teamwork, especially in stressful conditions.
Braun, Peus, Weisweiler, and Frey (2013) examine transformational leadership and its influence on teamwork. An individualized approach toward team members expressed by a transformational leader is often supported by followers because “each individual follower is able to voice concerns through intellectually stimulating behaviour” (Braun et al., 2013, p. 271). Thus, the type of leadership that I as a leader am going to use is of utter importance because of its influence on followers’ morale, performance, and job satisfaction.
Team diversity is another factor that is often emphasized by leaders and in leadership research. Pieterse, Van Knippenberg, and Van Dierendonck (2013) point out that goal orientation is vital for diverse teams because it helps avoid issues related to discrimination and stereotyping in such teams, as well as other task-irrelevant behaviors. Although Pieterse et al. (2013) argue that diversity is a double-edged sword, remarkable results can be achieved if it is handled correctly.
Knowledge and coordination are factors that do not only influence teamwork but also can undermine its effectiveness if they are underrated by the team leader and members. As Reagans, Miron-Spektor, & Argote (2016) point out, teams that are excellent at coordination but low at knowledge will not be highly effective because they are more likely to opt for a more or less satisfactory solution rather than one that considers each team member’s skills and suggestions. Knowledge utilization will affect a team more positively if this team is capable of coordinating activities within it.
Support and trust are qualities that are equally important in private and professional life. For a business team, trust between team members is essential during any process, including product design, review, and launch. Trust is important because it supports knowledge sharing among team members, as well as assistance and commitment. To create an effective team, it is important for me as a leader to evaluate what level of trust there will be between team members and whether it can be elevated.
The readiness to acknowledge one’s mistakes is a feature of active and open leaders and followers who display a critical approach toward themselves and others. Too much critique can negatively affect teamwork, especially if this critique is off point but generally the capability of self-reflection results in more efficient problem-solving. Leaders need to be self-reflective to avoid bias during decision-making; followers need to be self-reflective to understand how their actions will affect not only them but their team too. Stubbornness is difficult to combine with flexibility, and therefore team members need to know when to abandon an idea if it is not beneficial for the team.
Team roles are sometimes omitted but essential for good results. Depending on the person and their responsibility in the team, their role might vary from coordination (a manager of dynamics) to mediation (a team member who builds up and supports relationships among other team members). It is crucial to pick professionals in accordance with team’s goals and roles prepared for it.
Teamwork is a complex and dynamic process that emphasizes the importance of equal contribution from the leader and followers. Various factors such as communication, trust, diversity, openness, leadership style, etc. need to be considered to create a successful team. Flexibility might be seen as one of the major factors that affect team performance.
Braun, S., Peus, C., Weisweiler, S., & Frey, D. (2013). Transformational leadership, job satisfaction, and team performance: A multilevel mediation model of trust. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), 270-283.
Pieterse, A. N., Van Knippenberg, D., & Van Dierendonck, D. (2013). Cultural diversity and team performance: The role of team member goal orientation. Academy of Management Journal, 56(3), 782-804.
Reagans, R., Miron-Spektor, E., & Argote, L. (2016). Knowledge utilization, coordination, and team performance. Organization Science, 27(5), 1108-1124.