Wikipedia states teamwork is a joint action by two or more people, in which each person contributes with different skills and expresses his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group in order to achieve common goals.

Sounds pretty simple, but looking at marital teams, business teams, sports teams and even family teams, putting it into action is harder than it appears. Aside from individuals not always being capable of working to their maximum efficiency, team participants may each have differing routes by which they believe the common goal must/should be reached.

Clarity of Purpose

Key to successful teams is ensuring each team player truly understands the goal, objective, outcomes desired, in terms they understand. This includes individual members of the group appreciating the differing approaches by which each team player believes the goal will be attained.

Varied Strengths and Approaches

Seldom do two people come to any experience with the same perceptions about a goal or outcome. One person may believe the relationship between the team members is key to the team’s success. Another may contribute problem solving skills to the initiative. A third may feel intuitive about how to accomplish the goal and be quite insistent their approach or perspective is the correct one. Still another team member may be the “bean counter” measuring the time, cost, facility space, etc. that must be accounted for in order to attain outcomes.

Effective Leadership

A team leader, not attached to a single means of reaching a goal and aware of the strengths brought to the team by the differing approaches of each team player, has a head start in truly creating a team that will strive for the leader’s desired outcomes.

A leader focused on relationships, or power plays or nifty planning may not value the detail attention of the bean counter. But, the player with attention to the details will keep the team lined up and focused on perhaps the most efficient ways and means of reaching the goal on time and within budget. Therefore all great teams require respectful, aware and recognizing team leaders who realize the value of team player differing strengths.

If you believe your leadership skills may lack necessary awareness and team building strength and you find yourself frustrated by the varying approaches to goals of your staff members, you may need some “effective” leadership training.


What Makes A Good Team?