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November 1, 2021
6 Traits to Look for When Building a Successful Team

Managing multiple teams at work can sometimes be frustrating, but is often a rewarding experience

Managing multiple teams at work can sometimes be frustrating, but is often a rewarding experience. I try to look for and nurture these traits in teams that I personally manage. I haven't managed that many teams, but I hope this can be useful for some of you who are just starting out.

1. They understand each other's roles and responsibilities.

Have you ever seen a special ops team in action? In movies perhaps? How are they capable of executing seemingly impossible missions? It is only possible to operate at such a high level by trusting and understanding each other's capabilities and responsibilities. Without trust and believe in each other, teams are doomed to fail.

2. They actively communicate with each other.

Trust can only be developed through communication. Without an effective communication channel, teams will not to be able to build trust or even worst, understand each other. As a business owner or team leader, it is our responsibility to build a proper communication channel that facilitates positive communication, developing trusts and rapport in the team.

3. Everyone is held accountable for their work.

Actions must be taken against those who failed to execute or fulfill their responsibilities. Actions can be in the form of reminder, warning, remedial or in worst cases, outright dismissal. Team members are there to serve a purpose that contributes to the organization's goals and missions. A non-contributing team member may otherwise be a source of distraction or negative influence in the team. However, It's important to remember that everyone is accountable for their actions, not necessarily the result. Differentiating between actions and result is necessary since a given result might be influenced by something external and beyond the control of your team. Proper assessment and post mortem is key in managing this topic effectively.

4. They regularly meet and eat together.

While this simple act may seem trivial, they are many psychological reasons that makes it work. Eating is a joyful experience. Sharing a joyful moment with someone is key to starting and nurturing a relationship. We do this almost instinctively. When was your last date? What did you do during the date? The same formula can be used to build the foundation of a successful team. Simple, yet effective.  

5. They share responsibility and are willing to take up each other's slack.

No one team is ever perfect. In fact, researchers have shown that the perfect team is made of imperfect team members. This dynamic inter-dependency is what makes the success of a team brilliant. A strong team that has the habit of helping each other out stands to outperform any teams made of selfish team members. However, this does not mean individual contribution don't matter. It simply means that the spirit of support and cooperation is key in the success of any organization.

6. They share both success and failure.

Unfortunately, no matter how good a team is, they can still fail. Success and failure is the name of the game. The difference is in how the team members accept failure, or celebrate success. A good team would not blame each other, and in fact everyone would feel responsible for the failure. This mindset actually helps team to improve and become better. Comparatively, if team members begin to pick on each other weaknesses, the team may not be able to see how to start improving themselves. Remember this the next time you have a post mortem. Observe how the team members react to success or failure.

With that said, developing and instilling these key traits in teams is no easy task. It requires everyone's effort, discipline and most importantly the desire to establish such a team. Building a team can take years. Yet it is so easy to loose the team to things that are beyond our control. This is why teams must invest in tools that can help improve team engagement and alignment. At OrgEngine we believe in establishing transparency and understanding by communicating relevant organization information visually to team members.

Joe Black

Passionate reader | People person | Data driven
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OrgEngine is born out of the necessity to simplify organizational management. As a new manager or CEO, you will find yourself wearing multiple hats, executing different functions at different times, leaving you overwhelmed. OrgEngine takes all the lessons and concepts in management books and implement them in a practical format for you to quickly execute.