What Determines a True and Successful Team?

Teamwork is the result of individual efforts exerted toward common goals.  When this is accomplished, the acronym TEAM is accomplished: Together Everyone Achieves More!  A real team requires excellent leadership as well as the ability to collaboratively overcome challenges along with showing respect and trust for each other throughout the process.

The following elements constitute a true and successful team:

  1. Pride in the team – Team members should feel connected to something larger than themselves. They should feel positive about what they are working on together and about each other. Teams cultivate this approach by taking time to reflect and define their purpose. In other words, how do they contribute to the organization, what is their unique and specific value, and why does the organization need them and their skills.
  2. Being Honest & Authentic – If you cannot be honest with each other you are not a team. The leader certainly sets the tone of the culture by being honest. This means that you must encourage and support your people, defend them in public, and give them constructive feedback in private.
  3. Dealing with Conflict – In addition to telling the truth is the ability to handle that truth, and to be able to have a productive debate with each other. There has to be a fundamental commitment to each other to always tell the truth, and a desire to understand where the other person is coming from. When this is how the team deals with issues they will be able to create the best results possible and reduce stress in the process.
  4. Focus on the positive – Teams must interact positively and restrain themselves from insulting and disrespecting one another. They should try to focus on the best in each other and in each situation. It would be beneficial to actually take the time during the day, week or month to talk about what is going well. It would be helpful and supportive to compliment and thank each other for their contributions. Such small moments are meaningful and encouraging so will go a long way toward creating a positive and acknowledging team spirit that will also result in higher achievement for the whole team.
  5. Build Real relationships – Many of the problems experienced in teams are human – conflict, disappointment, resentment, stress, burn out, success, failure, miscommunication, confusion, competition, collaboration – these are all human problems that require real relationships that are supportive, encouraging, and meaningful……then they will also be longlasting and beneficial to everyone. True successful teams develop caring relationships with each other. Team members should be curious about their teammates and learn about their interests, concerns, and desires. They should be caring and supportive of each other even when there are challenges to face. When they encourage and challenge each other to succeed the entire team will reach their full potential for greater achievement.

Just because a group is called a team doesn’t mean they are actually operating as one. They must respect each other, use open, honest and clear communication, and work towards a common purpose and common goals. If these aspects of teamwork are practised there is a very good chance that they will become a true and successful team.  Remember: TEAM means: Together Everyone Achieves More!



Sandy Chernoff
Sandy Chernoff
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.

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