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TEN ESSENTIALS OF TEAMWORK
(excerpt from the book, How to Lead Work Teams, by Fran Rees, pp. 38-41; Copyright 1991 by Pfeiffer & Company)(This material is used by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

For a team to stay alive and function well, these needs must be met:

Common goals. Members of a team need a reason for being and working together. The goals of a team rationalize its existence … The less clear the goals are, the more likely it is that they will be misinterpreted by team members and the more likely it is that the group will suffer internal tensions, arguments, and cross-purposes…

Leadership. Teams need leaders and members who can lead when necessary … Leaders help coordinate the work of the team, have good communication skills, and know how to get everyone involved.

Interaction and involvement of all members. To achieve synergy and group spirit, all team members must contribute actively…

Maintenance of individual self-esteem. …Each person’s contribution must be heard, valued, and acknowledged…

Open communication. Team members need to feel they can speak their minds, that the channels of communication are open to everyone—especially to the leader…

Power within the group to make decisions. The work of the team should center around the things it has the power to influence. Giving teams work to do that does not get approved for implementation is unproductive and demotivating…

Attention to both process and content. … Content …[is] the group’s task. Process includes attention to how people get along together, how the work is structured and distributed, and what the general rules of working together are [one example – Robert’s Rules of Order]…

Mutual trust. Trust depends on how the leader and members treat one another…

Respect for differences. Team members need to feel they can disagree and be different from others without being punished. …

Constructive conflict resolution. Conflict is natural. When it surfaces, it must be addressed in a healthy way…

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