Team Building: 8 Fundamentals, 6 Best Practices

Team Building: 8 Fundamentals, 6 Best Practices
Summary: Teamwork by its very nature is a highly leveraged activity: People from diverse backgrounds contributing their skills and knowledge whilst working towards a common goal. The rules, fundamentals, and best practices for successful team building do not change whether the people are in the same room or scattered across the globe.

8 Fundamentals And 6 Best Practices For Successful Team Building 

What are the most effective team building techniques? Well, before gathering individuals together to perform a collective effort, two questions about its nature must be asked and answered:

Is it a team? Or is it a committee? Know the difference. 

  • A Team: 
    • A Team is united around a clear goal.
    • A Team usually has shared or rotating leadership.
    • A Team is structured to work together to achieve that goal.
    • A Team shares responsibility for achieving that goal.
    • A Team member depends on the other members.
    • A Team member builds relationships with other members.
    • A Team member is empowered to contribute their skills and experience.
    • A Team demands a consensus decision.
    • A Team measures itself by the goals it sets for itself.
  • A Committee: 
    • A Committee is by nature administrative in nature.
    • A Committee usually has a strong leader.
    • A Committee is usually formed to decide if something needs to be done.
    • A Committee usually has an oversight responsibility.
    • A Committee normally assigns tasks to others outside the committee and only oversees and measures their effectiveness.

The 8 Fundamentals Of Team Building 

  1. The team’s goal must be clearly identified and agreed.
  2. The resources to achieve the goal must be identified and agreed.
  3. The right people must be involved.
  4. The recommended action must be practical and appropriate.
  5. The right resources must be used.
  6. The larger context and implications must be considered.
  7. The time scale agreed upon must be reasonable.
  8. The results must be used as a basis for further improvement.

The 6 Best Practices For Successful Team Building 

  • Teamwork is mutual inquiry requiring mutual respect.
  • Listening is as important as talking. Both are interpersonal skills.
  • Thinking in a team is difficult without rules of conduct.
  • Teamwork is a non-competitive quest to make meaning.
  • Teamwork is not a debate with winners and losers.
  • Mutual inquiry is an iterative process.

Let us have an analytical look at each one of them:

  1. Mutual respect. 
    Mutual inquiry with mutual respect is more likely to succeed. So, rules of conduct must be in place. Respectful listening and discussion is much more productive. Don’t interrupt, don’t attack a person question their ideas. Be courteous.
  2. Listening and talking. 
    Mindful deliberate listening is not only courteous it helps mutual understanding and avoids misunderstandings. It is one half of our interpersonal skill. The other half is talking, and talking can either be a minefield or a rich source of discourse. It depends on how well we conduct a collaborative thinking exercise.
  3. Thinking. 
    Thinking, either as an individual or collective effort, is why the team has come together since the team’s only purpose is to solve a problem, and the only way to solve problems is through thinking, and the only way to think is in questions, and that is best achieved by a step-by-step process.
  4. A quest for meaning. 
    The only reason for a team to exist is to mutually make sense of something that is not making sense, and has so far eluded individual efforts at making sense or meaning.
  5. Winners and losers. 
    A team focused on a common goal is not a debate between members. The team wins collectively or fails together.
  6. Teamwork is an iterative process. 
    The chances that a team will come up with the right solution to the right problem at its first attempt are not good. Patience is required.  Also required is the ability to learn from previous iterations. What your team should be doing is collectively building mental models of a suggested solutions and then interrogating the model until they are happy that it works.

If you are a member of a team or a leader you know how difficult staying on-track, on-message or on-point can be. If you would like to deploy a step-by-step method that will keep everyone on the same page and help guarantee the success of your group by ensuring your team thinks critically, collaborates well, solves the right problem, and communicates the agreed solution clearly then click here. The 20 minute free tutorial shows you how to get results.

This method is a must for anyone engaged in human capital development.” Ann Miller PMP. Health Care.

The Terego Method works. It gets results.” Alan Solinger Ph.D. Medical Sciences.