Effective Teamwork: The Essentials for Successful Teamwork

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In his book A Work of Heart, Reggie McNeal points out six essential qualities for establishing friendships.  These qualities for creating healthy friendships can also be used to help in the development of strong and healthy teams.

The character of every team member is essential for any group to be successful.  If any member of the team is not willing to improve personally then the possibilities for teamwork success will be very limited.  Each member of the team must see themselves as a “cell” of the larger body.  If one part of the team or body is not healthy and growing then the whole body suffers.  Every member of the team must be willing to create an environment of friendship with the other members of the group.

McNeal points out six characteristics that are needed for in establishing effective teamwork and friendships.  These six cannot be ignored if a team desires to be healthy and strong.

1.  Integrity

2.  Vulnerability

3.  Humility

4.  Willingness to listen

5.  Reasonable expectations of people

6.  Sensitivity and responsiveness*

Along with these six points, John Maxwell also says that if an organization is going to develop effective teamwork then every team member needs to feel worthwhile.   Everyone has a desire to feel that they are significant and when this takes place there is a strong tendency to respond to this type of encouragement.  There is little doubt that people have a tendency to buy into other people before they buy into the group as a whole.

The six characteristics listed above can be a powerful tool in helping to create strong teamwork.  One of the best ways to use the list is to use it as a checklist.  Ask the questions repeatedly:

“Does this team have true integrity?”

“Are our members vulnerable with one another?”

“Am I humble?”

“Am I willing (really willing) to listen to every member on the team?”

“Are my expectations of the team members reasonable?”

“Do I have a sensitivity to the ideas and thoughts of the other team members?”

These types of questions can lead the teamwork of any organization to great successes!

Dale Roach

Who is Dale Roach?
*Reggie McNeal, A Work of Heart, 2000 Jossey-Bass p. 128-129

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