Talent Wins Games But Teamwork and Intelligence Win ChampionshipsMichael Jordan
Most working adults spend a minimum of 1/4 of their week working with people. The people in our professional teams, departments and task forces have a significant impact on our lives, both professional and personal. When we work on a toxic or dysfunctional team we feel exhausted, uninspired, and disenfranchised and these feelings ripple through the rest of our lives.
While successful completion of tasks is important, effective teams are categorized by their ability to move beyond simple task-completion. No matter what industry you work in, or type of team you or part of, connecting with others is vital to success. The 5 C’s of effective teams provides a model for team development.
Cooperating: This skill allows team members to work with each other. Finite resources, project milestones, and time-management all require a team to cooperate. If a team is unable to cooperate amongst themselves they will fail to complete projects on-time, on-budget, and of a sufficient quality to create a meaningful relationship with customers and suppliers.
Coordinating: Tasks do not simply complete themselves, nor does a final product magically appear after a group of people complete random tasks. Efforts and activities must be synchronized or scheduled to ensure efficiency and effectiveness as the team moves through a project. When team members fall out of sync with each other a team risks wasting time, resources, and talent.
Communicating: The most important “Soft Skill.” Team members must be able to exchange ideas, thoughts, and information clearly and concisely. Team members need to be comfortable communicating professionally across various platforms and channels to ensure information sharing occurs appropriately. Communication extends beyond verbal and non-verbal communication, and will continue to expand as technology presents new means of connecting with coworkers, clients, and suppliers alike.
Comforting: Teams that are able to connect on an emotional level have increased levels of confidence and success. Professional teams, when effective, serve as a support network for individuals on the team. When we feel safe at work we are more likely to maintain a positive attitude, communicate more effectively, and help inspire confidence in those around us.
Conflict Handling: The presence of conflict is not a sign of a broken or dysfunctional team. Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, identifies conflict as an important aspect of team effectiveness. Teams that are unable to professionally debate issues and overcome conflict, rather than dismiss it, are significantly more likely to achieve long-term success. Effective teams are able to discuss their difference of opinions and resolve those issues as a team.