A team is a unique type of group in two important ways. First a team has an objective -- a specific goal that the team is trying to reach. The goal is usually thought of as a performance objective -- that is, something the team is trying to do, rather than something the team is trying to be. And the performance objective is usually concrete or tangible.
Second, raching the goal requires collaboration -- a coordinated effort. Achieving the goal requires working together. Effective teams, then, are made up of members who are not only technically competent but also good at collaborating with one another to reach their common objective.
Experience is the first thing a team looks for in its members. Whether the team is about to embark on cardiac surgery, mountain climbing, or building an airplance, once the gola is clear the question becomes "Who's been here before?" In other words, the team looks for practice knowledge that is relevant to its objective.
2. Problem-Solving Ability
As a team's work progresses, another quality begins to emerge. Irrespective of their level of experience, some members of the team are good at solving the problems that inevitably arise as obstcales to a team's success.
3. Openness: The Basic Ingredient for Team Success
When team members describe those teammates who contribute most to attaining the team's goal, the characteristic that shows up most frequently is a pattern of behavior we call "openess." Team members who are open are willing to deal with problems, surgace issues that need to be discussed, help create an environment where people are free to say what's on their minds, and promote an open exchange of ideas.
Althought supportiveness can take many forms, at the core is a desire and willingness to help others succeed. Sometimes this means encouraging someone who confidence is wavering. Sometimes it means placing a charitable interpretation on people's difficulties when they are tyring but struggling. Sometimes it means figuring out how to help someone overcome an obstacle rather than taking advantage of a momentary failure. Sometimes it means defending someone who is being attacked. It always means putting the team's goal above any individual agenda, being easy to work with, and demonstrate a willingness to help other achieve.
5. Action Orientation
Being action oriented means having a tendancy to act, to do something. It also means encouraging others to take action. It means being willing to prod, to suggest courses of action, to be willing to experiment, to try something different. Team members describe a distinct difference between an action orientation -- a deliberate effort to make something happen -- and a passive approach that favors waiting and hoping that others will do something about the problem or opportunity at hand.
6. Personal Style
As social scientists have known for a long time, there is a fundamental difference among people in terms of whether they convey a positive or negative attitude. Team members, too, are quick to notice that some people are energetic, optimistic, engaging, confident, and fun to work with.