While many teams and groups excel in their own ways under different conditions, some common qualities can be observed.
- Members understand and are committed to team goals.
- Team member have discussed and agreed on norms of behavior.
- Members understand tasks, roles, and boundaries of authority and responsibility well enough so that nothing falls through the cracks and each knows what the others do.
- Trust and effective communication exist so that team members have relevant information to perform their jobs and the team as a whole can make quality decisions.
- Members’ expertise is acknowledged, respected, and utilized; decisions made by team members are not second-guessed.
- Differences are treated as opportunities for team and individual learning and do not disintegrate into competition or polarization.
- Team atmosphere is supportive and encourages members to ask for help, admit mistakes and draw learning from them, and share resources.
- The ways that the team makes decisions are known and understood by all members.
- In decision making the purpose and goals of the team are used as context and all members’ perspectives are heard and discussed.
- The team has a self-correcting mechanism- when things are not going well members have a way to look at how they are functioning and are willing to use it.
Used with permission from Pat Vivian, 2010.