We usually think that an efficient team is one that has the best qualified professionals, who work hard to achieve their goals. But when it comes to build an efficient team, there are other ingredients that are crucial to their productivity.
How to build an efficient team
Individual skills are important, but so is the capacity to make good use of them as part of the team. All team members must be able to trust and communicate to one another, as well as to acknowledge everyone’s contribution to the team.
- Emotional intelligence. Technical skills just aren’t enough. As Lifehacker points out, there are many studies proving that emotional intelligence is far more important than IQ. The ability to understand the others’ thoughts and feelings, as well as being able to put oneself in their shoes are key to the group’s success.
- Understanding and sharing common goals. The success of a project depends on all team members sharing the same vision. Moreover, they must be able to understand and value what each one’s tasks are. This is what scientists call ‘a shared mental model’. This way, they can foresee what is needed to accomplish both their own tasks and those of the other members. And, what’s more important, they understand how their work adds up to something bigger along with the others’ work.
- Proactive communication. It’s the only way to get a shared mental model. They share information and provide support even before being asked for it; they take the initiative by making suggestions to other members and helping them to stay current.
- A strong leader. A leader must not only set the example and motivate the other team members. They must also provide feedback and help everyone to develop their skills. A leader is also in charge of selecting those people who are a better fit for the team, encouraging communication and making sure that everyone shares the same vision of the project.
- Humour. Even though this may not seem an essential element of an efficient team, humour encourages trust and closeness among partners. It helps create a more relaxed work environment, in which communication flows better, thus making it easy to achieve goals.
It is important to remember that an efficient team is one which celebrates achievements, but also gets stronger with defeats, learning from their mistakes in order to become a better team.
Translation by Susana Castro.
Image: Samuel Zeller