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Third Sector Innovations

Successful Teams
July 25, 2012

Teamwork.  We hear the word so often that it loses its power.  But it’s true:  Teamwork is key to all successful organizations!
When teams are effective, we can produce quality services/products and improve efficiencies.  “Team” allows our work to be more creative and therefore empowering.  Working together, we become unstoppable…and it’s fun!
There are three foundational skills in building and maintaining a bullet-proof team:
       Organization -  Quality teams organize their time so that assigned tasks are accomplished by deadline, while members still juggle other work duties.  Each team member must organize his/her thoughts and ideas, then present them in a way that is understandable and provides for project vision and clarity.  Without organizational skills, the team will have difficultly moving forward to achieve its goals.
        Discussion -  Teams form so that employees can share ideas and tap into others’ creativity and skills.  Brainstorming is exciting and energizing, and helps identify viable options.  Quality discussion/communication skills ensure that all team members have a sense of contribution to a project.
        Listening - Listening for understanding is imperative to the successful team.  When a member can be heard without judgment, placing value or making assumptions, less conventional ideas will surface.  In asking questions for clarity, genuinely listening and providing members adequate time to present their ideas in full, the team will realize its best possible outcomes and best possible relationships.
These skills develop and are nurtured only in an environment where they – and the concept of team – are valued.   It is critical for leaders to work with employees and provide the time/opportunity for organizational, discussion and listening skills’ development to ensure an effective team.
posted by Mary Beth 


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