The Makings of a Great Team

Jun 28, 2021
The Makings of a Great Team

A champion team will always beat a team of champions—these are the famous words of John McGrath. Without downplaying the importance of “star” individuals, John emphasizes that a team composed of remarkable members may not be so good if the members don’t form a real team among themselves. So the question is, what’s a team—really? And what makes a team great? 

According to Merriam Webster, a team is a group of people who compete in a sport, game, etc., against another group; or a group of people who work together. In the workplace, a project is better completed in teams. Each task can be delegated; and together, people can help each other towards its completion. 

A book by Marcia Hughes and James Bradford Terrell entitled, “Team Emotional and Social Intelligence” tells us that there are seven (7) dimensions that contribute to the success of working together. Join me as I explore all these dimensions—the makings of a great team.


  • Team Identity


Imagine a group of friends. These people feel a sense of belongingness among each other—a feeling of being an indispensable or significant part of something. They know each other, and what each is capable of; and most importantly, they are loyal. In the workplace, groups with strong team identity can demonstrate this sense of belongingness. They have clarity about the role of each member, and have a sense of loyalty. I’ll tell you how to develop team identity, but that’s for another discussion. Watch out—I’ll make a blog especially for it!


  • Motivation


Motivation is the mental process that starts, guides, and keeps goal-oriented behaviors. It is what moves you to act. It involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior. This dimension determines how energized the team is and how responsible they feel towards a given task. This also determines whether competition is working positively for the or negatively against the team. To stay motivated, it’s important to know and meet the targets that the team has set upon itself. It involves setting stretch goals and reinforcing success, as well as fostering a good sense of persistence. 


  • Emotional Awareness


Emotional awareness is the ability to recognize and make sense of not just your own emotions, but also those of others. This is especially important as working in a team involves other people. They could have different opinions, and can feel differently about certain topics or how they are treated. Learning to be sensitive is key at this point. 


  • Communication


There’s a reason we that men were created with two ears and one mouth—this underscores the most important aspect of communication: the ability to listen. In order to communicate well, an individual must first be an active listener. A great team is composed of individuals who know when to speak and when to listen—their ideas do not compete against one another; rather, they wait patiently for their turn to move their message across. They are comfortable with each other, are honest, and do not fear rejection or criticism. They are open on all channels, and that allows for a seamless framework of completing tasks.


  • Stress Tolerance


Just how much pressure can the team handle? Individuals grouped together can experience difficulties whether it’s completing tasks or facing hurdles along the way. These hurdles could be bad feedback from the client, unsatisfactory work, or misunderstanding among members. A good team knows not only how to manage stress, but more importantly, know how to overcome it. The team has good coping mechanisms, and know how to pull each other through. 


  • Conflict Resolution


What happens if team members disagree among each other? What if misunderstanding among teams? A good team knows how to process disagreement among its own members and other teams. Good conflict resolution skills are important in this aspect, and governs how the team handles adversity. 


  • Positive Mood


A team with a can-do personality can triumph over anything. Having a positive mood instantly raises their productivity and workflow. The team is more active and energized, and like to welcome challenges rather than shirk from it. Its foundations are based on encouragement, humor. A team with a positive mood simply has more chances of succeeding. 

And there you have it, 7 dimensions that make up a great team! Are you part of a great team, or do you see an area your team can improve! Let us know what you think!