Team Building Exercises to Optimise the Key Characteristics of Successful Teams

Understanding the characteristics of successful teams allows you to evaluate your own team to determine where the team is doing well and where the opportunity areas may be. There are 5 key characteristics that you find in successful teams:

1. Trust – openness and commitment
2. Effective communication – clear, unguarded and effective listening
3. Effective processes – decision making, conflict management and problem solving
4. Value diversity – diversity of capabilities, clarity of roles and interdependencies
5. Results focused – clear goals and plans

Each of these 5 key areas build on each other, if there is no trust in the team then the other factors don’t really get a chance to come into play, if there isn’t effective communication then working through processes become extremely difficult and so on.

Building on understanding these key characteristics when you are embarking on either a 3rd party team building exercise or an in house activity, keep the following key tension points in mind and design your team building exercise to bring these different perspectives to the forefront. Different personalities have different viewpoints on how to approach tasks, understanding the value that each personality can bring and the tension points that can arise will allow team members to work out differences during a “simulation” so they can work together better when real results are required. Some key tension points are:

-Approach and value of planning versus doing
-Risk taking
-Structure versus flexibility
-Focus on nurturing the task versus the individuals

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