The Main Principles of Team Building – Part 1

We’ve spoken several times about how important it is to build a great team. As managers we spend a lot of time focused on building a team and working as a team but we sometimes forget to step back and take a look at how our team members feel about being a part of the team – as part of a team in genearal and, more important, as part of our teams specifically.

So what areas of team building should you really be looking at in order to ensure both the happiness of your team members and the group’s overall success? Here are a few concepts to get you started…

Do your team members have clear goals and expectations? In short, has upper management given you clear directions and have you conveyed those directions clearly to your team? Your team needs to know why it exists, what it’s goals are, and what it’s limitations are (financially, chronologically, etc.) in achieving those goals.

Are your team members committed to the task at hand? Do they really want to be on your team or do they feel forced to participate? Will they be rewarded or recognized for their efforts? If the entire group isn’t committed the odds of you completing a successful project instantly drop.

Has the team created its own mission statement or charter? The team needs to work together to outline exactly what its goals will be given the task at hand. Upper management needs to support the team in its efforts to set those goals. Do they have clear goals set within a reasonable timeframe?

Do your team members understand the concept of collaboration? Are they all working together as a team or is one person (or group of people) making all of the decisions and telling everyone else what to do? Are they working together respectfully? Are they resolving conflicts peacefully? Are they all working towards the same goals?

Are the teams coordinated properly? Is your team working independently or are there several other teams working on tasks that will ultimately come together to form one large project? If they are working together, is upper management coordinating the teams properly so that the process flows smoothly? Will everyone complete their share of the project on time – and will all the pieces fit together properly?

If any one of these aspects is falling short, your team members will begin to feel as though they’re not really a part of a team. The happier they are in their work, and the more they feel like a part of a team, the better they’ll ultimately perform!

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 3 February, 2010

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