There is no doubt that teams play a significant role in today’s workplace. Over the years thousands of articles have been published to share insights into making the inner workings of a team optimal. When asked to write a short piece on teamwork for this issue of EP Exchange, I decided that I would write about what I believe are ingredients of successful teamwork. These “ingredients” lend themselves nicely to form the acronym: G.R.E.A.T. The intention of this article is to provide another view on helping teams succeed, ensure collaboration, and become G.R.E.A.T teams:

Goals:

Without a clear understanding of the goals, any team will have challenges focusing their efforts. Although goals can evolve over time, each member must understand the team goals and more importantly each team member must believe in these goals wholeheartedly. Being fully bought into the goals will ensure that individuals feel part of the bigger picture. In alignment with understanding the goals, it is equally important that each team member has ownership of some part of the goals. This ownership creates an environment where everyone has skin in the game.

Respect and Trust:

Every member brings something unique to the table including diversity in knowledge, approach, experience, and culture. Teams must realize that there is strength in diversity. Respecting team members and their diverse backgrounds will create an environment of trust. This will also engage team members even further to accomplish the team goals while striving to make themselves and others in their team better. Without respect and trust for each other a team is just a bunch of individuals with no connection.

Encouragement:

Teams can create a fertile environment where individuals can learn from each other and grow as individuals while working towards shared goals. Teams should be created as enabling environments that encourage each team member to help each other become better. An important realization to create such an enabling environment is to come to terms with the fact that no one is perfect and that the team members need to encourage each other to enhance personal growth that lend themselves well to the overall team goals.

Accountability

In order to achieve the team goals and create an environment of respect, trust, and encouragement, it goes without saying that each team member must be accountable. This accountability is for the tasks assigned, the organization as a whole but also to one another. There should be no hesitation in holding each other accountable through open communication and regular check-ins. To create such an environment, each team member should feel comfortable to have adult conversations when there is any indication of deterioration of accountability.  It goes without saying that examples of people going above and beyond their call of duty should be recognized and celebrated.

Tenacity

“One for all and all for one” may be overused but still holds true. Team members should feel connected and engaged so that they can hold strong and are not pulled apart when the going gets tough. And we all know that the going will get tough; but with collaborative determination to achieve the goals in an environment based on trust, respect, encouragement, and accountability there is no force that will be able to erode the bond created between the team members