MOST Attributes For Successful Teamwork

Commitment to team success and shared goals – team members are committed to the success of the team and their shared goals for the project. Successful teams are motivated, engaged and aim to achieve at the highest level.
  • participants understand their purpose and share their goals the combination achieves mission (Francis & Young, 1979).
  • members must share a strong common goal (Kets De Vries, 1999).
  • groups provide each member of the team with prestige and recognition (Scarnati, 2001).
  • successful teams are motivated to succeed (Bradley & Frederic, 1997).
  • there is strong team commitment to succeed (Critchley & Casey, 1986).
  • members have strong shared values and beliefs (Kets De Vries, 1999).
  • engaged in and satisfied with their work (Wageman, 1997) • creation of a team atmosphere that is informal, relaxed, comfortable and nonjudgmental (Harris & Harris, 1996).
  • promote group cohesion (Bradley & Frederic, 1997)opeople enjoy regular interaction with individuals who have similar interests and goals (Scarnati, 2001).


 Interdependence – team members need to create an environment where together they can contribute far more than as individuals. A positive interdependent team environment brings out the best in each person enabling the team to achieve their goals at a far superior level (Johnson & Johnson, 1995, 1999). Individuals promote and encourage their fellow team members to achieve, contribute, and learn.

  • one cannot succeed unless the other members of the group succeed (Smith, 1996).
  •  together the group can deliver more than the individuals who compromise it could do in isolation (Francis & Young, 1979).
  • team members must work together effectively to produce successful systems (Bradley & Frederic, 1997).
  • team members interact to help each other accomplish the task and promote one another’s success (Smith, 1996).
  • team members build on the capabilities of their fellows – the combinations energized through synergy (Francis & Young, 1979).
  • team members must take an interest in both the group and each individuals achievement (Harris & Harris, 1996).
  • team members must never be fully self-directed or completely independent (Johnson, Heimann, & O’Neill, 2000).
  • teams are often empowered to accomplish tasks not available to individuals (Scarnati, 2001).
  •  Individuals experience a wide range of new ideas and skills when interacting with team members (Scarnati, 2001).
  •  team members learn together so that they can subsequently perform better as individuals (Smith, 1996).

Interpersonal Skills includes the ability to discuss issues openly with team members, be honest, trustworthy, supportive and show respect and commitment to the team and to its individuals. Fostering a caring work environment is important including the ability to work effectively with other team members.
  •       people must care for each other (Critchley & Casey, 1986)
  • members must protect and support each other (Kets De Vries, 1999)
  • feelings cab be expressed freely; (Critchley & Casey, 1986)
  • members must be respectful and supportive of one another, and realistic in mutual expectations (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  • there is a high level of trust (Critchley & Casey, 1986)
  • members respect and trust each other (Kets De Vries, 1999)
  • foster trust, confidence and commitment within the group (Harris & Harris, 1996)

Open Communication and positive feedback – actively listening to the concerns and needs of team members and valuing their contribution and expressing this helps to create an effective work environment. Team members should be willing to give and receive constructive criticism and provide authentic feedback.
  •      give and accept feedback in an non-defensive manner (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  •  ideal team should be highly diversified in the talents and knowledge each member contributes, while maintaining open, non-threatening communication (Bradley & Frederic, 1997)
  • value effective listening and communications that serves group needs (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  • engage in open dialogue and communication (Kets De Vries, 1999)
  • cultivate a team spirit of constructive criticism and authentic non-evaluative feedback (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  • team members must be open and truthful (Critchley & Casey, 1986)
  • enable members to express group feelings (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  • listen to all ideas and feelings; (Critchley & Casey, 1986)
  • face up to conflict and work through it (Critchley & Casey, 1986)

 Appropriate team composition is essential in the creation of a successful team. Team members need to be fully aware of their specific team role and understand what is expected of them in terms of their contribution to the team and the project.
  •    successful teams are a product of appropriate team composition (Bradley & Frederic, 1997)
  • clarify member roles, relationships assignments and responsibilities (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  • discuss differences in what each member has to contribute to the work (Wageman, 1997)

  Commitment to team processes, leadership & accountability – team members need to be accountable for their contribution to the team and the project. They need to be aware of team processes, best practice and new ideas. Effective leadership is essential for team success including shared decision-making and problem solving.
  •      tolerate of ambiguity, uncertainty and seeming lack of structure (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  •   install approaches that are goal-directed, divide labour fairly among members and synchronize efforts (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  •   accept individual accountability/personal responsibility; (Smith, 1996)
  • team members are accountable for their share of the work (Smith, 1996)
  • members subscribe to distributed leadership (Kets De Vries, 1999)
  • decisions are made by consensus (Critchley & Casey, 1986)
  • effective leadership is needed (Bradley & Frederic, 1997)
  • encourage group participants, consensus and decisions (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  • experiment with new ways to work more effectively; (Wageman, 1997)
  • seek best practice from other teams and other parts of the organizations; (Wageman, 1997)
  • be open to change, innovation and creative, joint problem solving (Harris & Harris, 1996)
  • take action to solve problems without waiting for direction (Wageman, 1997)
  • monitor the team’s progress (Johnson, Heimann, & O’Neill, 2000)
  •      perform post-project analyses to find out what worked and what didn’t (Johnson, Heimann, & O’Neill, 2000)

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