- Communication is the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs. Does the team communicate in a productive fashion? Are they sharing the information so all team members can do their part to participate effectively?
- Coordination - making different people or things work together for a goal or effect. Is each team member working on one part for the good of the whole? Does the team leader know where everyone is in the process to keep the task on target?
- Balance of contributions - is the problem of ensuring that all participants believe that they are doing equal shares or their “fair share” toward the completion of the task. No relationship is ever 50/50. At times one member of the team may be doing more than another, but as long as everyone feels that their share of the project is in proportion, it is in balance.
- Mutual support – team members provide and evaluate relevant information, share experience and knowledge, listening to ideas (brainstorm), provide understanding and establishing networks. If one member of a team is struggling with a particular portion of a project or needs to connect with a resource, someone else on the team may offer assistance or knowledge. It may be nothing more than a word of encouragement to help maintain or boost another team members’ self-confidence or self-esteem.
- Effort – The amount of energy a team member exerts to accomplish the goal. Again, this may not be a perceived equal distribution of energy. Some team members may be able to “breeze” through their portion of a task, depending upon their experience or expertise, but, is that member giving it all of their effort to meet deadlines for the rest of the group?
- Cohesion - the bonds or "glue" between members of a group. Often, you can hear people remark that “that couple has no chemistry” which can apply to a team. The old adage “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch” is representative of one team member not being cohesive with the rest. Do you do your part to be a positive active member of your team?
Once you have the team working the reason for the team is to solve a problem. To solve a problem you have to make decisions. Having a decision making process in place is essential to getting the best results in the most efficient manner. Utilizing the following or similar steps could help the process:
- Create a constructive environment - focus on the issue not the person
- Generate good alternatives – brainstorm to obtain a number of alternatives
- Explore these alternatives - flow charts allow you to determine the paths should one alternative be selected over another.
- Choose the best alternative – not necessarily the most popular, but the best for the resolution to the situation.
- Check your decision.
- Communicate your decision, and take action.
Finally, as a member of the team are you leading by example. This doesn’t mean that you have to be the team leader, but are your actions reflective of how you would like to be treated by others?