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Personal Qualities for Teamwork in Organisations

Organisations rely on teams and team members to deliver services, provide solutions, and contribute to its performance and survival.

A team is a group of people, who are organised to perform a range of tasks that requires different skills with individual team goals.

There are personal qualities that are essential for teamwork, and organisational success. A team member should the able to demonstrate the following personal qualities.

Personal uniqueness

The consciousness that every person is unique with particular characteristics, personality, experience, preferences, etc. These qualities refer to both you and other members of your team.

Therefore, recognise your individual uniqueness, and develop the qualities that improve your importance to the team. In addition, personal qualities are not developed evenly, and an individual will need to remain sensitive to his or her blind spots.

These blind spots are areas you’ll need to identify and develop the required knowledge, skills and abilities in order to remain vital to teamwork and team success.

Commitment to Team Objectives

Team leaders appreciate team members who are committed to the team’s objectives, and demonstrate this commitment by effective collaboration with other team members.

An individual’s ability and preference for team working creates a perception in team leader and team members of the individual’s self-worth.

Each team member should link their personal uniqueness to roles necessary for the team to achieve its objectives. Equally, team members should be flexible to take on additional, different and at times difficult team roles and responsibilities.

Belbin Team Role typology is a useful diagnostics that enable a team member to identify and develop his or her team roles.

Communication Skills

A team member should improve their communication skills to enhance their effectiveness in the team and workplace.

The ability to listen, process, and respond in one-on-one or team communication is essential. A desire to improve understanding of communication values, process, and principles is necessary.

There is for team members to appreciate and understand cultural elements of communication in relation to gender, age, experience, and ethnicity.

Each team member should ensure they reinforce their communication skills with effective working relationship with every team member.

Personal Excellence

The capacity of team members to commit to consistent high quality work outcomes. Personal excellence is an attribute that every team member should demonstrate during simple and complex tasks.

Personal excellence is about being exceptional, being more than average team member, and demonstrating exceptional qualities in knowledge, skills, competence, and behaviour.

Personal excellence and demonstrating exceptional teamwork attributes can be improved through feedback, impact audit, learning and development.

Team members have an understanding of stages of team development.

Book Review

How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In

This book outlines five stages of organisational decline and specific actions that leaders, top managers, teams and individuals take to foster the decline. The five stages of organisational decline make reference to Stage 1, the pride of success. Stage 2 is the undisciplined pursuit of more. Stage 3 is the denial of risk and peril. Stage 4 is grasping for salvation, and Stage 5 is capitulation to irrelevance or death.

In stage 1, according to Jim Collins, great companies can become insulated by success, and can still display success despite their leaders’ poor decisions.

Stage 2 is when the company’s success factors stray into to sphere of undisciplined leaps into areas they cannot become great or grow faster than they can achieve with excellence.

As companies move into Stage 3, internal warning signs begin to mount though external results remain strong enough to explain away disturbing performance data.

In Stage 4, the company seeks every effort to survive or succeed through appointing charismatic leaders, attempt radical organisational transformation, etc. However, these efforts do not last. Hence Stage 5 the organisation’s downward spiral is imminent. At this stage, leaders and their followers abandon all hope of survival.

Jim Collins reckon that organisational survival depends on actions of the organisation: “Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do yourself than on what the world does.” It is not all companies that will go through all five stages. It is possible for organisations to make adjustments and survive if they make concerted efforts to respond to the warning signs.

The table on page 77 of this book fascinates me. The table highlights the leadership-team dynamics of “teams on the way up”, and “teams on the way down”. In “teams on the way up”, team members (1) highlight and discuss harsh realities; (2) use data, evidence, and logic; (3) ask questions and seek penetrating insight; (4) unify and act on decisions; (5) credit other team members for success; and (6) find best answers to support overall cause.

Inspiring Quotes

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” – Winston Churchill

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton

“We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” – Konrad Adenauer