Characteristics of a Good Team
  • High level of interdependence among members
  • Leader has good people skills and is committed to team approach
  • Each member is willing to contribute
  • A relaxed climate for communication
  • Members develop a mutual trust
  • The group and individuals are prepared to take risks
  • Group is clear about goals and establishes targets
  • Member roles are defined
  • Members know how to examine errors without personal attacks
  • The group has capacity to create new ideas
  • Each member knows he can influence the agenda

Any teambuilding program or activity should be focused on strengthening one or more of these characteristics. This is a good checklist to determine whether or not a program will have value and lasting effects for your group.

Are There Situations in which Teamwork can be Detrimental?
YES! If the group is not primarily interdependent, then teamwork can be detrimental to the effectiveness of the group. For instance, teambuilding programs for salespeople will usually be counterproductive. Salespeople are typically independent and self-motivating. Therefore, teambuilding activities will be seen by the group as a waste of time. More effective training for group who is not interdependent would be communication training, leadership training, or other forms of personal development.

If the group is interdependent, but doesn’t realize that the actions of the individual affect the group, then teambuilding activities will also meet with resistance. This may occur in an organization where departments are autonomous. Department heads may begin to see themselves in competition with other department heads for resources including budgets, capital, and personnel. Before implementing teambuilding activities with this type of group, spend some time helping the group realize how interdependent they really are.