Ideal conditions for teambuilding
Teambuilding works best when the following conditions are met (adapted from Francis and Young, 1979).
- There is a high level of interdependence among team members. The team is working on important tasks to which each team member has a commitment and where teamwork is critical for achieving the desired results.
- Team members develop a mutual trust for each other and believe that other team members have skills and capabilities to contribute to the team.
- The team is clear about its important goals and establishes performance targets that are stretching but achievable.
- The roles of team members are defined, and effective ways to solve problems and communicate are developed and supported by all team members.
- Each team member is willing to contribute their individual information, skills and experiences to provide an appropriate mix for achieving the team’s purpose.
- The team develops a climate in which people feel relaxed and able to be direct and open in their communications.
- Both the team and individual members are prepared to take risks and are allowed to develop their abilities and skills.
- Team members know how to examine team and individual errors and weaknesses without making personal attacks; the blame-free atmosphere enables the group to learn from its experiences.
- Team efforts are devoted to the achievement of results, and team performance is frequently evaluated to see where improvements can be made.
- The team has the capacity to create new ideas through group interaction and the influence of outside people. Good ideas are followed up and people are rewarded for innovative risk taking.
- Each member of the team knows that he or she can influence the team agenda. There is a feeling of trust and equal influence among team members that facilitates open and honest communication.
- The team leader has good people skills, is committed to developing a team approach, and allocates time to team-building activities. Team management is seen as a shared function, and team members are given the opportunity to exercise leadership when their experiences and skills are appropriate to the needs of the team.