What Local Communities Teach Us About Effective Teams & Groups

 In Collaboration, Leadership, Teamwork

What are the foundations for building effective teams and groups?

When you think about it, work teams and groups are mini-communities in themselves. Therefore, if we know what makes local communities strong we can apply the same thinking to them. Researchers have found there are three key factors behind strong communities:

1. Trust

When everyone in the group knows they are working hard towards the same common goal or benefit, people put in more effort.

2. Mutual reciprocity

When people give without the expectation of immediate return, the group is more productive and creative in its problem solving.

3. Social norms

When the group has a consistent view of acceptable behaviours (think of these as the unwritten rules) it reduces frictions in the group.

How do you build these foundations?

There’s seven areas that I focus on in building effective teams and groups, including the bigger picture reason for working together and overcoming any tensions within the group through to listening skills, behaviours at the individual and group level.

What next?

Even if your team or group is already strong, you need to make constant (albeit smaller) investments in fortifying your foundations. How do your teams, projects and partnerships rate on the three components?

Phil Preston is an expert in the power of collaboration to transform the way we work together. You can stay in touch by following him on Linked In, contacting him directly or using the form below to opt in to occasional emails.

Commercial images courtesy of shutterstock.com

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