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Teams The 7 Pillars of Team Success

Duncan Brodie

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Teams have one overarching purpose and that is to get results. While there are many factors that contribute to the success and results that are achieved, there are some common factors or pillars to team success.

Pillar 1: Common goals

A batch of individuals only becomes a team when they are working to a common purpose or goals. In other words they are collectively responsible for working to delivering a common result or outcome. The extent to which common goals can be set depends on there being real dependency on each other to deliver results.

Pillar 2: Trust

Trust is one of the most challenging areas when it comes to teams. Most of us are conditioned to focus on things as individuals rather than trust and rely on others. Some of the ways in which you can create trust include setting clear expectations, demonstrating reliability and being supportive of each other.

Pillar 3: Communication

Successful teams will have effective communication in place. Specifically, the members of the team and the team leader need to be highly effective listeners. Most of us are skilled at speaking and writing but fewer are really skilled when it comes to listening. For most teams, if there was one area to focus on developing to be more effective would be listening skills.

Pillar 4: Positiveness

Some people are glass half empty and others are glass half full people. In other words, some people focus on what could go wrong while others focus on what could go right. Successful teams have a glass half full outlook and are highly positive.

Pillar 5: Proactiveness

Successful teams don't wait for permission to do things or procrastinate. They get on and make things happen. It is easy to sit back and say I can't do this because I don't have this or that. It is tougher to say, I have this issue, how can I overcome it. Successful teams ask that question and find a way through the obstacles.

Pillar 6: Results focus

The purpose of a team is to deliver results. Results can often be confused with process. For example make 6 sales is a definite result while make 6 sales calls is process. Successful teams will know what they have to deliver and focus their time and energies on delivering the results.

Pillar 7: Shared accountability

One of the major distinctions in teams is that they have shared accountability or collective responsibility for the results that are or are not achieved. They are all in it together.

Teams can really make a difference to the results that are delivered. So what pillar do you need to work on to develop even more effective teams?

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with teams in organizations who want to be more effective and achieve sustained success.

He is an authorised Facilitator for Team Coaching International's Team Diagnostic Asssessment.

Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at


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