Teamwork - Greater than the sum of its parts

It’s all about teamwork at MHR this week, where we look at what makes a team ‘great’, and the dynamics of a group of professional individuals.

The wise words of Aristotle - ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, are particularly poignant when it comes to teamwork. Forging a team relies on each team member bringing their own skills and training into the melting pot of abilities, that is amalgamated into an unstoppable force of nature!

But what are the key characteristics of a good team, and what makes a team tick?


Trust is paramount to the success of any team. It is of fundamental importance that each and every member trusts one another if they are to succeed working as a tight unit.

With each member of a team having a different role and responsibilities, the effectiveness of a team member can affect the whole team. Therefore, a team relies upon each person meeting their deadlines, and doing their jobs properly.

You don’t want team members suspicious of each other, and wasting time worrying about whether a colleague will deliver the necessary work on time. Confidence and trust in one another’s skills frees up time to think about the bigger picture, giving the team foresight and the ability to plan ahead.

A mix of people

Having an eclectic mix of people makes a team more adaptable to any potential pitfalls that lie ahead. A mixture of conformists, non-comformists, extroverts, introverts, loud and quiet people, can help truly diversify a team.

Also, an array of differentiating skills can help broaden a team’s expertise, making them increasingly valuable to the company.

Strong leader

Of course, to consolidate such a mixture of people, a strong leader is well and truly required. A leader whom has the ability to listen to each and every voice in his/her team whilst never straying away from the bigger picture.

Strong leaders come in all shapes and sizes but are united by a few key characteristics. These include; setting an example for the rest of the team, motivating team members, giving the team feedback, and nurture the variety of skills that are being developed under their leadership.

The leader of any team is the conduit between the end goal of a team, and the individuals in the team.

Excellent communication

How well a team communicates with one another can dictate whether a team succeeds in meeting it’s goals, or fails at the first hurdle. A well-organised team communicates effortlessly and never in an urgent, reactive manner.

A team that has developed strong internal links will proactively share information with other well before the information is necessarily needed, so that each team member can digest the information and plan accordingly.

A stagnated approach to communication will always lead to panic and struggle within a team member, and not to mention finger-pointing when things fall apart.

Social life together

A team that socialises together and enjoys one another’s company should never be underestimated. Learning about your colleague beyond your professional lives certainly brings people closer together, and will give everyone the extra motivation to succeed.

You could argue that by bringing people together socially, would help encourage all of the above items. When friendships are formed, respect, trust, and better communication soon follow.

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